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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Author Interview: Vicki Hudson

Today I am pleased to present to you all the 66th in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the World Of Warcraft loving, Vicki Hudson,  and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Vicki:  A collage of ideas stuck on the wall with many cubbyholes for bits and pieces of works in progress.

Paul: What is a typical day for you?
Vicki:  I'm a mom, getting the kids taken care of runs much of the day. When the baby naps or the toddler is in preschool, then I get time to work. What the work is varies from reading books I review, marketing as an indie author, contributing to the writer community, and writing for a project in process.

Paul: Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Vicki:  In my novel in progress, The Republic, I think my favorite supporting character is the son of the lead character. He's a young man working on the cusp of history and takes a dare that leads to unimaginable consequences.

Paul:  In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Vicki:  Be prepared if self-publishing. Do the research, invest in a good cover and book designer, good editor AND copyreader, and once you think you know enough, learn more. And when you proof the manuscript you get back - proofing includes the table of contents. I didn't and ended up with 600 copies of my book that couldn't be sold. I sometimes give them away marked as Galley Proofs.

Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Vicki:  When baby naps, kid is at preschool, the family is asleep - I grab time when it shows up unexpectedly. I work on writing when not writing by percolating and incubating ideas in my head. Sometimes I even write them down on anything I can find.

Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Vicki:  Why would I not want you to tell the readers something? Ummmm.....I can go days and never leave the house.

Paul:  If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Vicki:  I wanted to get No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique out in the world and self-publishing was far faster than traditional.

Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Vicki:  With all my writing, fiction or nonfiction, I let the story lead me on. With a novel I'm working on, the story takes me so far, then I incubate it a bit, then it takes me farther down along the journey. I know where it will end up, the middle is still baking.

Paul:  Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Vicki:  I write the first draft without much editing so the story will get out beginning to end. I then put it through numerous revisions, especially longer pieces. I can however write an essay that is pretty close to complete in one sitting if I needed to do so. I am that person many people hated in school because writing was never a chore.

Paul:  Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Vicki:  Somewhat depending the topic. With my development as a writer that writes about more than what I know, research becomes important.

Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it.
Vicki:  No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique provides writers with tools and techniques for critique in a workshop or other setting, recommendations for considering a writing group and suggestions for ensuring a group runs well. No Red Pen helps the writer develop effective skills as a critique partner, one on one or in a group.

Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Vicki:  Several years ago I was asked to devise a workshop for the San Francisco Writers Conference about critique. I partner with another author and we have conducted that workshop now for several years.

Paul:  Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Vicki:  I write it all. I currently have two poetry manuscripts in process, a novel in process and a narrative nonfiction collection of essays in final stages. Each is described at

Paul:  Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
Vicki:  I do enter, often. I would recommend emerging writers enter the competition I sponsor annually that provides a registration scholarship for the winner to attend a writers conference. Details at Odds of winning about 40:1, now in its 7th year or so.

Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Vicki:  I do some most every day. Keeping my web site up to date, on twitter and seeking out opportunities.

Paul:  What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Vicki:  My favorite aspect is when I am greeted with "Are you -" and the person has read No Red Pen and it made a difference for them. The least is all the self-marketing I have to do. I just want to write! I remember when I really got that I had to be more than the author, I was everything, especially the marketer - that was a gotcha moment of surprise.

Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Vicki:  I play World of Warcraft, a Shaman Tauren is my main, and a Dwarf Rogue is my favorite alt. I am also an urban gardener and known to rescue feral cats.

Paul:  Thanks, Vicki. I wish you every success for the future.

About Vicki Hudson: Vicki Hudson writes narrative essay, poetry, fiction and flash. Her book No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique was independently published in January, 2012. She retired in December, 2012 after various occupations and 33 years in the Army Reserves. Currently, she is working on two poetry collections, Gun Control - Narrative, prose and found poetry collection exploring guns and violence in American culture and society, and the second Other Mommy - Narrative and prose poem poetry collection exploring the experience of the non-biological mother in a same gender parented family. Find her recent work in Bay Laurel (2012), and forthcoming in Bluestem, Adanna, and American Athenaeum Literary journals.

Vicki's Website: Vicki Hudson
Vicki on Twitter: @vickigeist
Vicki on Facebook: Vicki Hudson
Vicki's latest book: No Red Pen - Writers, Writing Groups & Critique (Amazon)

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