Thursday, May 19, 2011

Author Interview: Victorine Lieske

Today, as part of my semi-regular series of author interviews, I have an interview with author Victorine Lieske.

Ms. Lieske has sold a staggering 100,000 copies of her self-published debut novel, Not What She Seems. She's just published her second book, a science fiction young adult romance, The Overtaking.

I'm glad to have this chance to interview Victorine, who not only has been quite successful but also is one of the nicest people I've met out there in cyber-space.

1) Tell us a little bit about your recently released novel.

It is a young adult romance with a science fiction backdrop. The sci-fi is soft, most of the story is about the people instead of the science. Here's the blurb: Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He’s not having a good day. And he doesn’t even know it.

When Shayne’s telepathic abilities surface, he finds out Danielle isn’t the normal teenager she appears to be. In fact, she’s not even from his world. And when he finds out her race is responsible for the overtaking of his entire planet, he sets out to uncover the truth about her.

Danielle didn’t mean to fall in love with a Maslonian boy. Her job was to observe and report. But when Shayne’s well being is at stake she goes against orders to help him, putting her own self in danger.

Together, Danielle and Shayne discover that things are not as they seem. They must stop Danielle’s race from destroying the Maslonian planet, and free Shayne’s people.

2) What inspired your current novel? Why did you decide to go with a sci-fi twist this time around?

The inspiration came from an idea that I had, which was sort of a what-if question. What if we discovered we were not who we thought we were? What if we discovered our memories were altered, and we had powers that we didn't know about? Those are the thoughts that inspired the novel. And it's funny because I started this novel back when I was first married, so the idea for this book came well before Not What She Seems.

3) You're self-published debut novel, Not What She Seems, was a huge success with over 100,000 copies sold. Do you feel any added pressure now with the release of The Overtaking?

Yes, I do feel some pressure to get the word out about this one so it does as well as my first book. It's hard not to compare the sales of each. But they're different books, so I don't want to put them into the same box.

4) You spent over four years writing Not What She Seems. You've written The Overtaking in a much shorter period of time. Did your experiences with your debut novel make it easier for you to write the

Definitely. And even though the idea for The Overtaking came to me years ago, I only started writing it in earnest in the fall of 2010. I pretty much had to throw out what I had written years ago. In writing and rewriting Not What She Seems, I learned a lot about storytelling, and I feel like my skills have improved with the second book as well.

5) Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

I try to set word count goals. It's a lot easier for me to write in little pieces rather than looking at the whole goal and getting lost in it. I usually start with a 500 word count goal, and when I've reached that I'll try to see if I can make it to 1,000. I also try to stop in the middle of a scene so I can jump back into it fairly easily. I also read and reread as I go, rewriting as necessary. I know some people tell you not to edit as you write, but I can't work that way. I like to get things to read smoothly before going on.

6)  Romance, as a genre, has become steadily steamier with the passing decades. You are well-known for writing sweet romance. Have you felt any pressure to add a bit more steam into your work?

No. I have gotten a couple of bad reviews because of the laid back romance, but I just took that as the book wasn't for them. I get many more reviews and emails from people who appreciated the clean aspect of the romance. I try to let people know that the romance doesn't go into the bedroom by my description, so I figure if people are looking for a clean read they won't be disappointed.

7) The Overtaking lends itself to a sequel. Are you planning a sequel or are you going planning to shift sub-genres again?

I have started writing the sequel to The Overtaking. I do have two more books in the series in my head, but I'm not sure if there will be more than that. I'm kind of a seat-of-my-pants writer, so we'll see how the story develops.

8) If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring author, what would it be?

The best advice I can give is to join a critique group. I joined and ran Not What She Seems through there twice. I firmly believe that much of the success of the book came because of what I learned in my critique group, not only from getting critiques but from giving them as well. This is very important and I would highly suggest every aspiring author find a critique group to join.


Jason and Dawn Prather said...

Vicki is the one that convinced my to put my story on She's such a great inspiration. I've known her since we were teens, and that niceness about her? Always been there. Great interview, thanks for putting it out there.

Dawn Prather

Debbie said...

I always appreciate your sharing your processes with us. I have learned a lot from you that I have been able to pass along to others just thinking of getting into the publishing industry. Best wishes for much success with The Overtaking, Vicki!