About Phillip Vega:
Phillip Vega has always been a storyteller, but he’d never put pen to paper until a few years ago. Suddenly, he had a publishing contract, and in the midst of the vortex of marketing, analytics, refining, and continuing to
write, he discovered what he defines as his true calling, his passion.
He is now fully and happily immersed in the whirlwind that is the publishing industry, even as he diligently continues his work in software sales.
Phillip is a Long Islander with Hispanic roots, now living Florida, and it is from those memories of summers on Long Island that he crafted his book, Last Exit to Montauk. Now he can’t stop his brain from working through new ideas for future stories.
His hobbies, aside from enjoying his ongoing work as a published author, include many of the other art forms: singing, performing, and reading. The beach is always home to him . . . and laughter, whether his own or someone else’s, is an unsurpassed joy that he embraces whenever possible.
Phillip lives in the Tampa Bay area with his wife of twenty-four years. He has four sons and “two and a half dogs,” which actually is four dogs, but three out of the four are Chihuahuas while the fourth is a shepherd mix. So he calls it at “two and a half.”
Comfortable in a room full of people or one on one, he welcomes opportunities for guest appearances, interviews, and book signings.
What inspires you to write?
A lot of things inspire me. Certainly growing up on Long Island, NY in the 70s and 80s inspires my writing and writing style.
My family is another source of inspiration for me. My wife and I have been together over 25 years. We have four sons, and what feels like, a kennel of dogs. Plus, I am close with my siblings, and friends, so I have a lot to draw from.
In addition, I love people watching. I travel a bit for my "day job", so it give me the opportunity to interact with a lot of folks.
Some days, I'll hit the beach, the mall or Starbucks and just sit back and watch folks, but not in a creepy way.
This will usually inspire something within me. Then again, just the other day, I was mowing the yard, listening to music on my headphones, and was inspired.
I currently have 16 other stories in process, which has my publisher, thewordverve, excited. I just need to complete them. All my stories, including my debut release, were inspired by people watching and love.
Tell us about your writing process.
This is a whole new venture for me, so I'm still "discovering my process". I only started writing in August 2015.
My process tends to be "by the seat of my pants". I tried outlining, based on advise I've read on a few blogs, but it just isn't me. It's not the style I enjoy. It may work for some though, so if you're an outliner, continue doing it. Who knows, maybe down the road, I'll start doing it too.
My process tends to start with the flicker of an idea, in my mind's eye. The story then plays out like a video or movie. It's usually very clear, like I'm sitting in a theater or on my couch, watching the story as it plays out.
From there, I'll start writing what I'm watching/seeing/feeling/tasting/touching, etc. It's a very visceral experience, which makes me wonder if authors like Stephen King and JK Rowling experience the same thing as they write.
Before I know it, I've written a few chapters. I usually use music to get me into the zone of writing. I'll either listen to SiriusXM, or a YouTube channel I've created for myself, which I've made available on my website for others, and start writing.
Once I'm in the zone, I have been able to pick up where I've left off. Sometimes, I'll re-read what I've written, and go from there, but mostly I just pick up "the pen" or keyboard, and start writing, since the characters come to me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I usually don't talk to my characters, but I certainly listen to them. Again, they way my stories come together, or start, are usually as a movie or video playing out in my mind's eye.
So I see, hear, and feel the five senses as I write. I also hear the soundtrack playing in the background, although that could be the music I'm listening to as I write.
What advice would you give other writers?
“Get your butt in the seat and write!” This is the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard. I wish I could remember who said this, but it’s great advice, and one I give to all my friends interested in writing.
The second piece of advice: “If what you’re writing isn’t moving the story forward, then cut it.” My editor, Janet, gave me this advice. It’s the advice I used as we edited Last Exit to Montauk. We brought it down to 388 pages, from just under 800.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Since this was all new to me, I researched my options, from self-publishing to traditional publishing.
I found the self-publishing route confusing. It just wasn't right for me. I know there are many who've been successful going this route, and I applaud them, but it wasn't for me.
Like many before me, I received MANY rejection letters, from editors, publishers and agents; and kept them all.
Connecting with my eventual editor and publisher was either a fluke or fate, you make the call. I found her via a friend of a friend.
She wasn’t accepting new clients at the time, but since a current client recommended we connect, she decided to look at my material, merely as a courtesy. She had no intent on signing me…none!
That all changed when she read my manuscript. She fell in love with it, my writing style and potential. She changed her mind, and we’ve now been working together since December 2015.
Janet has become an integral member of my “team,” which includes my wife, my older and younger brothers, and some close friends, who’ve been kind enough to provide me with their insights and feedback. #TeamV!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Like every other business, technology is driving change. If you don't change along with the trends, then you'll be out of business. Look what happened to Blockbuster?
It's the same for publishing, in my opinion. Self, indy and traditional publishers need to use technology to drive sales. You need to analyze and know the metrics that are driving your sales, or the sales in your category.
Maybe your novel is in the wrong category. Maybe instead of putting it in the YA, it should be in New Adult, or Western categories. Again, analyze the trends.
If you don't and aren't using technology and the multi-channel approach to publishing and marketing your work, then you're doing yourself and work a disservice.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance, Coming-of-age romance, Interracial romance, Multicultural romance, Romantic Comedy, Love Story, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.