Throughout Virginia’s life she has balanced a call to minister and a call to write. After receiving her BA in English, she went on to become a seminary student at Brite Divinity, an Associate Minister and a church elder. Virginia re-discovered her passion for writing while in graduate school and with it a new direction for her life. Since then she has balanced her time between her career as an independent author and being a loving wife and mother and slave to a neurotic cat.
What inspires you to write?
I like to pose questions and ponder intriguing situations. I’m also passionate about offering a glimpse of God while entertaining my audience. Whenever I can do both at the same time, I’m ecstatic.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m an outliner. Over the years, my process has evolved from scribbling notes for a bunch of scenes in a Word document outline to using several spreadsheets that go from the absolute basics such as James Scott Bell’s LOCK to a list of specific scenes from beginning to end. I transfer the specific scenes to a Scrivener file and start writing one scene after another. I’ve discovered I sometimes have to stop writing in order to rearrange future scenes, sometimes adding new ones and sometimes altering ones I’ve already planned, in order to add as much conflict and suspense as I can. I like to let the characters build themselves as the story moves along, rather than spend much time digging into their pasts. It leaves a lot of room for them to surprise me as the writing progresses, which is a little like pantsing. In the end, it’s in the editing that the story really becomes what’s it’s meant to be.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I like to sit back and transcribe what I see and hear in my mind. It’s like I’m eavesdropping rather than interacting with the characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you’re passionate about. Don’t let anyone tell you it won’t work simply because it’s not selling like the proverbial hotcakes today. No one knows what tomorrow’s trend will be, so it’s best to write what you love and not worry about what’s selling.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self-publish because I like the control I have over the entire process. Sometimes it’s a real headache to do it all myself and there are several areas I will eventually turn over to others who love doing them. Even so, I can’t imagine not having the final say on what happens to my products. I would suggest new authors think about just how much control they want over their work and whether they’re willing to shop their projects around for years before possibly breaking into the publishing world. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work and patience, but it has it’s own rewards.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There’s no end to what could happen. I look for the publishers to eventually turn their ship around and do many of the same things self-publishers are doing now. I also think self-publishers will continue to push the envelope and make strides forward into a bright new world of publishing.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Christian fantasy, Christian non-fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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