interview with Suzanne
I am both excited and pleased to have NYT bestselling author, Vicki Lewis Thompson in the Bandit Lair today! Welcome, Vicki, pull up a lounge chair and we'll have one of our cabana boys pour you a drink.
Suz: When you spoke at DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) holiday meeting a few Decembers ago, you told the story of how exposure on National TV helped your career. Some of our readers may not have heard that story. Would you care to share it with them?
Vicki: I’ll tell that story at the drop of a hat, LOL! But first, thanks for inviting me to the Bandit Lair! Cute cabana boys! Ahem. Back to the subject at hand -- Kelly Ripa used to have a book club on LIVE with Regis and Kelly. NERD IN SHINING ARMOR was my first single title, and the print run was very low. I was afraid it would sink like a stone, so I hired publicist Theresa Meyers to help me get on Reading with Ripa. With lots of lobbying and a dose of luck, we did it! I appeared on the show. The print run went from 20K to 350K and I landed on the NYT. What a rush!
Suz: I love that story and it is so inspiring to know it can happen out of the blue to an author. How did it change your writing career?
Vicki: It opened doors that would not have been open before. I’ve now worked with three mainstream publishers and have an agent who only takes on NYT authors. Most of all, though, it taught me that anything is possible. You just have to go for it. You may fall on your face, but you may shoot to the stars! I’m much more willing to take risks these days.
Suz: Recently you’ve switched gears and gone paranormal with your HEX series. What made you choose witches over say, vampires or werewolves?
Vicki: With all due respect to the vampire writers and readers out there, I’m squeamish about blood, so that lets out vampires. As for werewolves, funny you should ask! I’m working on a top-secret project right now for 2011, and it just might involve werewolves. But they’re not bloody. I’m not good with bloody. I write comedy.
Suz: Ooo can't wait to hear about those werewolves! Please tell us about the HEX series.
Vicki: The series came alive for me when I decided that instead of setting it in Sedona, Arizona, a hotbed of New Age thinking, I should set it in a conservative little town in Indiana, where NOBODY believes in witches, wizards, magic, or . . . heaven forbid . . . dragons! Big Knob, Indiana, is imaginary, but I’ve had readers ask if it’s based on a real town because they want to go there! So do I, but it doesn’t exist. I made it up totally. The series features a matchmaking witch and wizard who are sent there to rehabilitate the delinquent dragon living in the nearby woods. In between dragon-sitting, they do some matchmaking on the side, which is where the romance comes in.
Suz: Is BLONDE WITH A WAND the first in a new series for you? Can you tell us a little bit about the series?
Vicki: The Babes on Brooms series is – at present – two books long. If readers like it, maybe it’ll get longer! It’s a spin-off from the Hex series in that the matchmaking witch and wizard from that series make an appearance in both BLONDE WITH A WAND and CHICK WITH A CHARM. These two spin-off books are set in Chicago, which is less than a day’s drive from Big Knob, so it works out.
Suz: In BLONDE WITH A WAND, the heroine, Anica Revere, breaks a major witch rule and is stripped of her powers. How does she adjust to that?
Vicki: Not well! She’s always been the “good” sister and now she has to depend on Lily, who’s the rebel sister, to help her fix the magical mess she’s created.
Suz: The hero of BLONDE WITH A WAND, Jasper Danes, is the victim of Anica’s mistake. Does he exact a little revenge or does he easily find himself under her spell?
Vicki: I think it’s okay to reveal that Anica turned him into a cat, because that’s in the blurb. While revenge is definitely on his mind, he’s dependent on Anica and Lily to change him back into a man, so he has to be VERY careful not to tick them off.
Suz: Can you tell us a little about the next book in the series—CHICK WITH A CHARM?
Vicki: I would love to! It’s Lily’s story, and she’s a little jealous of Anica’s love affair with Jasper. Lily’s a bartender who has a crush on a customer. Against Anica’s advice, she gives him a devotion potion in his cocktail and discovers that it doesn’t produce quite the results she’d hoped for.
Suz: What else can our readers look forward to from you this year?
Vicki: I hope you’re ready for this. I’ve been typing like crazy and I could sure use a massage from Sven if you’re willing to loan him out. I have *seven* releases this year. Besides BLONDE WITH A WAND in February, I’ll also have RACING HEARTS, a NASCAR anthology with Dorien Kelly and Nancy Warren. This June will kick off my “Sons of Chance” series with Harlequin Blaze. WANTED! comes out in June, AMBUSHED! in July, and CLAIMED! in August. They’re cowboy stories set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the series will continue with three more books in the summer of 2011 and three more in the summer of 2012. Also in July I’ll have CUPID CATS, an anthology with Katie MacAlister and Connie Brockway. The stories are linked by an animal shelter that specializes in magical cats who become matchmakers for those who adopt them.
Suz: OMG...we'll have Sven work on those fingers ASAP!! You're going to be one busy lady this year!! Is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?
Vicki: How about this? If you could wave a wand and turn someone (a person you know or a public figure) into an animal, who would it be and what animal would you choose?
Suz: Thanks for being in the Lair with us Vicki. Vicki will be giving away a signed copy of Blonde With A Wand to one commenter today. And don't forget, you can order books by clicking on any covers.