AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Multicultural Romance Author Victoria Wells

Victoria Wells is a Philadelphia native. She has been an avid reader since childhood. Wells’ interest in writing took root while taking a creative writing course in college. Her most memorable assignment was the rewriting of the last chapter of The Color Purple. Though she did very well in this course it would be years before she would pen a novel.

Professionally, Wells earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Nursing from La Salle University. Over her seventeen-year career as a nurse, Wells has written, lectured, and presented at national conferences extensively on sickle cell disease. Her dedication to caring for patients with this disease earned her the Regional and National 2005 Nursing Spectrum’s Nurse of the Year Nursing Excellence Award in Clinical Care. Wells’ dedication to the nursing profession and work in the African American community organizing and running a free Hypertension Clinic at her church in 2006 earned her the Movers and Shakers Award and a Citation from the City Council of Philadelphia.

Using writing as a tool to escape the hassles of everyday life, Wells decided to pen a novel. In November 2006 self-published debut romance novel, A Special Summer was released. After receiving positive feedback Wells decided to submit her manuscript for traditional publishing. In August 2007, Xpress Yourself Publishing made an offer to re-release A Special Summer, March 4, 2008.

Wells works as an adult nurse practitioner. She is married and the proud mom of three children. You can visit her website at www.victoria-wells.com.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Victoria. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’ve been married for almost twenty-two years. I’m the mother of three sometimes wonderful, sometimes devilish children. I’ve been a nurse for seventeen years, seven of which I’ve practice as an adult nurse practitioner. And now I’m a romance author. Professionally I’ve been writing for over 14 years on health issues.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A Special Summer is truly a story of redemption and forgiveness. It’s about a young woman (Summer) who’s experiencing her first encounter of being in love with an older man (Nick). Because of demons and unresolved family issues from Nick’s past life, Summer is literally flung into a world of pandemonium when he believes she betrayed him in the worst way. When he finally sees things as they really are, Nick is in jeopardy of losing the only woman that ever truly loved him unconditionally.

I wrote my story because I wanted to show that as humans we all have flaws no matter how good we may look on the outside, how well educated we are or how much money we may have. Readers will get a glimpse of a hero that is hurled into a world of uncertainties and doubts, as the heroine is the object of his insecurities. Oftentimes the hero isn’t portrayed as having to show just how vulnerable and jaded love has made him. It’s always usually the heroine having to deal with trust issues because of a past-failed relationship.

What kind of research was involved in writing “A Special Summer”?

When I decided I wanted to write a romance novel I knew I would have to research and understand the “rules” of romance. This was necessary if I wanted my story to be a true romance.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I was fortunate that my publisher gave me a choice when it came to selecting the design for my book cover.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Again, fortunately for me it’s been smooth sailing. That’s not to say I haven’t had to work really hard with my present publisher.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

It took seven months before my title was released.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

No, I don’t have an agent as of yet. Most definitely an agent will be necessary if I decide I want to shop my manuscripts around to other publishing houses. However, at the time I’m very happy with the relationship I have with my current publisher.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, presently I’m working on my second novel.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

For the most part I’m a night writer. However, I’m finding now that I’m working on another project I have to write whenever I can.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I would do massive online promotion and a cross country book tour. I love doing book signings and meeting readers.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self promoting is essential! I feel that it’s the lifeline to my story. I’ve done radio interviews, a blog interview and I was a guest blogger for a week on a popular blog site. Theirs a pod-cast of my book, featured debut author on an online magazine, and advertisements on other sites geared towards readers. As far as offline, I’ve contacted numerous book stores and set up book signings, guest author at a few local book clubs and I have family and friends host book parties for me.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

I would say research the industry. If at all possible take a creative writing course. During college I took a few course and I can’t tell how instrumental doing so when I finally got around to writing my book. I would also suggest joining an online group for aspiring writers.

ATTENTION: This book spotlight is being brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. As a special promotion for Victoria's book, A SPECIAL SUMMER, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour or $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky person who comments. Leave a comment below to have a chance to win one of these prizes! For more stops on Victoria's blog tour, visit www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com.

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