Tag Archives: novellas

Author Interview – V.J. Gage


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Vaun photo

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

When I write it is effortless and energizes me so much, I can write for hours at a time. I have always thought out my plot for months before I write, so when I do, it just rushes to my fingers and onto the paper.  I do not edit when I write, I get the story written as fast as I can, and then I go back once it is complete.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

I am not sure what you mean, but Kryptonite-weakened Superman.  The only thing that could slow me down was trying to write something without hours of thought.  I would have to think about something for hours, days, weeks or a month or so before I begin writing.  Then once I get going, I am a force to be reckoned with, and little will stop me.

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  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I am writing all of my novels under my maiden name.  VJ Gage for the Chicago Heat series and Vaunda Lynn Gage for the kid’s books.  The adult books are explicit, and I did not want to confuse the reader by using the same name.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have not stepped out into the world to know many other authors, but this year will be different. I need the support of others and to find out what has or has not worked for them.  I am just starting on marketing etc. and now is a great time to meet other authors.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Yes, I have a seven book series called Chicago Heat.  I have published two with a third out this March.  The children’s book is seven novella’s about seven cousins who have adventures with mythical creatures in the Okanagan Valley.  I am working on a second series. 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Linda at Dream Write Publishing, she has been great, and she has helped to make my children’s book educational as well as a fun read.  Her art for the book has been exactly as I imagined and she was priced right, and we met our deadline.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

As a child, I never slept much, so I began to read early.  By the time I was ten or twelve, I could write a book report “likity split,” and, I could write several in a very short time.  So I began to sell extra book reports for those who did not read.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Anything that was written by  Janet Coldwell.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

My first thought is an Eagle, it sores high and has a great view of its landscape.  But in thinking further, I am more like a busy beaver.  When I get an Idea, I will go to work on it until I have completed my task, or I have figured out it is not worth my time.  I can be deadly when I get an idea into my head.

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  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have four in my “Chicago Heat” series.  One romance, and two for my children’s series.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

It would be that many thousands of people have read and enjoyed my books. I would want them to say they could not put my books down and that my plots are unique and clever, and that I have a great imagination.  Then I would like to make lots of money.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

What would we do without the internet?  When I am writing, I have my tablet close by, and I can look up any information I may need.  When I need some information, it is close at hand.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

I may not be able to write for days or weeks at a time.  I still have a full-time job, and I took care of my mother and dad full time for the past ten years.  Both have passed and now my time is open to many more hours to write.

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  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

My main characters in my “Chicago Heat” series are based on the personalities of my own family.  Dennis Kortovich is a profile of my husband.  Veronica, his wacky wife, is a profile of me.  Many other characters are based on the personalities of my family or friends.  The children’s novels are based on real children and adults. 

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

Sex. 

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I found out I am great at killing and that I have a unique ability to be in the mind of the killer.  I like exploring both sides of the crime.  I don’t like a soft “Who Done It”  I think fast and hit hard.

17. How long have you been writing?

 I started in earnest when I was fifty.

18. What inspires you? 

 Writers, like Dan Brown.

19. How do you find or make time to write?

I may not write every day or sometimes not for weeks.  When I do sit down to write, I can go at it for several hours, and I have done up to twelve thousand words in one season.

20. What projects are you working on at present?

I just finished the final edit of The Bible Killings, and this novel should be out by March.  I am trying to figure out how to market my books at this point, and I am putting most of my time and effort into this for the next while.

21. What do your plans for future projects include?

To edit and publish at least one more book next year.  They are all written, but I need to edit the other four.  I will also putter away at the children’s novel.  I am writing a second on for Mysteries at the Lake.

22. Share a link to your author website.

http://www.vjgage.com

Visiting family at the lake during the summer is a wonderful tradition for Canadian cousins: Wyatt, Kadence, Nyomi, Jack, Sophie, Cash, and Cruz. Join them as they share their vacation with you. Discover the secret of Lake Okanagan. Hike the trails and spend time in the amazing forests and cliffs as the seven cousins make friends and solve mysteries with mythical and magical neighbors.
Ride the waters and take in the sun—whatever story they share around the evening’s campfire with hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows, it’s sure to be a memorable one!
Front Cover Icon Mysteries at the Lake
Author Bio:

V.J. Gage has been writing for over three decades. “Celebrity Lunch,” her weekly column in the Sherwood Park News, featured mini biographies about members of her community. Her column “As I See It” commented on contemporary social issues. A successful businesswoman, with many diverse interests, Vaun is also a recording artist, an emcee, and a stand-up comic, all of which serves to fuel the fast-paced, action-packed, serpentine plots of the “Chicago Heat” series. Vaun has lived in Sherwood Park since 1956.  My father was the first fire chief for the county and my mother was one of the first women real estate agents. I have owned a business in Sherwood Park for over forty years.  I now have a home based salon and I work there with my daughter. At one point I owned five salons, a clothing store, restaurant, I recorded with R. Harlen Smith and did Stand-up-Comedy and was an emcee for hundreds of events.  I was also the first in Alberta to have my own Karaoke show. I went home-based almost twenty years ago.

Vaun is currently working on a series of seven novellas,  featuring seven cousins, who have adventures  with some of the most fantastic, creatures to ever catch the imaginations of children and adults alike.

 

 

Thank you Vaun for an enlightening glimpse of your writing life and it’s inspiration.

EVENT:

Join Vaun at Head Quarters, #101, 100 Granada Boulevard, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 4W2 this Sunday 14th January 2pm-4pm for the book launch of Mysteries at the Lake. Karaoke, stories, coloring books, cake, and refreshments. 

 

 

 

 

 

Liebster Award…


The Liebster Award

My thanks to CP Bialois (Ed) for nominating me for this award.

Here is the low down:

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The Rules
·  When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
·  Pass the award on to 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the bloggers that you nominated them!).
·  You write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
·  You are not allowed to nominate the blogger who nominated your blog!
·  You paste the award picture into your blog. (You can google the image; there are plenty of them!)

11 Random Facts about Mandy:

  • I’m a huge fan of Stephen King
  • I love almost all animals, apart from rhino’s…long story!
  • My favorite place to write is at my writing desk when everyone else is out.
  • When I eat chocolate, it’s white chocolate.
  • Although I was shy as a child, I’ve grown into an extrovert.
  • Given the opportunity I would live in Italy full time.
  • I read many genre’s apart from spy thrillers.
  • When I lived in England I visited a multitude of historical sites, just loved them.
  • I was a tom-boy.
  • Emigrating to Canada has given me opportunities I never even dreamed of.
  • Once I commit to something its all out.

Questions for Ed

  1. What is the one thing you miss about being a child?  Being so carefree
  2. What was your dream job growing up?  When I was very young a horse rider but this changed to interior design at around 12.
  3. Where is your favorite place to relax? With friends, the location doesn’t matter.
  4. If you have one person to thank for where you are today, who would it be? So difficult…my Dad for his love and my mentor, Linda Pedley for her belief.
  5. Out of a the celebrities, living or dead, who would do you want to meet? Viggo Mortensen 

    Viggo Mortensen at the world premiere of Lord ...
    Viggo Mortensen at the world premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  6. What would you say to them? When he is creating artwork or writing poems, does he have mental imagery of the ideas?  
  7. If you were stuck on a remote tropical island, what three(3) things would you take with you (people and pets don’t count)? A massive notebook, a huge amount of pencils and my bookcase (full of books).
  8. Are you a dog or cat person? I’ve owned both but prefer dogs.
  9. Are you a TV control dictator? Never get the control! My husband is King of the Remote.
  10. What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Green Mile
  11. If it hasn’t been made, what book would you like to be seen made into a movie? The Secret Garden by Kate Morton

I hope you enjoyed reading all those, now it’s your turn!

I am passing on the award to:

http://ejjudge.wordpress.com/

http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/

http://creativelycreatingmycreation.wordpress.com/

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://www.lorijometz.com/

http://andioconnor.com/

http://writingsistersblog.wordpress.com/

http://rebeccabradleycrime.com/

http://thewritersideoflife.wordpress.com/

http://thelivingnotebook.com/

http://literaryman.com/

Now for my questions:

a) Which genre’s do you prefer to read?

b) Is there somewhere in the world you would love to visit?

c) Have you got any phobia’s?

d) Which would you choose – meat or seafood?

e) Which famous person do you wish you were?

f) Are you sporty or not?

g) What was the name of your first pet?

h) A tropical beach or a ski resort?

i) What would be your perfect job?

j) Which snack do you prefer when watching a movie?

k) Which book are you currently reading?

I hope you have fun with this award and remember no tag backs. :D

And just a short foot note today’s word was – Adage – definition: a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation : proverb.  So as the old adage goes: “Share and share alike”

Have Fun with Words…


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Some of you may know and some not, that I create a writing prompt for my writing circle’s web site every Saturday. www.wfscsherwoodpark.com  just click on the calendar. Actually finding the prompts can be  a challenge at times but it is always fun to see the responses. From the same prompt there are as many interpretations as there are writers. In essence it is a glimpse into another writer’s mind set and creativity and let’s be truthful here, we all love to see the inside of another person’s mind!

promptsThere are benefits to using prompts. If you are ‘stuck’ or blocked giving your mind another writing task not only refreshes your creativity but also helps unlock it. A prompt can be a picture, a set of words or a sentence – no matter what it is in format, it should spark an idea or vision and from there you can write. You may only write a couple of sentence’s or it may grow into a short story or scene, whichever it is your muse is having fun. Go with the flow of it and follow that first inspiration that ‘appears’ as you read the prompt.

A piece of kindly advice;  from personal experience – don’t discard the result of these prompts. File them away in a binder or a document folder on your computer. They may turn out to be the perfect piece for a scene or the start of a new project at some later date. Case in point – my children’s book, Rumble’s First Scare grew from such a prompt and my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom was created using several prompts that lent themselves to continuing a story. www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

Inspiration does come from anywhere and each written piece of work has its value. Looking back on these snippets of creativity can be a reward on its own. Some will surprise you and delight you and others will raise memories of where you were on your writing journey at that time. They show your progress in this art.

So today’s prompt came from my desk diary and I thought I would share it with you all here. The word is – PALINDROME. Definition: a word, phrase or sentence that reads the same backward as forward. An example: “Step on no pets”.  See if you can come up with three. Have fun.

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Blog of 2012…


Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

Hello to you all and firstly I must say a very grateful thank you to Vikki from  http://the-view-outside.com/

She was kind enough to nominate me for this wonderful award and I would recommend you visiting her blog in a nano-second.

The rules are fairly easy – you can find them here

http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

For my pay it forward I nominate the following awesome bloggers. Each one has a different writing journey and that’s what makes them all so fascinating.

http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/

http://sogsblog.com/

http://alboudreau.wordpress.com/

http://weaklyshortstories.wordpress.com/

http://writetodone.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LittleBurstsOfInspiration

Enjoy their words and then nominate your favorites. Enjoy this festive season and I hope you are all happy, healthy and safe in 2013.

Planning – a new experience…


Up until now all of my writing has been ‘free flow’. My initial idea or thought literally flows through my mind into my fingertips and I have no control over the work’s length, story arc or ultimate ending. From simple prompts I have created short stories, novellas and novel length pieces letting my characters lead me on their journey. I thoroughly enjoy being taken into situations and locations by my muse, reveling in the twists and turns and in some cases startling diversions. Once the words are written, however, like all writers, the revisions and editing take place to refine the manuscript.
However, my current idea has me in unfamiliar territory – planning and research. An integral part of this project is to make it an educational tool. The basic story is my own imagination gone wild (nothing new there then!) but as I will be incorporating factual aspects I will need to be diligent. Facts after all have to be factual and correct.
In my current research I have discovered some very interesting information – in essence I am learning something new every day. These facts are making my current project a unique experience for me and also an enjoyable one.
Have any of your projects taken you on an unfamiliar path?