My name is Vi Zetterwall. I live in Seattle, Washington and have a day job and a private life but for years I have whiled away spare time dreaming up plots and imagining stories about men and women and their unique romantic interactions. I’ve just finished publishing my first book, January and the Single Heart, a contemporary romance novella.
Making up stories has always seemed very easy for me. It was having the discipline to write them down that was tough. I wrote one novel and it took three years and, honestly, it wasn’t very good. Then I started in on my favorite storyline and wrote and wrote. I got up to 85 pages in Word and realized I wasn’t even one fourth of the way through. In between working and taking care of family, it had taken me seven years. That one is still collecting dust.
Then I started watching what Amazon was doing and I saw all the ebooks that were being published as short stories. I thought “Hey, I could do that!” So now I aim to write novellas (20,000 to 50,000 words) and I find the words just fly off my fingertips. Good plots but short. Turns out to be much easier.
People ask me how I am able to write so quickly and I tell them the truth. When I was young, my older sister and I slept in the same bed. What I didn’t know is that as soon as I fell asleep, she would get back up and watch TV. I usually fell asleep fast but one time, when I was about six, I couldn’t sleep and so my sister told me to ‘tell myself a story’. Well, she was my big sister! I lived off of every word that flowed from her mouth. I believed everything she said. So, I told myself a story and got to sleep. I did it the next night too. And now, 28 years later, I am still telling myself stories. Every night. Granted, at first they were pretty juvenile but as I got older I started creating more elaborate stories, writing them out word for word in my head. Now, I have dozens and dozens of them waiting impatiently to get out of my head and onto paper … or in this case, Kindles.
The Single Heart series is something that I thought would always end up as a paperback book but as I said, times change and I found it was much more fun to write a short story and offer it as an ebook for all you Kindle readers out there.
I am busy writing my next book now, which, predictably enough, is called “February and the Single Heart”. I hope you’ve had a chance to read my story. It really means a lot to me. If you would be so kind as to drop me an email and tell me what you liked (or hated) about the book, I will use all your feedback to improve and make the next one better. Or, just write and tell me about yourself or say HI and tell me where you’re from. I will put you on my list and send you a notice when my next book comes out and a sneak preview to it as well.
Thank you again for giving me the chance to entertain you. If your heart is already full, I hope that my story brought you a little more happiness. And if you are still searching for that one true love, I wish you Godspeed and I pray that my story gave you hope.
What inspires you to write?
I really think that the interaction between a man and a woman is simply fascinating. Especially when they just meet and start talking for the first time. What makes a woman want to come back for more? What intrigues a man about this woman? Exploring that is a long road full of some surprising twists and turns and I love experiencing it along with the reader.
Tell us about your writing process.
First, as my bio said, I make up the story as I’m going to sleep and continue it each night until I am done. Then, once I have the whole story in my head, I outline it by just writing down events and scenes that occurred. I sequence them all and break them up into sections. Then I just start writing. My fingers fly!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do listen. I write it and invariably I will come to a conversation where I say to myself, “Nancy would never say THAT!” or some variation of it. I know my characters flaws and weaknesses and when I re-read my manuscript, there is always something that doesn’t fit. So, edit time and I try my best to make sure everyone stays in character.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just do it. Especially now that Amazon and other sites make digital books so easy to do. Start by writing short stories. It is not nearly as overwhelming as a whole book. Honestly, writing a really short story (say, 5,000 words or less is terribly challenging) so start working on a short one and if it evolves into a full blown novel or a novella, that works too.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have a good friend who has published his own as POD books and he told me the pros and cons. Ultimately I decided to start out with ebooks and go from there. I would advise the same to anyone.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think all will be digital soon (big surprise!) so we might as well try to get a jump on it.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?