Cailtyn and I went to the Virginia Bocker reading and signing last Friday (our first summer book event this year). We started with the lovely Victoria Aveyard (as moderator) and Virginia Boecker being their awesome self in this interview (not verbatim).
A: She's always been a reader but writing a book has seemed like a daunting task. She went into publishing (for textbooks) and then into technology. She then went to London doing research just to do research because she loved history and writing a book was a part of her bucket list and just became her Next Thing to do.
Q: What was your publishing process like?
A: She used writer's digest (online query workshop), traditional route, no writing conferences.
Q: You lived in London for 4 years, what was your inspiration from there?
A: Just the general build of the British history and she was a big Joss Whedon fan (Buffy/Firefly) so the ensemble cast appealed to her.
Q: The world? Alt history, how much changed, what changed?
A: Renamed and re-purposed castles and Tower of London, Latin name of countries, characters based on historic people,
Q: Magic system?
A: She just took things people perceived at the same time as magic (herbs, horoscopes) "organic"
Q: Would Hogwarrts exist?
A: She wishes. She imagined school in The Witch Hunter world like it would have been at that time period so with tutors and such.
Q: 2nd part?
A: She brings back a not so beloved character. Aaaaand there's lots more romance.
Q: Future projects?
A: The Witch Hunter novellas, Book 2,
Q: Writing tips for future writers?
A: To debut authors: Don't read reviews.
To future writers: Stay out of social media as long as you can. Connection/networking doesn't help as much. Better to do so after book is sold. Do your own thing. Eyes on your own page.
Lightning round:Fave book: Harry Potter
Adult beverage: (Something starting with an M that I could not remember/spell/didn't know.)
Fave spell: Apparate
Where you get accessories: JCrew
Chris Hemsworth or Harrison Ford: Chris Hemsworth
1. Most unexpected thing in publishing journey?
A: Getting published you find out who your friends are. Some of her friends disappeared after she got published :/
2. Fave part of process?
A: Working with her publisher. They're respectful of her time and her and lovely in general.
3. Time it took to write 1st draft?
4 months. 2nd draft: 5 months (lots of court intrigue). 4th draft really 1st draft of the actual book: around 3 years until friends could read it.
4. How to keep track of details?
Copyeditors give cheat sheet. Gave her a moon chart and they keep timeline. Basically they're ridiculously helpful with things like that.
5. Looking back at your books, anything you cringe about?
Victoria A: Romance scenes (not the best at writing them)
Virginia B: "Best way to look at your first book, just move on. It was what it needed to be"-April Tucholke. (Both also wish they could add some things)
We also met other local (and amazing) author debuts:
Charlotte Huang, For the Record
Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything
Kerry Kletter, The First Time She Drowned
Michelle Levy, Not After Everything
Left Picture: Left to right-Caitlyn, Michelle, Kerry, Charlotte, Me (Taherah), & Nicola
Right picture: Kerry and her gorgeous ARC that she happened to have. (I couldn't resist a picture)
So that's about it. Hoping to go to at least one more book event before summer ends :D
Thank you Barnes and Noble Santa Monica and Virginia and Victoria for a lovely event :)