Saturday, October 8, 2016

Meet Vivienne Vincent: “There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

My guest is Vivienne Vincent, author of avant-garde romance novella DANDELIONS.

Vivienne grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.


An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships. 

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her. 

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?


An In-Depth Interview With Vivienne

You, the Author:

I've published one book so far which is a novella; Dandelions. It's contemporary romance. I grew up in a fairly conservative environment and it's very unusual for someone like me to experiment with the genre. But I want to continue writing and I'm planning my next book these days. Hopefully, I'll finish it in a year or two.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?
I'd like to watch Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld. There's something about the show that makes me feel that no matter how bad things are, it just doesn't matter. 

What kind of books do you love to read? Why? 
I read a lot of non-fiction. When it starts to feel too much I read romance novels because they help you get away from realities of life.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to? 
I don't listen to music that much. Sometimes when I'm on the subway or working out, I listen to songs. But I've never been able to just close my eyes and enjoy music. 

What is your stress buster? 

What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food? 
Thai, Italian, and Indian food. And, of course, McDonald's. 

Describe yourself in one word. 

If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be?  
No idea. 

What’s your biggest regret in life?

Lacking the ability to tell a friend from foe. 

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 
Writing a book and getting published.  

What makes you frustrated?  
Seeing how much potential children have and how we're ruining them because we refuse to learn about things that matter in life. 

What’s your wildest dream? 
To go back in time and start over. 

Your Writing 

When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it? 
Dandelions is my only published work and I finished the first draft in about two weeks. Editing and rewriting is a whole other story. I was very fortunate to work with Debbie Rowe; the editor of Dandelions. I always say that Dandelions is as much hers as it is mine. Of course, this is just the beginning and I hope to write more in the future and I hope to continue working with Debbie.

Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them? 
The problem is that I'm a pantser. Then you never know what direction the story might take. You think one thing and end up writing another. That’s why I call writing a form of Freudian analysis. Writing demands a lot of patience and persistence. I have neither. So I think there will always be obstacles and I'll have to overcome them as I face them.

How did you feel when you received your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc. to commemorate the occasion? 
I read the email over and over again to make sure I was reading it right. 

Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?

I need to make my style of writing a bit informal. I'm struggling with that a great deal. 

What kind of books do you hate to write? Why? 
I would hate to write a horror story because you start living the stuff that you create. 

What do you think about editing? 
I feel that editors are not given enough credit for what they do. I think that behind every good book stands a really good editor. 

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
So far I don't have my special writing space. Mostly, I write at home and at night. But I think I'll try writing my next book in a coffee shop near our house. I want to start writing during the day because staying awake at night is not healthy. 

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books. 
Characters, plot, setting, all of them are created simultaneously. I cannot separate one from the other.

What is your advice to aspiring writers? 
I don't think I'm the right person to give advice to those who seek commercial success. Personally, I dread fame. But if you want to write for fun and to get to know yourself, I'd say that don't be afraid to experiment. It's better to develop your own style and technique instead of following trends. When you experiment, a lot of people are going to hate your work because it's not within their comfort zone. Be prepared for that. 

Your Books

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write? 
Contemporary romance because it's fairy tales for grownups. 

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
I don't know where ideas come from. Whenever I have one, I make a note in my phone. Later, I make a folder in the computer and leave the idea there until I feel it's ready to grow. 

Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why? 
Dandelions has two main characters and both of them are loosely based on people I know. Even the minor characters are based on people I know. The story is totally made up but Saber's character, in particular, is modeled after someone I know. By which I mean that if that person was an angel, he'd do to women what Saber did to Izzy in Book One. I made a lot of changes to make Saber less detestable but there's a limit to which I could have made changes. So, if Saber's character is making some people uncomfortable, I think they've either lived a very sheltered life or he seems so real that he's hard to deal with. Either way, I'll continue creating characters based on people I’ve known because that's the only way I know how.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation? 
Things never really go the way I think they would. I just let it go and let the words flow. 

Any new projects, work in progress? 
I haven't started writing the book yet but I'm working on my next project. It's a friends to lovers romance which sounds cliché, but I think that all stories have been told. How you tell them is important.  

Do you outline your books or wing it?  Describe your process.  
I try to make an outline but I can't seem to stick to it. 

How do you decide on setting?

It just sort of happens on its own. I'm not a big fan of giving lengthy descriptions of settings so it's not that important to me anyway.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in? 
I never thought I'd write romance.  

What is your favorite part of writing? 
Reading what I've written and wondering, did I write that? 

What is your least favorite part of writing? 
Writing and rewriting. I don't enjoy the process. 

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you?

I prefer to write first and then edit. 

How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it? 
I didn't do any research when I was writing Dandelions which made editing very difficult. Because I had to rewrite countless times. Debbie was very patient with me and that helped a lot. 

What’s the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research? 
Talking to twenty different women about their experience of losing virginity. They were very open and honest on the subject and I'm thankful for that. 

Can you tell us about your road to publication? 
I've lost count of how many times Dandelions was rejected. Then I received an email which said that the story was intriguing but I was jumping POV, telling the story instead of showing, head-hopping, etc. I'd no clue what those things meant but it was the first constructive criticism and positive response I'd received. I started trying to fix the story but then I was accepted by Solstice where I got to work with Debbie. I learned so much from her, but the journey ahead seems a long one. 

Please tell us your experiences with social media.  What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it? 
It depends on the people you come across. Some of them are really great, others not so much. Personally, I'm not a big fan of social media but I guess there's no getting away from it. The least favorite part for me is that people can hide behind fake names and pictures and say whatever they want.  

How much of you is in the books you write?  In what ways? 
People who know me have told me that Dandelions sounds like me. But it's hard for me to tell because it's very difficult to distance yourself from your own writing. 

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life? 
I don't think I was born to write. I'll never be a prolific writer. It's just something I've started and want to continue doing. 

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like? 
I have a bird in my writing space who likes to sit on the laptop. I don't have space of my own. There are constant interruptions. I cannot do anything unless my husband is at work or asleep. There's a reason I want to start writing in a coffee shop. 

Tell us about your hero or heroine.  Give us one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses. 
Saber, the fictional character not the real one, has a conscience and the ability to fall in love which eventually helps him become a better person. In the book, he says, “People love God and fancy the devil, but no one likes ordinary, flawed humans, which was what she revealed about me to everyone, myself included.” I think that describes him.

What do you read?  Do you read different genres when you’re writing versus not writing? 
I try not to read, especially fiction, when I'm writing. I don't want my work to be influenced by someone else's.

What books are on your nightstand or by your chair? 
It's the translation of Spinoza's complete works. 

What’s your favorite film of all times? 
I don't know if it's my favorite film but I can watch Secret Window over and over again.  

What’s the coolest surprise you’ve ever had? 
I wrote to someone I admire and they wrote back. 

Do you have a favorite book from childhood? 
I had a collection of fairy tales with pictures. I still love them.

If you could be dropped into any book as a character, who would you be and why? 
Not a book, comic book. I'd love to be Veronica Lodge and I'll marry Jughead Jones. 

What are you reading now? 
I just finished reading Killing the Sun by K. Larsen and Mara White. 

Bookmark or Dog ear? 

Favorite junk food? 

Favorite way to relax? 
Sitting in a coffee shop by myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment