In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with V.J. Patterson!
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, V.J.! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Okay… I’m not so good with restrictions. I was the kid who when a teacher asked for a one page book report, I did three just to be on the safe side. So 140 characters…yikes!
I suppose the tweet would read:
Happy wife and mother of two. Closet sugar addict. Introvert. Naturally curious. Slightly neurotic. Easily frustrated by my limitations. Lover of literature and of writing stories that break hearts…
That’s 206 characters!
Ah, a rebel and a rule breaker! 🙂
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
I would say my journey began as a child listening to my grandfather’s stories. He was such a wonderful storyteller. I can still hear his deep southern voice as he crafted different times and places with his words. Out of twenty grandchildren I think I was the only one who soaked up everything he said, always wanting to know more and why certain things happened to him. His stories fascinated me in ways that as I got older I began to think about telling them to others. That’s how my first novel, When the Crows Fly Low, came into existence, as it’s based on some of the stories my grandfather told me as a child.
I started and stopped writing When the Crows Fly Low so many times over the years. Once, early on in the process, I even had a few chapters wrote which I tossed in the garbage because I told myself I couldn’t do it. Once I finally finished, I discovered writing it was only half the battle. I queried MANY agents. Twelve agents read it or portions of it and all passed. For authors who have been through this, they know how gut wrenching it is. I gave up for a while, then decided to go the self publishing route which allowed me to finally get my story out there. I have never regretted this decision.
The thing I like most about having a published work is hearing how my words affected a reader. That for me is the real thrill.
The thing I dislike most is networking/MARKETING. I’ve never been a person who would say, “Hey look at what I did!” So for me advertising my work and to a degree myself has been difficult.
And see I wish I knew MORE about marketing. I love talking up books I have fallen in love with!
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
When the Crows Fly Low was inspired by stories my grandfather told me as a child. Often times he would tell me about his brother Will’s troubled life. I was oddly fascinated by the psychological issues that plagued Will after witnessing the murder of his father one faithful day in the early 1920’s. Will’s story had everything…murder, romance, revenge. Will was that person who experienced tragedy and at times the grief and anger swallowed him. Where some would look at Will’s story and be repulsed by many of the things he did, I found beauty there.
Beauty in the way he struggled, beauty in the way he loved Sarah, beauty in the tragedies he endured. I think readers of Second Run should consider reading it because it’s truly a moving story, imperfect as it is. You can expect a few tears along the way but every life story will have sadness. We as humans can’t really live, really love without enduring some bit of sadness.
Wow! Sounds like a very powerful and moving story.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
My tastes for literature change overtime. I’ll read anything but my favorite genre is romance. I want a romance that feels real. Not some silly, cheesy romance with raunchy sex scenes and a dominant male that controls a woman. I want a story that gets deeper and wounds me. I’m a glutton for punishment, what can I say.
Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon is an absolute favorite of mind. I devoured that book and though I have never read the same book twice, that is one I have considered reading again.
Roses by Leila Meachum. Another family saga. Wonderfully written.
Recently, I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and I really loved it as well.
Oh, I have heard terrific things about Me Before You I have not read it yet though. I don’t mind real romance books or books that make me cry. So I’m not sure why I haven’t read it yet!
What is your current obsession?
My current obsession: Game of Thrones. I eat, sleep and breath that show. I would love to exist in George Martin’s brain for just one day. I can’t even imagine what lives there.
Believe it or not, George is a really soft spoken guy—at least at the events I’ve been at that he has attended. In Kansas City this past summer, I had two brief conversations with him. When I was getting the latest Wild Cards book signed for my husband, he confessed that there were spots in that book that scared him!
Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
Secret obsession: I really have no secret obsessions but I do have a secret confession. I am bar none the worst spelling author you will ever meet. I often ask my kids how to spell things. It’s ridiculous, I am fully aware, but when my kids make fun of me I always say, “Some of the smartest people in the world can’t spell, like Albert Einstein for example.” It’s a total lie but they fall for it. Ha.
That’s why there is spell check and copy editors! I was an English major and there are days I struggle to put a single sentence together.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a young adult novel that explores life after tragedy. I’m always fascinated how individuals find a way to live after losing the one they love the most so readers will see a lot of that in my writing. Mason and Rowan will share their story of love and living life to the fullest. Readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love their story.
Sounds like another good story!
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
As I’m answering this question I have two children who are fighting over popcorn in the background, so final thoughts would be…does anyone have a Valium? Just kidding.
Final thought would be a big thanks to Terri and Second Run for giving me this opportunity to reveal a bit about myself and my work. Also, I would encourage authors to push the boundaries with their work and fight tooth and nail for it. Never give up!
V.J., it has been delightful to have you In the Spotlight here at Second Run Reviews. I certainly hope you will come back when you second novel is released to tell us all about it. And good luck getting into George R.R. Martin’s head. If you figure it out, please share what you find!
Synopsis: When the crows fly low…rain is coming.
At eleven-years-old, Will Lawson discovers that Hell isn’t just a place for demons. It exists on earth in an act so evil it rips away a part of his innocent soul. In its place; bitterness, hate and a vow for revenge.
Consumed by darkness, Will descends into a life of reckless living; booze and women the outlet for his guilt and despair. But meeting Sarah a beautiful young woman running from her own ghosts, changes everything. Finding his salvation in her, Will wades into the unfamiliar waters of love. Just when happiness is within his grasp, a familiar face returns to Will’s hometown of Doyle, Tennessee. A wicked twist of fate forces Will to decide between the girl he loves and his need for revenge. Is love enough to save Will from the darkness that endeavors to unravel his sanity?
In this debut romantic drama, When the Crows Fly Low weaves a story full of suspense, loss, and love. It is sure to stay with the reader long after the final page.