Author Interview: Vivian Winslow
Posted by Amy -N- Jess
Author Interview with Vivian Winslow
The final installment of the Vi Trilogy of my Gilded Flower Series entitled, True Violet. Vi’s Trilogy has been fun to write since she was the character with the carefully guarded secrets and a penchant for random hook-ups. The title conveys how her evolution throughout the series has brought her to the point of having to show her true self to the world. While she’s always been strong and confident, Vi has kept a part of herself hidden away, afraid of being hurt. It stems from her complex relationship with her father. She undergoes a process of healing and encounters a few opportunities for growth and to develop into her true self. Hence the title. : )
~Who is your favorite author?
Ugh. That’s like asking me who my favorite child is. I like a variety authors for different reasons. Erica Jong writes honestly, and her prose is razor sharp. Edith Wharton captures the setting and complexities of relationships in a most subtle yet effective way. Those are just two, although I could go on . . . .
~What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Do not fear the editing process. It is your friend and will make you a better writer. Criticism can be difficult to take, but it’s essential because writing is not a craft that can be honed after one project. It may take multiple efforts before you hit your stride, and you won’t find it unless you keep writing. You don’t become an author because you aspire for outward acceptance and praise. You do it because there’s a drive to share a story that won’t loosen its grip until you do it. It can be true creative freedom. Embrace it and, in the darkest moments, when you’re ready to give up, remember the initial joy that comes from the creative process and start again.
~Which of your characters is your Book Boyfriend? Why?
I love pretty much all the main men in The Gilded Flower Series. So picking one, again, is like choosing a preferred child. Even my dysfunctional men like Gustavo, are charming, and well, have those incredible gifts in the sack. But if compelled, I would have to say Alejandro. He’s a true Alpha in every sense of the world. He’s driven, intense, sensitive, and doesn’t stray from getting what he wants. That said, he’s also considerate and thoughtful, which I think makes for a well-rounded, ideal individual.
~Are you an organized author or scattered?
Hyper organized. I’m rather type-A.
~Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?
Ha. Despite being organized, I don’t plot out my story. I have some vague sense of how I want the story to play out, but more often than not, my characters and stories evolve in ways I don’t anticipate. So I’ve found, at least in the case of The Gilded Flower Series, that it’s best to let it flow.
Of course, there’s the trap of writing myself into a corner that has happened a couple of times. I’ve written a few scenes that I ended up cutting because I didn’t like how they shaped the story.
~Which one of your characters is your absolute favorite? Why?
You really like asking me about my favorite child. I love my central characters a lot. Lily, Dahlia, and Vi all go through incredible transformations through their stories. I’m proud of each of them.
~Which one is your least favorite? Why?
None. Even when my characters are misbehaving, like Gustavo or Poppy, I am grateful to them. They give the other characters opportunities for growth. In the end, we can never hate those who force us to become better people.
~Do you have writers’ block and how do you work around it?
Writers’ block is an occupational hazard. I encountered it twelve pages into Black Dahlia. Anyone who’s read it will know why. I’ve learned to just sit with it, watch a movie, read a book, or bake. All of those activities calm me and give my mind enough space to work on whatever the problem is. Usually after a day or two, or maybe in week in the case of Black Dahlia, I can free myself to write again.
~Do you work on 1 story at a time or multiples?
One only. My mind is cluttered with enough things already as a stay-at-home mom with two busy children. I couldn’t handle that. I do, however, play around with storylines for different books. For instance, I’m plotting another story in the Gilded Flower Series as I write Vi’s trilogy.
~If you could go back in time what is one thing you would tell your teenage self?
It will all work out. And stop worrying so much about boys. They really aren’t worth it.
~Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe it’s possible. It happened once, and it felt like a lightning bolt shooting through me. And then it led to the worst heartbreak. I think that the risk of it is that it leads to expectations and colors your view of the other person. I truly believe that lasting love grows and develops over time through mutual respect and gratitude. I try to have all my characters experience a variety love connections in order to find who the right person is for them.
~Name one of your pet peeves?
~If you were a genie, what wish would you absolutely not grant?
To hurt another person.
~Favorite drink? Alcoholic or not.
~What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
~What is one thing no one knows about you?
I speak three languages, four if you want to count English.
~If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Silence all the A-holes who spew out their toxic energy at people on New York streets. With one flick of a finger, they would lose their voices until they calmed down.
~If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh man, that’s difficult. I’d have to say chocolate. You can pretty much put it on anything ; ).
~What’s your favorite fast food chain?
In-N-Out Burger. Being from Southern California, I can’t stay away whenever I visit.
~If you had a warning label what would it say?
No filter. Piss off at your own risk.
~What is one thing you will never do again?
Shots of tequila and mezcal.
~What was your first job?
I worked in a library. Being surrounded by books all day was heaven on earth.
~Who is one person you would like to meet for coffee?
Erica Jong for sure. Her book, Fear of Flying, is one of the most honest works I’ve ever read. It is about a woman who struggles to find her place in the world and her search for personal and sexual freedom, and has served as a mouthpiece for generations of women.
I would ask her how long it took for her to deal with critics and find peace in her life as both a woman and a writer.
~What is your favorite TV show?
I’m coming into this late, but I have to say Game of Thrones. It’s a visually stunning show with well-written, intertwining stories. The women get to be strong and in their power. And don’t get me started on all the beautiful characters. The men!
~What is your favorite movie?
I appreciate all kinds of movies, from classics to dystopian. If a favorite is one I could watch often, then I’d say Heartbreakers with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt. For a comedy, there’s actually a deeper message, which is about love and redemption.
~Do you take the “personality” quizzes, like on Buzzfeed/Facebook?
I’m definitely a sucker for a few of them. My favorite ones are the quizzes that tell you what you were in a past life. I think I’ve been an inventor. Ha.
~What is your favorite/ go to cuss word?
All experience is an enrichment rather than an impoverishment- Eudora Welty
Blue Dahlia is FREE for a limited time!!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vivianwinslowauthor
Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1p4dE3N
Spotify: Vi Playlist http://spoti.fi/1zC8bp1