Friday, March 13, 2009

Interview with Vicki Lewis Thompson

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Vicki Lewis Thompson. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Thank you for inviting me, especially on my favorite day, Friday the 13th! Pardon me while a snag a piece of chocolate . . . or six. Ah, much better! Fire away!


I understand you have a new release out called CASUAL HEX. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

‘Scuse me while I finish this truffle. Okay, all done. When I was writing the Nerd series, readers kept asking for female nerds, so here she is! Gwen DuBois is a botany geek who owns a flower shop in Big Knob, Indiana. She’s been a wallflower (ha, ha) all her life, but now she finds herself pursued by two hunky guys. It’s my ultimate fantasy, being somewhat of a geek myself. By the way, this is the third book in the Hex series of paranormal romantic comedies.

CASUAL HEX is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

My editor’s boss dreamed it up back when I first proposed the Hex series, so I’ve been waiting to use it.

What made you decide to write in this genre?
HEA endings are perfect for an optimist like me. Romance pairs well with comedy, and that makes me even happier in my work. I avoid gloom and doom whenever possible.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I’m definitely a pantser, and it affected this book in a major way. My hero is French, and I thought I could plot and write the book before my trip to Paris, and then put in the finishing touches. Turns out I couldn’t write anything worth reading until I’d been to Paris and absorbed the culture – i.e. ogled lots of French men. Then the book flowed, although at that point it had to flow or else. I was up against the deadline.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
I HAD to go to Paris. I really did. If I could get away with making all my heroes French, then I’d have to go to Paris some more, which would be A-okay with me. I know you meant Internet sites, but in this case, it was an actual geographical site.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
Basically from my readers, who wanted a nerd heroine. I figured a nerd heroine deserved not one, but TWO gorgeous guys who wanted her. One is the Frenchman, and the other is Prince Leo, from the fairy Kingdom of Atwood. He looks a little like Brad Pitt.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
That’s like trying to pick a favorite child, LOL. I had lots of fun writing about Prince Leo, because he’s such a bad boy, but in a funny way.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?
Now that I’ve admitted being a pantser, I’ll bet you know I don’t do character sheets, either. I tend to get a general idea of my characters and then write about them, discovering who they are as I go. As I mentioned, I discovered I couldn’t do the character of Marc Chevalier, the French guy, until I’d spent some time in Paris where he lives. I knew him so much better after that trip.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Any author with the guts to keep sending out manuscripts inspires me. These days I’m not so much inspired by the words an author puts on a page, but by the sacrifices she’s made to get them there. We all have the same number of hours in a day, and the authors who inspire me are the ones who keep writing through whatever life throws at them. They keep giving us the benefit of their creative energy. Hats off to working writers!

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
Ah, there’s the million-dollar question! I recently upgraded my monthly newsletter so it can contain both links and images. I’ve been building my subscription list for that newsletter, and I think sending out the enhanced format to subscribers is the most bang for my buck.

What do we have to look forward next?

OMG, how much time do you have? I have a Christmas anthology in ’09 called BETTER NAUGHTY THAN NICE with my two Soapbox Queen buddies, Jennifer LaBrecque and Rhonda Nelson. Then comes 2010, the Year of Publishing Copiously. In February and March I’ll have two connected single titles, BLONDE WITH A WAND and CHICK WITH A CHARM. Also in February I’ll have a NASCAR Valentine anthology. Then in June, July, and August I’ll have connected Blaze books that will begin a nine-book series (three books every summer in ’10, ’11, and ’12) all set on the Last Chance Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I’m going to be a busy girl.

Thanks, Vicki!

Thank you for the chance to gab about my work and eat some outstanding chocolate. The experience has been very therapeutic, just as you promised!

To celebrate her book release, Vicki is offering an autographed copy of WILD & HEXY, the book prior to CASUAL HEX , to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio. New York Times bestseller Vicki Lewis Thompson sold her first book 26 years ago, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride ever since. She’s written more than 90 books for Dell, Harlequin, Bantam, St. Martin’s Press, and NAL in both series romance and single title. She hit all the major bestseller lists when NERD IN SHINING ARMOR was Kelly Ripa’s book club pick in 2003. The book introduced a new kind of romance hero and launched the popular Nerd series. Besides being an eight-time RITA nominee, she’s won numerous Romance Writers of America chapter contests, and in 2008, she received RWA’s highest honor, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her releases in 2009 include the anthology WINTER HEAT from Harlequin in January, CASUAL HEX from NAL Onyx in March, and a Christmas anthology from Harlequin in December.
Visit Vicki’s website at www.vickilewisthompson.com and her blog at www.soapboxqueens.com

12 comments:

MariaGeraci said...

Sounds like a great series. I've read most of the Nerd Books and I loved them all:)

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Maria, the Nerd books were really fun to write, but I also had a hankering to try something a little different. The Hex series is the result.

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Vicki, what fun to see you here! And I hope you take a lot more trips to Paris...we readers NEED you to make that kind of sacrifice for us. :)

Laurie, looking forward to your Tucson workshop this weekend!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

What an honor to have you here at MCTT, Vicki. Keep those wonderful books coming!

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Laurie, I'm looking forward to seeing you this weekend! And we have gorgeous weather, too. :-)

Kathryne, the honor is all mine. I was thrilled to be asked, and thanks for the warm fuzzies. I hope everyone is having good luck today!

Lori T said...

Hi Vicki~

I absolutely loved your Nerd books and I am really looking forward to starting this series.

I hope that you had a good Friday the 13th and I hope that you have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

love youor books
cant wiat till your next ones

kh

KnittingJourneyman said...

hurrah for the Nerd books--great series

Carrie Weaver said...

Wow, Vicki, you have been one busy woman! I love the idea of researching Paris. Internet research, though useful, just isn't quite the same as absorbing settings in person. And a nerdy heroine is someone I can definitely relate to -- thank you for giving Maria TWO great men pursuing her. Finally, a nerd woman gets her due! Casual Hex is a must read on my list. Oh, and tell Jen I said hi -- any book with you two collaberating has to be a riot.

Barbara White Daille said...

Vicki,

Sorry I was too late to post on Friday the 13th--my bad luck, huh? LOL

Great post!

After hearing about what you've got lined up for this year and the next few summers, I think you deserve much more chocolate!

Best,

Barbara
www.barbarawhitedaille.com

robynl said...

I loved the Nerd books; this is a bit different for me but I will look into them.

Kim Watters said...

Congratulations Lori T. Your the winner of Vicki's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com Thanks for stopping by.