Thank you for agreeing to have this interview with us, Victoria Oliveri. I am really interested in getting to know more about you and I know others are also. So lets get started.
Gina: Why did you become an author?
Victoria: I don’t feel I’ve ever had another option. At least not one that would allow me to express myself, be creative, and be happy at the same time. Writing has always been an outlet for me. As I’ve gotten older and more experienced with my craft, I’ve used it as a sort of catharsis, a form of therapy. When my mood swings to one extreme or another, I utilize my writing to vent, as it were. If I am angry about something, I use it to write a fight scene or heated dialogue. If I’m sad, I imbue that emotion into certain characters to give them poignancy. It’s like unpacking baggage. It’s kept me sane for many years.
Gina: What genre of books do you like to write?
Victoria: Anything and everything. Writing is writing to me, no matter the genre. Up until recently I’d only written historical romance and science fiction, but only because that was all I could handle on my plate. I just started writing a contemporary romance series that’s been banging around my head for a few years, though, so I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. But I’ve written fantasy, and erotica, and even poetry at one point. Writing is writing.
Gina: What is your inspiration for the current book or series you are writing?
Victoria: The Lambourne Legacy came from a business trip I was on many years ago in London. I’ve always been a history enthusiast and love to research and being given the opportunity to stay in Mayfair just stirred every creative bone in my body. I stepped onto the street and headed to Hyde Park and immediately had an entire family in my head… could imagine them walking next to me and living in one of the high-end townhomes in the wealthy part of town. I was already a fan of Austen, Bronte, and Heyer, so it didn’t take much to write what was in my mind. By the time I got back to my hotel that first day, I had the entire series worked out in my head.
Gina: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Victoria: Definitely a pantser, and a blessed one at that. From an early age I was gifted with an odd kind of muse connection. Once I have a story in my head all I need to do is sit down and type. It’s as if someone is telling me a story and I’m just taking dictation. There are times I look back at things I’ve written or listen to one of my audiobooks and I’m like “wow, this is a great story” and then I realize its mine. It’s a very strange out of body experience really. Of course, there are times when the muses are being spiteful, and the words don’t come as easily, but more often than not they do.
Gina: Do you have any quirks or habits when you’re writing?
Victoria: Not really. The only habit is probably that when I stop writing for the day, I stop mid-sentence or without finishing a chapter and the next day I read back a few pages and get right back in the swing. I also tend to listen to music that is appropriate to what I am writing. I have several playlists. I’ve even gone as far as having background noise playlists, like hooves on pavement to listen to if I write a carriage scene. It puts me in that space and makes it much easier to imagine my world.
Gina: That is something Some of us might like to try with sound.
Have you had any setbacks becoming an author yourself?
Victoria: No. I consider myself lucky in that I started my career in this arena back before there was an internet or email. The first book I submitted for publication was typed on 300+ pages of onion paper, tucked neatly into a manuscript box, covered with stamps and dropped at the post office. I’ve seen all the changes and improvements through the years and I’m glad I had that experience long before the crush of self-publication started.
Gina: What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a writer?
Victoria: Prepare for battle? LOL Seriously, it’s a rough road for new authors and I don’t envy any of them that. There are millions of other new writers out there looking to take your place in the long line to the top. You need to have a thick skin, endless patience, and understanding of the business before you’ll get anywhere. First and foremost, write what’s in your heart. Don’t follow trends because that’s all they are. Instead, work on your craft, write an entertaining and thought-provoking story, and hire an editor. Always hire an editor. Not you, not your mom, not your friend who was an English major… a real editor. And get a proper cover. Covers are the eyes into the soul of your book. If it’s crap, readers will think your story is equally crappy.
Gina: What is some of the best advice or inspiration you have received from another author?
Victoria: To just write. You can take all the writing courses known to man and read all the how to books on the shelf, but until you sit your ass down and start writing, you’re just a student.
Gina: What goals have you set for yourself in the future?
Victoria: Just to keep going. To write every day. To release my work into the world. I’ve already written several books and have hit best seller lists and that’s more than I could have ever imagined so to me my goal would be to just keep writing.
Gina: How do you want readers to see your work?
Victoria: As original and refreshing, no matter the genre. I try to touch on topics within my stories that make the reader think. Sometimes it can make them uncomfortable, or trigger emotions that are perhaps dormant. I want all of that. I don’t want someone to say “Oh, read Victoria’s books, they’re just like so and so’s books”. I never want to hear that. I never want to fit into a template or be so typical that you figure out the plot halfway through chapter three. I want my readers to finish my book, close it and say “whoa”.
Gina: What should a reader expect to see from your next novel?
Victoria: The book I am currently writing is the last book of my Lambourne Legacy series. It’s one I have been dying to write since the inception of the series ten years ago and I’m also sad that it is the last. As with my other books, I hope they find it thought-provoking and thrilling to read. I want it to be one of those books you come back to and find dog-eared on your shelf year later.
Gina: Is there anything you would like to share with your readers?
Victoria: That I appreciate the love and feedback I’ve been give to this point and that I look forward to many more connections in the future. I have met some wonderful people on both sides of the aisle and hope I can continue to entertain and grow my fanbase well into my golden years.
If you’d like to stay connected, you can go to my website VictoriaOliveri.com and while you’re there, sign up for my newsletter.
Gina: Thank you for sharing with us about your writing and books today. I didn’t realize how long you have been writing until just now. I love that you are living your dream and is happy doing it.
Victoria: Thank you.
Please check out some of Victoria Oliveri’s work now. I am sure with her switch around in genres you will be sure to find something you will like.