Friday, June 24, 2011

Turning the Tables: Interview Friday with VS Grenier

I wanted to turn the tables a bit this week and instead of doing an interview on one of the SFC Team members or a fellow writer, I thought I should be the one to be questioned. So to get things started, I’ll answer a few questions I normally ask my guest interviews and then I’ll open it up for you to post questions in the comments section to me. I’ll check in all week to answer them as best I can.

So to start things off, how many children do I have and what are their ages? I have three wonderful children. My oldest is my son, age 15, will be driving sooner than I would like. LOL. My youngest, a baby girl, is almost 16 months and keeps me on my toes. My middle is also a girl, age 6, and is our little monkey/drama queen. Nice combination if you ask me. J  

As a mom, what do I do to help balance my writing life with my family life? I tend to ask this question a lot not just, because I’m a writing mom, but also because this is the most asked question I get as an editor/author. You know during the school months it is pretty easy to balance my day. My two older children are in school so I only have to worry about my baby girl; however, she still takes naps so that is when I do most of my writing/editing. Then at night after about 7pm, I start back up again.

Summer is a bit harder and this one has been the hardest now that I have three kids demanding my time. I find I get maybe one or two hours in the early morning while the kids are still waking up and eating breakfast to answer emails and do some SFC stuff. Then I have to snatch the moments I can during the day. I may get a few minutes here and an hour or so there. Most of my writing/editing is in the late hours of night.

Finding balance is an ever-changing struggle when you have young kids in the house. My suggestion, make a list of your goals, be realistic and don’t stress if you don’t met each one you listed in the time frame you want. Your family is important and writing time will come once the kids get older. Many authors I know didn’t see the success they have now until after their children where grown. Some were lucky (mostly the men) to see it a bit sooner. The point is…do what you can and don’t over work yourself.

How long have I been writing? I would love to say I was born writing. I did write poems in my spare time or when I didn’t want to listen to my teachers in my high school years. I’ve gone back and looked at them after I took some writing courses to see how bad they were…I was surprised, they’re not half bad.

However, I didn’t really start writing until I decided to stay home to raise my kids. This was back in 2005. I only choose to write as a hobby and as you can see…it has become more than that for me. I’ve had over 30 short stories, articles and crafts published and a picture book. I have 3 manuscripts under consideration currently so fingers crossed I get another book contract.

Is my family supportive of my writing? LOL, the main reason I started this blog was to share my family stories of being a writing mama. Lately, I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t been very good about posting on this very subject. Something I plan to change with a weekly post.

To answer the question, yes and no, there are times my kids and husband are very supportive. My hubby and oldest son with help with the girls so I can make deadlines or get contracts signed and sent out. But there are times, when I’ve been working around the clock for weeks, that they start to get a little impatient and demanding of my time. It’s hard if I have things that need to get done, but I stop myself and remember my family comes first. The hardest thing is when my family calls what I do a hobby still. I think sometimes they forget how important what I do is and that I’ve worked hard to become a published author, Chief Editor and founder of SFC Publishing.

Have I had any training to become a writer? Yes, absolutely! I took the basic writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. I have also taking workshops at conferences and online workshops as well. I also learn a lot from the members of my critique group and the members from the writing originations I belong to.

Now I teach what I’ve learned to others starting their careers as writers at conferences, workshops and for my local state college.

What type of books do I mostly write? I tend to write picture books and YA novels (fantasy and mystery/adventure). I would like to branch into YA romance and memories down the road. I have also played around with a book idea for adults that would be more historical fiction.  

Do my children inspire any of books, characters, or plots? My whole family inspires my storylines. I don’t think I have written many stories where the main plot didn’t come from a real family story. I’m lucky to have a family (both my dad and mom’s extended family) who has passed stories down through the generations. I have a grandma who is really into family history. Oh, the stories she can tell you about my great-great uncle or grandfather. But even my mom, dad, stepfather, stepmom, sisters, brother, husband and kids have enough stories to help inspire me…not to mention my own life.

Is there anything else I would like to share with you about being a “Writing Mama”? Always, that is the main reason for this blog. LOL. No really, I want to say keep writing, asking questions of those you admire and don’t give up when times get hard. Take a break if you need to restart your muse and writing juices, but never give up. I’ve put my personal writing on hold many times. I have even put my company (SFC Publishing) on hold to rest and refocus. There is nothing wrong in saying I need a break, but never give up if this is truly what you want to do. Writing is tough, but the rewards (beyond money) is seeing something you created enjoyed by others.

Now it’s your turn to fire some questions my way. 

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Stories for Children Publishing will be touring award-winning author VS Grenier and her book, “Babysitting SugarPaw a picture book about friendship and telling the truth all month long in June 2011.

You can find out more about VS Grenier’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/BabysittingSugarPaw.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with VS Grenier and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth chatted about Grenier’s picture book, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours.The show aired live June 6, 2011. You can listen on demand at the World of Ink Network site at http://www.blogtalkradion.com/worldofinknetwork

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit Stories for Children Publishing at: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com

8 comments:

  1. Hi, Virginia,

    Being a full time mom and doing so much in the writing and book marketing world, how much of your writing/marketing work do you delegate to others, if any?

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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  2. What writers inspire you to write?

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  3. Great question Karen. I do all my marketing myself unless I'm part of virtual tour. Then the tour coordinator will do a lot of the PR. I have paid to have some marketing done for my book, Babysitting SugarPaw to help create buzz, but I do all my media releases, social networking, etc myself in the late or early hours of the day.

    My freelance editing I do of course myself, but at SFC Publishing, I'm blessed to have a volunteer team helping with submissions, copyediting, artwork, book reviews, hosting tour guests, etc.

    I will say I spend about 65 percent of my time marketing or overseeing the responsibilities I do delegate out at SFC.

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  4. What Writer's inspire? Another great question. I'll have to say first even though I write for children and teens, I do read a lot of horror and adventure books in the adult genre. I'm a big Stephen King fan. I've read most of his books and have seen all his movies. I would one day love to write in this genre, but won't until my kids are all grown.

    I'm also a big James Patterson fan. He writes for the YA market too and his stories are so interesting.

    In the children's world, I'm a fan of Brandon Mull, James Dashner (both I've met and have chatted with), Rick Riordan, Rick Walton, Dr. Suss, Shel Silverstein, Mary Pope Osborne, Tolkien (The Hobbit is my favorite over Lord of the Rings) and Cornelia Funke are the authors I tend to read the most.

    These authors also write the way I do and would like to write so I read their books not only as a fan, but also to hone my writing and to help find my voice in the same genre.

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  5. Hi Virginia! Here's an easy question. What are your favorite snack(s) and drink(s) to fuel your writing sessions? ";o)

    www.bethbencereinke.com

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  6. I don't eat when I am writing. I actually forget to eat because I'm so busy and my mind isn't on food. Really bad I know. My hubby has to come get me to make sure I eat or the kids if I'm plugging along will ask me, "What's for dinner?"

    Really bad I know.

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  7. Great interview. Have you done any school visits? Have you done any readings/book signings at libraries?

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  8. Sorry Susanne that I'm just now getting back over here to reply. Been a busy couple of days at my house.

    Okay, to answer your question, I have down a couple of school visits locally. I've been asked to do a lot of school visits on the East Coast and as much as I wanted to go...it was right after I had my baby girl so I couldn't make the trip with a newborn at home. I didn't feel right about that. The visits I've done at home have been lots of fun and have led into me now teaching for Dixie State's College Community Ed program both for adults and children interested in learning how to write a book.

    Hopefully, I'll do more school visits this coming year and beyond now that my children are a bit older and I can travel more.

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