Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Conversation with Victoria Landis, Author of 'Jordan'



Victoria Landis is a professional writer, editor, and artist. A 16-year member, and former board member, of Mystery Writers of America, she Co-Chaired the SleuthFest Writers Conference from 2015-2018.

She's taught at SleuthFest, the Authors Academy at Murder on the Beach, and the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University.

Find out more on Amazon
INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about JORDAN and what compelled you to write it.
Victoria: It’s the story of a modern-day miracle and how our viral social media world reacts to it. I wanted to write it because social media has turned into a wild west, and the story is so relevant to now.
M.C.: What is your book about?
Victoria: A young woman who went missing for three years reappears in her hometown, and within days, discovers she has the power to heal.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in JORDAN?
Victoria: The primary theme is human nature and how it hasn’t changed in thousands of years.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Victoria: I love it. It makes me happy. If I didn’t still have a day job, I could write all day long and forget to eat. I even love the editing and rewriting.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Victoria: Creative bursts and inspiration hit me anytime, anywhere. I always have paper and pen with me. I’ve learned that if I think I’ll remember the idea later, I usually don’t.
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Victoria: In dialogue? As long as the characters remain true to who they are, not at all. In narrative? I tend to like sentence fragments, which drives one of my critique group members crazy (she was an English teacher), but I don’t overdo them.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Victoria: No. I suppose the closest I come to that is when I’m writing and a great idea for a character or situation pops in from seemingly nowhere. I’ll change what I had planned to accommodate the pop up.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Victoria: When I realize a chapter or scene just didn’t work, and I have to jettison an idea I loved.
M.C.:  Your best?
Victoria: When all the seemingly loose ends come together at the end as I hoped they would.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Victoria: There have been times where I couldn’t because of personal life circumstances, but I always come back to it.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Victoria: It’s a tie. The first time a perfect stranger told me they loved my book and couldn’t put it down. And the first time a best-selling author told me they’d read my book and loved it.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Victoria: No. I love it, but I don’t think obsession is the right word. I’ve lived too many places, seen too many things, had too many weird things happen to be obsessed with anything. I roll with life, but I always go back to writing.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Victoria: Some are based on people I know/knew, some on situations I lived through. No matter where it comes from, though, it goes through a lot of tweaking and changing before it becomes a part of one of my books.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Victoria: I think I understand what he meant. I call it the Van Gogh effect—‘This life was never meant for one as beautiful as you’—from Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) by Don McLean. Life here with humans is hard. I believe 85-90% of us are good people. The other 10-15% can really foul it up. If you’re a sensitive person and aware of the world, it’s so disheartening—man’s brutal cruelty to his fellow man is soul-crushing. Burying yourself in your creative work gives the sensitive artist/writer a way to avoid feeling so much pain.
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Victoria: My blog is on my website—one stop shopping. www.VictoriaLandis.com Thank you for having me here!


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