Thursday, May 29, 2014

Q & A with Vivian Winslow!



1.  Tell us about your newest release.
My newest release is book one in a novella series called The Gilded Flower. It looks into the lives of wealthy young women and their relationships. In the first story, Gilded Lily, the heroine, Lily, has to come to grips with the fact that she caught her sister, Dahlia, in bed with her fiancé the day before their wedding. Lily goes off on her honeymoon alone and learns quite a bit about herself and relationships with other men.

2.  What makes your story special to you?
The settings that I used in the first book, New York City and Brazil, are places that I have lived. Also, I've enjoyed reading erotic novels and romantic novels, but always wished for a stronger heroine. The women in The Gilded Flower series are smart, capable and strong, but love men and enjoy relationships with them as well.  

3.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started reading when I was four and haven’t stopped devouring as many books as I can since then. About eight years ago, I realized I had enough life experiences and lived in enough places (having lived in six cities outside the U.S. and four in the U.S.) that I wanted to share those experiences through fictionalized stories that take place there.

4. What is a typical writing day like?
I usually write while my two kids are off at elementary school. The writing day starts with a call to my friend during which we chat about normal day-to-day stuff, but also where the story is going that day. The one downside is that we've had to order a bit more take out these days because I can spend a good 4-5 hours a day writing or planning.

5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
I listen to a lot of music while I write. For love scenes, especially, music helps set the mood. It’s interesting that the kind of music varies by character. I listened to a lot of Lana del Rey while writing scenes for Lily, whereas for Dahlia—the main character in the second trilogy of The Gilded Flower series, which I’m currently busy on—it was a lot of Drake and Miguel.
Also, I can’t say it’s interesting, but I become laser-focused on my writing. I write about places mostly from experience, but I do lots of online research on things like fashion, home design and interior decoration and, for the Dahlia trilogy, surfing.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?
First, I was surprised and pleased at how easy it is to self-publish these days. I am very thankful for that opportunity. I also was surprised at how into the work I can get. The storylines affect me, and I become very connected to the characters.  

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
When my husband’s career took us abroad for an extended period, I didn’t have the opportunity to work or pursue a career. However, it gave me the time and freedom to write.  That is, when I didn’t have my hands full with the kids.
And of course I have a couple of very close friends who read every draft of every novel I have written and were supportive and encouraging, even in the early stages when the books weren’t very good. If it weren’t for their enthusiasm, my books would be just files in my computer.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They are extremely supportive. My husband helps with a lot of the business aspects of writing, as well as the copy-editing. Of course, my kids don't know what I am writing about, but they know that Mommy writes books. I am following my dream, and I like that I can live that example for them.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I love food, fashion and travel. These are all things that I try to incorporate into my stories. The nice thing about New York City is that there is so much diversity when it comes to food and fashion. I love exploring the city and finding new restaurants or boutiques.

10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
I have 4 out of 9 books in The Gilded Flower series completed. The second trilogy in the series is about Lily's sister, Dahlia, who is a bit more impulsive and full of angst than Lily, who is responsible and somewhat naive. The third trilogy is still TBD. After that, I have a backlog of story ideas from my friends who want erotic stories written for and/or about them.

11. How can readers connect with you online?
They can also check out my Pinterest page at: http://www.pinterest.com/VivWinslow/.

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