I think my self-published books are just as well-written and edited as my traditionally published books and I doubt most readers could tell the difference without looking up the name of the publisher for each title.
Beth Orsoff – 21 December 2012
The Back Flap
The saga of Alex and Gwen that started in the bestselling Vlad All Over continues . . . they can’t be together, but they won’t stay apart. Is there a happily ever after in Alex and Gwen’s future? Only the gypsies know for sure.
Alex and Gwen have set aside their animosity for the sake of their son. Joint custody requires cooperation, and they’ve mastered that—perhaps a little too well, at least according to Gwen’s new boyfriend, who’s less than pleased when Gwen agrees to spend the summer in Transylvania with Alex and the kids. Although it’s not as if Alex gives Gwen much of a choice—she only goes to Romania to avoid another bitter costly lawsuit she can’t afford. But Gwen’s visit is timely because the dispute over Dracula’s gold mine is coming to a head. And so is her and Alex’s future.
Author’s Note: Vlad to the Bone is the sequel to Vlad All Over, the world’s first gothic chick lit tale. What is gothic chick lit? You can find the answer here. While it’s possible to read Vlad to the Bone without reading Vlad All Over first, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’d be missing out on a lot of intriguing backstory.
About the book
What is the book about?
Vlad to the Bone (Vlad Book 2) is the sequel to Vlad All Over. It picks up two years after the first book ends and continues the storyline of Alex and Gwen’s ongoing relationship and further explores Gwen’s biological family ties.
When did you start writing the book?
I started writing the sequel book shortly after I finished writing the first book in the series.
How long did it take you to write it?
That’s a hard one to answer because I had to keep setting aside the sequel book to work on edits for the first book and some other projects. Had I written it straight through, the first draft probably would’ve taken me about two months. Then I edited the book on and off for several more months.
Where did you get the idea from?
When I started writing the first book in the series, I had no idea that there was going to be a sequel book. I’d only ever written standalone novels before. But about halfway through the writing of the first book I knew I would need to write a sequel because there was just too much ground to cover for one book. I view Vlad All Over and Vlad to the Bone as essentially one long book. It’s my epic Gone with the Wind.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
This book came very easily because I was thinking about it while I was writing the first book. I always knew what had to happen and how I wanted it to end. That said, one of the scenes I most hated writing was the courtroom scene—and I’m a lawyer! I think it’s because by that point in the story I was much more wrapped up in the relationship issues than the more plot-centric issues that I needed to resolve from the first book. Plus, after practicing law for almost twenty years, legal minutiae just doesn’t interest me much anymore.
What came easily?
The plot for Book 2 came much more easily than the plot for Book 1 because it was a matter of wrapping up all the plot points I’d left open in the first book.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
These characters are fictitious, but every writer borrows at least some character traits from people that author knows in the real world (and I’m no exception).
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
I read across genres and I always take note of a book I think is particularly well-written, whether it’s the fast-paced plot, the characters, or the writer’s ability to continually up the stakes. I’m always trying to figure out why certain things work and how to make those things work for me in my own writing. I don’t try to emulate other writers and I hope my voice is uniquely mine, but I do try to learn from other good writers.
Do you have a target reader?
My target reader is one who likes a story with romance, but isn’t necessarily looking for a romance novel where it’s all about getting the hero and heroine together and nothing else. And I think to enjoy my books you have to like strong-willed heroines who don’t always do the right thing (although they try). Think Scarlett O’Hara, not Melanie. And the heroes in my novels are much more likely to be Rhett Butler types than mild-mannered Ashleys.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I usually start doing a lot of research aka procrastination. Not that the research isn’t necessary—for my books at least, it is. But it’s also a great way for me to procrastinate J. Once I start writing the first draft I quickly become obsessive about it. My goal is to write at least five pages a day. At the beginning of a book that can be a real struggle for me, but later on I normally write seven to eight pages per day, and sometimes more.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
No, I don’t outline. I’m a “pantster” i.e. a by the seat of my pants writer.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
Before I start writing any new pages for the day I go back and re-read and tinker with the pages I wrote the day before. But I try not to do major revisions while writing the first draft. I save the serious editing for later drafts.
Did you hire a professional editor?
Yes, I hired both a professional developmental editor, and a separate copyeditor. I also utilize beta readers.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
No, I can’t listen to music while I write. It interferes with my ability to “hear” the characters tell their story.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I have an agent and she did read this book.
What made you decide to go Indie? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
My situation is a little more complicated in that I’m not a one or the other writer. Some of my books are traditionally published and some are self-published. For this series, the first book was traditionally published by Amazon Publishing. But because of their publishing schedule and the fact that I’m nine months pregnant, it was better for me to self-publish the second book.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did it you do it yourself?
I hire cover designers for all of my books. Although I always have input into the covers, I have no talent for creating a book cover from scratch.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
For this one I’m essentially winging it. I figure those readers who liked the first book will pick up the second book to find out what happens next.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Wow, that’s a toughie. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the indie route and the traditional route. I have a lot more to say on this topic in the “For Writers” section of my website.
Where did you grow up?
Where do you live now?
What would you like readers to know about you?
I know not everyone will like my books, but I always try to make each book the best it can possibly be, which besides writing many drafts, for me means hiring professional editors. I think my self-published books are just as well-written and edited as my traditionally published books and I doubt most readers could tell the difference without looking up the name of the publisher for each title.
What are you working on now?
At the moment I’m in the “research” aka procrastination stage on a new book. But I’m not planning on actually starting the first draft until after the baby is born and I’ve taken a few months of maternity leave.
End of Interview
For more, visit Beth’s website.