First, a bit of background on our author:
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless and provides great material for her stories.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS as well as indie publishing. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if?”
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Vicky!
What would you most like your readers to know about you that my not be in your official bio?
Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practicioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Funny writer. Cat fancier. lol
With five stories and five different authors, how did you decide upon the title for the anthology?
All the authors submitted names. I did some research on titles of holiday anthologies and started playing around. We settled on Season of Magic because holidays can be a special time of year.
Do you us a pen name/pseudo name? If so, why?
Vicki Batman is my real name. I can tell everyone I married a superhero and be truthful. Besides, the name Batman gets a lot of attention.
Tell us what your novella in the anthology; Holiday Disaster is about?
Thank you for asking! Here’s a blurb: Condo living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially for Michelle Anderson whose plumbing problems go from bad to worse in the space of one week and right before Christmas, too.
To top it off, Mr. Maintenance Man is the surliest plumber ever. Is it her fault he gets soaked every time he fixes her pipes? And what’s with him winking and sneezing when he comes over. Creepy—right?
This Christmas is a disaster.
What inspired this story?
Actually, when I was a single girl, I dropped a contact down the drain (the only one!!!) and had to call the maintenance man for help. And hasn’t everyone had major plumbing problems? They can be gross and awful. Fortunately, I met Roger a looonnnngg time ago and he takes care of my house! My hero.
If you could cast anyone to play the roles of Nick/Patrick and Michelle in this story, who would you pick?
I just don’t know. Honestly, I never imagine actors in my books.
How deep a backstory do you work out before you ever sit down to write?
Not much. I’m a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. Every story has a hook, black moment, and a nice ending. I hear a piece of dialogue and snap! I take off with those goals in mind, writing like a maniac. Then I go back and add the backstory, the details, the setting. It can be laborious to write like this, but the style seems to suit me.
Is there a difference in your writing process when you are creating a short story/novella vs a full length novel?
When writing 800 words, the story is a moment in time for me. And there is little use of adjectives and adverbs. Lots of action verbs. A longer short story provides more opportunity to add those details back in. And a novel? There’s a great playground. But I make lots more notes.
When brainstorming an idea, do you begin with character or plot?
I start with dialogue actually. Sometimes, someone will say (or do) something and the story begins running.
Would you share an excerpt from Holiday Disaster?
Wrapping my hands around the older-than-time plumbing underneath my bathroom sink, I yanked, hoping-praying-hoping the darn thing would loosen up, and all would be saved. But no. Nada. Too darn tight.
Merry Christmas to me. Not really.
Obviously, somebody more muscular than me would be required to strong-arm the pipe free. Helpless feelings hunched my shoulders. I should have closed the drain stopper to prevent my contact from swirling merrily away when it popped out of my eye and flew in the sink. I hated feeling helpless.
Not a great way to kick off the holiday season.
When Dad donned his Mr. Fix-it hat and repaired stuff around the house, I should have paid more attention. Maybe I’d have learned something valuable, something resembling Plumbing 101. But like most little girls, playtime was ten times more fun.
I declared surrender and called the condo’s emergency number. The maintenance man who answered told me he was on his way. I hoped he hadn’t said that to humor me. Lying had become my number one enemy. Lately, it seemed like everybody I knew told fibs:
My co-workers: “It’s in your mailbox.”
My boyfriend, rather, my ex-boyfriend: “She means nothing to me.”
My car dealership: “Your vehicle will be ready by noon tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, I’d had to fabricate an untruth—just a teeny weenie fibreally—to get the maintenance guy to come to my rescue so quickly.
When I’d called, the man didn’t sound thrilled to be coming to my aid at six-thirty in the morning. I wouldn’t be a happy camper either. In fact, he sounded—I scrunched my nose—hung-over, like he’d partied hearty until the wee hours.
The doorbell chimed. I leapt to my feet and raced to the door, thinking please, let it be him. Please, God, please. He just has to find my contact and all will be saved.
Do you belong to a critique group?
I have a couple of partners, but haven’t worked at this in about a year.
How do you balance the need for self-promotion vs your writing time?
Like right now, not much writing is getting done. I am working the promo and set a goal of Christmas time to edit my second book.
Self-publishing vs traditional publishing, biggest pro and con in your opinion?
Nowadays, both involve the writer doing the promo. And promo to such a large extent–that is my con. I like the cover control with self-publishing. Traditional offers the opportunity to expand one’s audience. So I’m a hybrid and do both.
Do you have a favorite book? Romance?
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux. Mystery – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Do you have a favorite author?
Lots, but the one who niggled in my ear, making me want to write was Dick Francis, English writer of mysteries set around the horse-racing business. AWESOME!
If you could become one fictional character for a week, who would it be?
Stephanie Plum so I could have my way with Joe Morelli. Sigh.
Least favorite word? Right now?
If you were to give only one tip to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Write like you are demon possessed and write some more.
What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?
My romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Employed was launched and am working on #2 in the series. My essay, “Sister Act,” is in the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology which features work from 75 authors from all around the world.
Thank you for joining us today, Vicky!
To purchase your own copy of Season Of Magic, go to:
To Keep UP with Vicky:
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman
Plotting Princesses: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com