Interview with Virginia Renaud

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I think it was a story about a little girl who liked horses. I was in grade one.
What is your writing process?
I like to make lots of notes at first, to flesh out the story. As with my first novel, it was a lot of trips down memory lane, interviewing family members and piecing things together. For the book I'm working on now, I have the recollections of my husband to help me, so that's great. I can bounce ideas off of him and the two of us work well together. When I've got the basic story outlined, then I write the first chapter in full. After that, I will write the "important bits" as I see them that day, filling the margins with notes in red for more work, later. I also organize my "important bits" into chapters so it's easier to keep track of, later on.
How do you approach cover design?
I like to think about an image that will compliment the story. I don't go in for abstract art covers. That's not me. I prefer my cover art to be a photograph of something simple, that you might see anywhere. I also prefer to have people in it, as I find people fascinating.
What do you read for pleasure?
I write the same kinds of books that I like to read. Paranormal. But not vampires or zombies or stuff like that. I also enjoy Fantasy Fiction, because I love to imagine a world where magic is the norm. I absolutely love the David Eddings series' and wish there were more of them! I've read the entire collection many times. Another favorite of mine is the CAT WHO series by Lillian Jackson Braun. I have a Siamese cat myself ( or should I say he has me?) and I love how Ms. Braun has incorporated the personalities of this exotic breed in every story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have one of the earlier e-readers. A Sony. It is tried and true and never fails me. My family members all have different ones of course, but I like the near-paper-quality of each digital page. I sometimes catch myself trying to "turn" the page the way I would with a paperback!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am enjoying connecting with fans and promoting my book on social media, like Facebook and Twitter. It's great when HF fans ask me questions on there. I love questions! Especially when I know the answer. Lol. It's also been really great to have my book marketed as both an e-book in so many formats and in print via Amazon.
Describe your desk
OOh. Really? Okay, well my desk is a collection of three pieces of furniture. I like to sit inside of a horseshoe shape, and I NEVER have my back to the door. I have a throw pillow on the section of desk to my left where my Siamese cat sits. He warns people away when I'm seriously creating. I use a laptop, but when I'm really in the zone, I plug in an external keyboard and larger monitor. I use an external mouse, because I'm always doing things I didn't mean to when I use the touch pad on my laptop. Most of the time, my desk is covered in papers. These are my notes, and since I write them wherever I am, they can be on the back of a reciept, or on a dog-eared piece of fullscap or a tiny post-it note. While it certainly looks messy to anyone who happens to walk in (and gets yelled at by my cat) I have a system and understand the significance of each of those jealously-guarded papers. Then, about every two weeks, I spontaneously re-invent the whole thing and do a clean-sweep!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Langley, British Columbia, in farm and horse country. If you read my first book, you will learn a lot about how I grew up. This isn't some fictional story. Hauntingly Familiar really is about me and my life. I lived in that house in Langley from the time I was 9, until I was 13. For the sake of the story, I compressed those years so it wouldn't be 500 pages! I spent a lot of time outdoors and this is still where I find my inspiration. I had a natural wonder for the things I experienced, and I believe this is what made me want to be a Journalist.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A young couple, trapped by a huge mortgage and a growing family realizes that their brand new house is actually haunted. As the couple tries to come to grips with what this means, they are hit by another puzzling phenomenon: Their oldest child is diagnosed with Autism. The struggles this family faces as they try to navigate the ever-changing landscape of their lives is a roller-coaster of paranormal activity and puzzling Autistic behavior. The couple faces burn-out, marriage breakdown and unending stress, as the autism leaves them exhausted, while the insidious paranormal complications find them breathless with fear.
This is another book that is inspired by a true story.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords have given me the opportunity to share my words with people I ordinarily would never have met. I feel good that I have inadvertently helped many others deal with their own personal memories of paranormal activity. And likewise,this has been empowering for me too, as I learned more about myself and my perceptions than I ever would have been able to. Smashwords has allowed me to be myself.
Published 2013-11-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Possessions: A Paranormal Thriller
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 149,140. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
What happens when your dream home becomes a nightmare? Julie and Marc saved every penny and dreamed of owning the perfect home. When fate finally delivered, no one wanted to question it. But shortly after moving day, it became clear: someone else already lived there. Unknowingly, they'd stumbled into his trap. Read it at night, if you dare. Maybe leave the lights on ...
Hauntingly Familiar
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 122,650. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
The new house has lots of space, but it hides a big, dark secret. 6-year-old Bobby used to live there, but that was before the accident. Now, lost between two worlds, he clings to those who can see him: A young girl named Ginny and the dark spirit who found him the day his life ended. Ginny is terrified by the Nightmare Man, but Bobby is powerless to stop him. Has Evil come to take her too?