Friday, April 6, 2012

CHRW Meet The Member:

Victoria Roberts

How long have you been a member of Celtic Hearts?
I’ve been a member of CHRW for approximately three years now. This is a great chapter with a wealth of information. I couldn’t ask for a better clan.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point in your life, and the details about your upcoming releases.
My career has truly been a Cinderella story. My first manuscript took me three years to write. No kidding! During that time, I had experienced the normal growing pains. You know—point of view, discovering my voice, hooks, synopsis hell *clearing throat* writing, and all of that fun stuff. I had finally reached a point where I asked myself, “Are you going to do this or not?” Once I answered that question, I told myself, “Then get off your arse and do it!”

I think one of the biggest obstacles we face as writers is ourselves. Getting over the many phases of self-doubt is indeed the hardest task we must accomplish. Without some shred of self-confidence, we ultimately fail. And failure is not an option. With that thought in mind, I took a risk and sent my first baby off to our own Celtic sister, Eliza Knight. From there, I was able to polish and ultimately complete my manuscript with Eliza’s critique and expert words of advice.

Feeling just a wee bit overzealous, I entered a contest with the publisher of my dreams. And it turned into a nightmare. Although the publisher did not question my story content, I was pummeled on my hook—or lack thereof. What separates me from the other authors? What makes this story different? Why would I buy this? I bombed. For three days, my family avoided me like the plague. My CP (critique partner) wanted to kill me. And I was literally hanging on by a thread. It came down to one question. “Am I a quitter?” Refer to paragraph two.

Low and behold, one month later, the same publisher had another contest. Some may say I’m a glutton for punishment. I did not think twice and jumped in—head first. I entered. I won. And I will never forget the publisher’s words, “Victoria, I love your voice! Send me a full!”

After several months of checking my e-mails about ten times a day, the moment I had waited for finally arrived. My jaw dropped and I believe for a brief time my heart even stopped. Not only was the publisher interested in my manuscript, but I was asked to pitch the series!

Hold onto your hats. On a Friday, I e-mailed seven agents. Within fifteen minutes, one of them e-mailed and asked me to submit a full. On Monday, I received a call from the same agent and she offered to represent me. Last April, I signed with Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Two weeks later, Jill landed a three book deal with Sourcebooks. Whew! *wiping brow*

How did I manage to accomplish that? Determination. Perseverance. And several shots of Crown Royal.

Temptation in a Kilt, the first book of the Bad Boys of the Highlands series will be available from Sourcebooks Casablanca in September 2012. The second book of the series is scheduled for release in spring 2013.

In what genre do you prefer to write and why?
I love to write Scottish historical romance. Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt wielding a broadsword? Except maybe our Celtic brothers!

In all honesty, strong alpha-males fighting for a cause, finding a single chance to love… With such brutality in that day and age, love is the light at the end of the tunnel. Between the Vikings, English and clan wars, Scottish history provides a fine backdrop for a steamy romance. Don’t you think?

Who are some of your favorite authors?
This question always gets me into trouble because there are so many wonderful authors out there, some of them here in CHRW. There is no easy answer and since I’m afraid I’ll forget someone, how about I tell you which authors inspired me to start writing?

In no particular order: Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning, Hannah Howell, Janet Chapman, James Patterson, Brenda Joyce, Sabrina Jeffries, Nora Roberts, Celeste Bradley, Steven King—just to name a few!

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
LOL. When I’m not working full-time at the day job or running the kids around, I enjoy strolling around antique stores and seeing what catches my eye. I’ve always favored historical oddities. Sometimes when you find something of interest, you can’t help but wonder what the story is behind the item. It can be somewhat magical if you think about it.

Share 7 fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1. I met Freddie Prinz Jr. and could not utter a single word. And I’m not even a fan!
2. I chatted with Star Jones while waiting in line for the bathroom at a restaurant.
3. I managed to tick off Holly Robinson Peete. True story! Ask my Mom!
4. I am a huge KISS fan.
5. I own a custom Ace Frehley Les Paul guitar with Marshall amp that KICKS ARSE! Derek knows! *grunting like Tim, The Tool Man, Taylor*
6. I have a Scottish fetish and I’m not even Scottish. (Although, I am not ruling out past lives!)
7. My bedroom is adorned with four swords, four daggers, an iron Celtic cross, a golden-bejeweled crown and many other items to inspire me. Oh, yes. And my husband. ;-)

Thank you so much for having me. Happy Friday everyone!


Victoria Roberts said...

Many thanks to the clan for having me!

Chicks of Characterization said...

It was great GETTING TO KNOW you better Victoria!

What a ride you've had!!!

I have to admit, self doubt is one of my BIGGEST obstacles as well. :(

Just have to keep pushing on!

ah, Scotland, don't we all just love it!!

I love cruising the antique stores too!

Wishing you the best of luck with your Bad Boys series!! Can't wait to read them all!!!

Andrea :O)

Maeve said...

Wonderful interview, Victoria! Best of luck with the series but I know you're not going to need it.


Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Victoria! Great to get to know a wee bit about you. Self-doubt is a killer. Your perseverance is an inspiration. Good luck with the Bad Boy of the Highlands series. Looking forward to it hitting the stands.

Victoria Roberts said...

Thank YOU, Andrea! I love getting to know my Celtic sisters. And you're right. Push on and NEVER give up your dreams.

Victoria Roberts said...

You're far too kind, Maeve. I still have to find the fine line between confidence and humility.

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Dawn! Thanks for stopping by. I do think it all boils down to believing in yourself and never giving up. I keep reminding myself that not everyone is going to like what I write. It's a given. But I know I make my family verra proud and that is worth all of the blood, sweat and tears.

Renee Vincent said...

This was my favorite: My bedroom is adorned with four swords, four daggers, an iron Celtic cross, a golden-bejeweled crown and many other items to inspire me. Oh, yes. And my husband. ;-)

I love that you have swords in your bedroom! I so want a sword and some chain mail!!! Are we nuts? hahaha

Great to meet you Victoria!

Victoria Roberts said...

I don't think we're nuts, Renee. My husband used to shake his head until he asked his interior decorator friend to come over and take a look at something. When he showed the woman our bedroom, her mouth dropped and she said, "I love it! Honestly, I couldn't have done it better myself. You know you could take this theme thoroughout your entire house..."

Yep, that's the first time I saw my husband at a loss for words.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I read your last comment to my hubby who is now shaking his head and mumbling. I can't see anything wrong with swords (the longer the better) adorning your rooms, Victoria. I rather like the idea of having means of protection wherever you happen to be in the house. Could you imagine someone breaking in and seeing you standing there ready to protect your castle??!

Loved getting to know you better. You know how perseverance got me to the same place as you. It must come with the writing genes because it certainly takes a lot of 'never giving up' to survive the business of writing.

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Paisley! Let your husband shake his head. I know mine secretly loves it. He only pretends he doesn't to torture me. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Pat McDermott said...

Love the bedroom decor, Victoria. I have a similar "shrine" in my office, though Irish-themed. Copper sculptures of High Kings, brass currachs rowed by saints, various Celtic crosses and calendars, and we mustn't forget the fairy statues. Good for you for surrounding yourself with inspiration - including the old fella! Great interview.

Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks, Pat! Every now and then we all need a little inspiration. ;-)

Alexa said...

Yay, Victoria! Good for you for sticking with it and succeeding! I can't WAIT for the Bad Boys of the Highlands!

Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks, Alexa! Have a great weekend!

Eliza Knight said...

I love your bedroom and I haven't even seen it!!! Got to get some swords and daggers! lol That is too cool.

I am so proud of you, Victoria! This has been an amazing journey for you, and I can't wait to see your books on the shelves. Keep up the fabulous work my dear!


Victoria Roberts said...

Thank you so much, Eliza! I could have never done it without your help! You'll have to look in the Acknowledgements for Temptation in a Kilt. Rumor has it, you have a spot. ;-)

derekd said...

Sorry I'm late to the party. An Ace Frehley LP? That's great! I also love your choice of bedroom decore, though all those blades in the bedroom makes me wonder what you guys are up to. *snickers*

I am so happy for you, Victoria. Congrats again on your contract with Sourcebooks. Temptation will be on my Kindle as soon as it's available. Have a great weekend.

Victoria Roberts said...

Hey, Derek! Thanks for stopping by. It is kinda funny when the dh and I have the bedroom door closed and my son asks, "Were you swordfighting again?"

Thank you again for the support. It is much appreciated.