What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I am currently writing fairytale-inspired Regency romances. I have always loved fantasy, and fairytales are a huge part of that genre. As for Regency romances, this genre often deals with first love, courtship, the start of passions stirring, but with strict rules of behavior to help protect a young lady in a world that can be both tempting and dangerous. When it came time to write a romance novel, these genres seemed made for each other and for me.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Often I’m editing one while writing another. Of course, deadlines sometimes make this impossible and I end up having to focus entirely on one book to get it completed by the submission date.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
Yes, with a wonderful, helpful group. I’ve belonged to various critique groups for years and highly recommend finding one. The feedback is valuable, but the trick is to learn to listen and only adjust your writing if the suggestion fits with your writing style and will improve the story you’re trying to tell. Experience has taught me that if something said upsets me, that’s probably when I should listen the hardest. And while it is good to ask questions to gain clarification, it is counter- productive to argue or try to convince the other person to see the issue from your point of view (trust me, I’ve tried this and it never turns out good). It’s simply that sometimes it is difficult for people to tell you exactly what did not work for them. That’s when the writer needs to put on their detective hat to discover where, or even if, improvements in their work is warranted.
Can you remember your first reading book?
I believe it was a Trixie Belden mystery. I went through reading phases as a child, it began with mysteries, moved on to romances and then landed on fantasy. I still read all three genres but my favorite has to be fantasy.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
No. But I do drink tea while I’m working. I’m a black tea addict. Three creams, one sugar.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Bombsite. I have an office, with a bookshelf overflowing with reference material and paper for shredding littering the floor. My cat walks around the paper (not sure why she things it’s wrong to walk on the paper) in order to sit on the chair placed beside my desk where she likes to sleep.
Animals are quaint with their habits!
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
I’m traditionally published with a small publisher, ImaJinn Books. I love them! I was lucky (though it did not feel lucky at the time), to have had my work rejected for years by many different publishers and agents. It gave me time to write and write and write. To improve my work, to learn the craft and accumulate a huge inventory of novels, we’re talking double digits. So, when I was finally offered a publishing contract, and asked, do you have anything else, I was able to offer a brochure on a completed three book series that followed this first one book on offer. This is how I ended up with a 4-book contract.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Andre Norton – love her fantasy worlds
Martha Wells – great storytelling techniques
Jo Beverley – amazing ability to make her characters come alive on the page
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Write a lot and read for pleasure.
If the movie rights to your novel are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
I’d love to cast Jenna Louise Coleman as the impulsive, good-natured Lady Belle and Lawrence Fox as the crusty, bad tempered Lord Terrance.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
How about one of me going home from work? Years ago, I used to live in Manitoba, Canada. One cold, snowy winter day, I wore a skirt, top, boots, a heavy coat with a hood and gloves to work. After the workday ended, because it was mid-winter and early evening, it was already dark as I hurried to the bus stop.
The sidewalk was slippery and not surprisingly, I fell. I got up and went on to the bus stop. It felt like forever before the bus came but when it finally did, I rushed inside. I paid my fare and sat at the front so I could stretch out my legs. My left knee, the one I fell on, was starting to ache.
About two or three stops along, I noticed that from the side seat ahead of me, a few of the people staring at me. Then one lady pointed to me. I looked down, thinking, did I ripped my stocking when I fell? I had. I had also skinned my knee and the wound had begun to bleed. But it had been so cold, that the blood dripping down had frozen into long thin red icicles.
I don’t live in Manitoba any more but whenever I see that scar on my knee, I think about how cold Manitoba can be. I actually loved living there, stayed for 5 years. Just for old times sake, I looked up stats on Manitoba winters to remind me of what I left behind and to add as an interesting addendum to this story.
About Manitoba winters
· from mid November to mid March
· the coldest time of the year
· Remember that even with the sunshine, it is not warm outside.
· Average nighttime temperatures range from -25˚C to -21˚C
· Daylight hours are about seven hours, beginning December 21.
· Average daytime temperatures range from -15˚C in December to -20˚C.
· Strong winds can make winter temperatures much colder than the actual temperature – windchill is the combined total of temperature and wind.
· Ice, snow and freezing rain make walking and driving dangerous.
· Children need to be monitored when they are outside to ensure they do not get cold.
· Extreme cold and wind chill can be dangerous.
My word, that is cold! Brrr. Great story, thanks for sharing.
Shereen Vedam writes heart-warming historical romances that have a healthy dollop of mystery and a pinch of magic.
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