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.
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 Vickihudson.com
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 vickihudson.com. 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.
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)