Hello, friends! This morning I had the honor of being interviewed by acclaimed author Eileen Troemel for Ava’s Avid Readers. Here… is that interview!
Eileen Troemel Welcome Virginia! Thank you for joining me today! What genres do you prefer to write in?
Virginia Wallace Hm… I started in horror/dark fantasy. But over the years I kind of figured something out: I just love to write. I’ll tell ya any story you want!
Eileen Troemel I’m not a fan of horror but it fascinates me what other people like. What draws you to the genre?
Virginia Wallace I think fear – like love – is a core feature of the human psyche. There’s something cathartic about turning fear into entertainment. Notice that most popular folk tales have an element of darkness to them.
Eileen Troemel Most fairy tales started as stories of caution – don’t go into the woods, beware the wolf, and so on. What type of horror or dark fantasy do you prefer? Are your female characters spraining their ankles for the bad guys to get them?
Virginia Wallace lol… NO!!! I avoid clichés like the plague. And yes, the pretty girl spraining her ankle so she can be easily mutilated is a TOTAL cliché! Notice the pretty girl always runs upstairs, too, instead of out the front door and down the street…
Eileen Troemel Good to know. Are you a thriller type or the gore type of horror?
Virginia Wallace Both!
R.M. Olivia Are you inspired by locations?
Virginia Wallace Very much so. My stories tend to be set in places I’ve been, so I can create a compelling setting. When I set a scene in a place I’ve never been, I look at lots of pictures. I started out as an artist, so the visual elements of a story are very important to me.
Eileen Troemel You say in your bio you’re nomadic – how many states / countries have you lived in?
Virginia Wallace I was born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay, in southeastern Virginia, USA. I spent years freezing in the upper midwest, and a few more in the mountains of New England. As far as other countries go, I’ve only been to Canada.
R.M. Olivia Yes!!! Mountain men with sexy beards and built bodies here we come!
Virginia Wallace Too funny, Olivia!
Eileen Troemel After the pandemic is done, are there places you’d like to travel to that you haven’t been to?
Virginia Wallace I have a sneaking suspicion that the current state of affairs is about to blow the world slam up. But I’d love to see Scotland, Ireland, and rural England. That’s where my ancestors are from, and where a lot of my favorite stories are set.
Eileen Troemel Those are on my list too. My fantasy is to write in an Irish cottage for six months…. Do you have a writing fantasy get away?
Virginia Wallace Honestly, no. Writing is how I escape my day to day life. If I visit somewhere wonderful, I generally don’t feel like writing. I mean, why escape from an escape?
Eileen Troemel very true…
Virginia Wallace I have a feeling that the best way to get me to write would be to throw me in jail!
Eileen Troemel What inspired your Cowboy Desire story?
Virginia Wallace That’s a good question… when the call for submissions went out, I kind of ignored it. My initial thought was ‘who the hell do you think I am, Louis L’Amour?’ So when I came around and decided to do it, I only had about a week. I shot for science fiction, since that’s one of my favorite genres and, oddly, one that I’d never written before.
Eileen Troemel How did you find writing in the new to you genre?
Virginia Wallace To be honest with you, it’s my favorite short. I think the fact that I had to pull the trigger on it so quickly actually made it better. I simply did not have the luxury of over-thinking it.
Eileen Troemel That’s always good when you’re writing. Is your story set on earth or a different planet?
Virginia Wallace It’s set in Montana… somewhere that I’ve never been, so yep, I had to look at LOTS of pictures!!!
Eileen Troemel Beautiful state! And a great setting for a cowboy story. Care to share a little about the story?
Virginia Wallace I always cringe at that question, because I’m never sure how much to say before I drop a spoiler! But it’s about a lovely young lady who’s struggling with both relationship issues and a crippling medical condition. And yes, R.M. Olivia, there is indeed a sexy, sweaty cowboy!
Eileen Troemel Have you read Louis Lamour? Did his iconic western writing influence you at all?
Virginia Wallace I’m kinda blushing now… No, I’ve never read Louis L’Amour.
Eileen Troemel Try his Haunted Mesa – I found it scary and not able to be put down…
Eileen Troemel Are you a plotter or are you a pantser?
Virginia Wallace A bit of both, I think. My shorts are VERY off the cuff. My full length novels begin with a finished ending and a loose outline, and then I write towards the ending. I adjust the outline periodically as my characters meddle with my story line.
Eileen Troemel Characters can be troublesome! Do you have a favorite character across your writing?
Virginia Wallace I do. He’s a tragic figure, a conquering anti-hero known to his people as ‘The Dark One’. But that book is down the road, so SH! It’s a secret.
Eileen Troemel Have any of your characters changed the ending of your story?
Virginia Wallace Oh dear god, yes. Some of my characters tend to be bomb-throwing anarchists. I GOT YER PLOT RIGHT HERE, LADY!!! KABOOM!!! HAHAAA!!! WHEEE!!!
Eileen Troemel Does that make the ending better?
Virginia Wallace Better? No, just different. But I’m all about the perfect ending. If you don’t stick the landing, your story becomes forgettable no matter how good the rest of it was.
Eileen Troemel Agreed!
Eileen Troemel Are there any genres you want to write in that you haven’t?
Virginia Wallace After ‘Orion’, no. I think I’ve pretty well hit ’em all! I honestly never saw myself as a romance writer!
Eileen Troemel What genres do you avoid? Why do you avoid them?
Virginia Wallace I don’t do erotica. Some of my stories have sex scenes because sex is a natural part of life, but I don’t like being gratuitous. I don’t want my reader turning the pages again and again going oh look, they’re screwing… yep, screwing again… uh-huh, yep, still screwing…
Eileen Troemel What are you currently working on?
Virginia Wallace Right now I’m in full-blown ‘production mode’. I helped launch ‘Cowboy Desire’ a couple weekends after my solo novel ‘When the White Knight Falls’ went on pre-sale, and in the middle was the author proofing of WtWkF. My novel ‘The Angel and the Beast’ is in edits now with a hired editor, and when the dust settles on that one its prequel ‘The Children of Apep’ is ready for edits. Whew!
Eileen Troemel You have been busy!
Virginia Wallace I’m playing catch-up, honestly. I spent years writing with very little effort going into seeking a publisher. I just got discouraged by all the rejection emails, you know? But it only takes one person, one publisher who actually gets you and likes your work… and then it’s off to the races!
Eileen Troemel Did you consider self publishing?
Virginia Wallace I self-published for several years… but that’s exhausting, and often expensive. Plus I need editors and proofreaders. I’m a storyteller, not an English professor!
Eileen Troemel What’s your favorite part of writing?
Virginia Wallace Hm… I love the writing part. But what I love best is going back and polishing the story. Finding the PERFECT word instead of just a good word. Tweaking everything until it’s absolutely flawless!
Eileen Troemel That’s wonderful.
Eileen Troemel How much time do you spend writing? Do you have a routine?
Virginia Wallace No. Remember what I said about bomb-throwing anarchists? Where d’you think my characters got that? That having been said, I’m a TOTAL workaholic!
Eileen Troemel Well our time is up – thank you so much for joining me today! Please share how people can follow you.
Follow me on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100051882828372
On Twitter at @VirginiaKWalla1
On MeWe at https://mewe.com/i/virginiawallace1
On LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginia-wallace-63b2731b1/
Or follow my blog at www.virginiawallace.com
TO ORDER EILEEN TROEMEL’S BOOKS: https://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Troemel/e/B00JL4OXLS?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000