So nice to have Virginia Tenery visiting today! Read on to find out about her writing journey!
What started you on your writing journey?
VB: I’ve always been an avid reader of suspense novels and I found what was available in the ABA market too violent for my tastes. I decided that writing looked easy, and I would write the kind of books I liked to read. Wrong. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. It took me twelve years to learn the craft and I’m still learning.
When did you begin writing?
VB: I started writing seriously twelve years ago. Published a few short stories in anthologies, but it took all those years to learn the craft and get my first novel published.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
VB: When I published my first short story in a speculative fiction anthology, LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS.
Do you have a specific writing style?
VB: Not to my knowledge. I’ve been told I have a unique voice, but I’m not sure how that relates to style. LOL
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
VB: Forgiveness is a frequent message in my novels, not only of others but forgiveness of one’s self.
How much of the book is realistic?
VB: Some elements in my plots are taken from news stories. Things that bother me, such as spouse and child abuse, tend to find their way into my stories. Also, the latest forensic crime fighting tools are real. I save any forensic articles I see for possible use in future stories.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
VB: No, I don’t think that’s fair to friends and family unless you’re writing a memoir.
What books have influenced your life most?
VB: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom is the best novel of faith I’ve ever read. I also loved To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is, in my opinion, the best fiction book ever written.
If you could choose, which writer would you want as a mentor?
VB: James Scott Bell for Christian fiction, Michael Connelly for secular fiction.
What book are you reading now?
VB: I’m a speed reader and I’m usually reading three books at the same time. The one on my nightstand right now is Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster. I’m also reading a novel on my Kindle by Melissa F. Miller, Improper Influence in her Sasha McCandless series. Both are new authors for me and I’m enjoying them.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
VB: The two above are my latest “finds.” I also enjoyed Nike Chillime’s latest, Harmful Intent.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
VB: Yes, I think most writers never consider a novel finished. I know I don’t. The beautiful part of Indie publishing is that you can make changes in the eBook format easily and inexpensively.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
VB: Marketing is the biggest challenge in writing today. Publishers expect the writer to do their own marketing and it can be not only costly, but time consuming. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
VB: I have two. Michael Connelly for ABA books. His Harry Bosch character is a flawlessly flawed police detective you can’t help but cheer for, even when he’s wrong.
Sibella Giorello is a master at seamlessly weaving spiritual elements into her novels. But she does need to write faster, only six books out so far. LOL
VB: For my Indies, I hired two different designers, but I told them what I wanted and supplied the photos. Nicola Martinez designed the covers for my PBG books. She does a great job.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
VB: The writers lament, show don’t tell. It’s so easy to fall into telling, but I usually catch my errors in the second edit.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
VB: Writers must be committed if they want to be successful. Writing is hard work and one can never say the job is finished. The novel, yes, but not the job. When one book is completed, the next one must be started. A writer can never stop learning. Writing is an isolated profession. Much time is spent alone with just a computer for companionship. But, of course, writers always have their characters to keep them company. LOL
So true! Do you have any advice for other writers?
VB: Study, read, join two or more critique groups to get honest feedback on how you’re doing. Develop a thick skin because you will get advice you won’t always like. Be true to your story. When you get advice that doesn’t feel right, don’t use it. Critique partners are not always right. And last of all, have fun! Yes, its hard work. But the rewards are in knowing that you put your best efforts into the product and it shows.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
VB: I write to entertain and I hope my novels always leave the reader delighted with the time spent with one of my books. And I always welcome their feedback.
:) Do you remember the first book you read?
VB: Probably one of the Nancy Drew mysteries although I don’t remember the title.
Lol. That's a good one. I remember one where kids were visiting relatives & during a storm a tree was ripped apart. Of course, that led to the mystery solution! Do you have any hobbies?
VB: I love to walk, hike, and tubing down the rivers in Texas’s beautiful Hill County.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
VB: I rarely watch TV except for the news. I did love the Jesse Stone TV Movies with Tom Sellect. Usually, I watch Turner Classics when I’m in the mood for a good movie, such as Murphy’s Romance and anything with Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. Few movies draw me into theaters these days. But I totally loved the movie Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. I also enjoyed The Hunger Games and Silver Lining Playbook..
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?
VB: Favorite foods: Cajun Cuisine. Favorite color to wear, blue, but not for my home. My music tastes are eclectic. I enjoy all kinds of music and artists except Hard Rock, Rap, and Hip-Hop.
I enjoy Cajun too. If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
VB: Become a missionary to Africa.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
VB: My fourth novel to release this year is THE WATCHMAN on October 3rd. The novel is a departure from my other works. It’s speculative fiction in a contemporary setting. Noah Adams is not your usual super hero. He’s a common man with uncommon gifts, fighting to protect the innocent and avenge the abused.
I’ve also started book 3 in the Matt Foley/Sara Bradford series titled, DOWNFALL and have an outline for a WWII suspense set in London. I’ve always been fascinated by the heroism and courage of people in that time period.
Love the WWII era! Thank you so much for visiting!
To buy her book:
God’s child trying to make Him proud.
Connect with Virginia here:
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/vbtenery
VIRGINIA is giving away a copy of THEN THERE WERE NONE. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.