Interview with Victoria Pope

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a little upper-middle class town outside Montreal, QC. The stars shone bright and the summer nights were filled with the sounds of crickets. There was no public transportation so we couldn't go into the city any time we wanted which meant that during the summer vacation, when I wasn't working or swimming, I would be reading. My sister and I would have competitions to see who could finish the most books by the end of the summer. If you're wondering what kinds of books we read, then you clearly don't know the minds of bored teen-aged girls! ;)
When did you first start writing?
When I was maybe 10 years-old I wrote fan-fiction stories about the different boy-bands or actors I was into (so embarrassing to think about now!) and obviously in high school and college I did some creative writing. When I went to film school I was able to tell stories in a different way which I found to be a great exercise (and a lot of fun!). But it was only the summer of 2012 that I really got serious with it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind The Mercenary is actually a little strange. I had been writing another saga (a three-part series) that I had been working on for over a year. I was in a bit of a rut with it and I decided to take a break and write something completely different as an exercise in control. (I do have a tendency to go off on a tangent...)

In the end, it all came together better than I could have imagined!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have too much experience in working for businesses that put up barriers and glass ceilings. I chose to be an indie author because I think it's important for people who spend a lot of time and effort on creating something to be able to do what it is they dream of doing without any limitations.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing is being able to entertain the reader.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Karen Marie Moning, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Sophie Kinsella, Christina Lauren, Alice Clayton, and the very misplaced, Robert Ludlum.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Whenever I want to find a new book to read I search by genre and by top rated, or most of the time, I will click on the "Recommended For You" button on my e-book desktop program. It has led me to some great stuff!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now I have a KOBO which has served me well over the past few years and I will probably use it until it drops dead. After that, who knows?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I have a spare moment, I like to read, watch movies, go shopping, and hang out with friends.
What do you read for pleasure?
I mostly read action and romance. I think it's pretty normal to write what I love to read. I do however get into the occasional history, self-help, lifestyle, wellness and autobiography. What I DON'T read are book with sad endings. I read Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres when I was 19, was depressed for months afterwards, and have been sticking to happily-ever-after ever since.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, it looks like you really need to get your name out there, whether you're pounding out tweets, spreading your brand through social media, and I think most importantly, getting reviews! But it's obviously a very slow process.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Without Smashwords I'm sure I would be drowning in rejection letters. It has given me the freedom to write what I want and when I want, and being able to do everything from start to finish in the publishing process makes me feel that I really worked for it.
What are you working on next?
I am working on finishing a comedy I started in the summer. It's going to be interesting to finish because a lot of circumstances and relationships in my life have changed drastically since I started and I'm curious to see if the reader will catch on to that.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Rent
What is your writing process?
I think it's kind of important not to worry about process, to just put your fingers on the keyboard and write what's in your head before you lose it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think I wrote a lot of boy band fan fiction as a young awkward tween. I'm pretty cool.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't think many kids really read life-defining books or if they do, they're not able to articulate its impact on them. Maybe some read the bible and are spiritually enlightened in their youth, however that was not the case in my house as religion was not part of my upbringing. I do however recall getting into Nancy Drew as a kid. We had a huge collection of hardcover yellow books and I remember selling them in a garage sale for $2.00 - which I of course regret SO MUCH today. The Nancy Drew stories made me feel smart, I loved reading through the mysteries, and even though they were intended for a younger audience, some of the cover art really did frighten me. I also remember loving to read them because all the stories were set in the 60s or 70s. I haven't read them since, so my memory might be wrong, but I do remember feeling like time traveling, and it was really cool to escape that way.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is best left to the professionals. It's a good idea to find something close to what you're looking for and work from there. Colors, font, structure...it can change the buying power of your book because we all know that EVERYONE judges a book by its cover. So far I have used the wonderful services of Brandi at www.ebook-coverdesigns.com - she did Dark Secrets and Trials of War for me and I could not be happier.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I honestly can't even answer this. When I think about it, most of my favorites have to do with certain events in my life, so when I read them, they remind me of good times. For example, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Karen M. Moning books remind me of summertime and happiness. Robert Ludlum reminds me of cozy winter days. Dan Brown reminds me of my sister because she doesn't get his appeal, which makes me laugh.
What do your fans mean to you?
Just the fact that even ONE person has bought and liked my book means the world to me. If I have at least ONE fan, that means that I'm doing my job: that I'm a successful storyteller. But thank god I do have a little more than one.
Published 2015-11-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Unhinged Series
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 358,460. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
From the sapphire beaches of Indonesia to the rolling hills of Northern Scotland, the Unhinged Series sweeps you in a chaotic whirlwind rife with danger, action and steamy romance. Centered around a mob war that threatens to destroy Scotland, this series follows two young couples that are brought together by extraordinary circumstances and find love against incredible odds.
Trials of War
Series: Unhinged, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 121,010. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Separated only by an ocean, Ellie and Troy were worlds apart. He was in the South of France, hiding out with the enigmatic Kade family, and she was rehabilitating in New York: abandoned, alone and betrayed by everyone she knew. When fate put her back in his care she was faced with the reality that her family's treachery ran deep, and the feelings she had for Troy could outlast even death itself.
Dark Secrets
Series: Unhinged, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 123,820. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
When Ellie Reardon and her friends flew off to Scotland for a last-minute getaway, she didn't expect it would change her life forever. Caught in the clutches of a series of unfortunate events, Ellie must rely on the help of a tall, dark stranger to keep her safe... and to find her kidnapped boyfriend. But as she spends time with her fierce protector, dark secrets about her family reveal themselves
The Mercenary
Series: Unhinged, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 131,320. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Benjamin Kade is not the type of man who sticks out his neck for anybody – especially not the people he’s been meeting lately. Contracted to a mysterious island for five years, he has been mandated to interrogate criminals of the worst ilk – and torture is encouraged. But when beautiful and innocent Carys Munro lands in the chair, he must face his own demons and break all the rules to save her.