Interview with Viga Boland

Your latest addition to Smashwords, "LOVE HAS NO GENDER" is a real change for you. Why?
I've never considered myself much of a fiction writer. My forte is non-fiction, memoir. But as a writer, I need challenge, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's interesting to note, now looking at the story line, how much of my real life has colored the fictional story of "Love Has No Gender". It's based on a woman, the one I MIGHT have become if I hadn't gotten away from my abusive father. This woman is a spinster. She's been sheltered all her life but she's dying to really live and love. I suppose that was me all those years. Like me, she does find love but, unlike me, with someone she most likely would never would have chosen to love. You just have to read "LOVE HAS NO GENDER" to get that. And if you do, if you like what I did with the story, I hope you'll tell me about it by leaving comments here or on Amazon. After all, I'm offering it Free here. A review in exchange would be appreciated!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As much as anything, my age! I've been writing all my life, but never had time to pen an entire book. When I finally found the time, I was past my mid-60's! I thought about trying out publishers, but knowing it's not that easy to land a publisher, even when you have a book as engaging as NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER, for fear I might not live long enough to see the book in print, I decided to go it alone. My book was too important to those who needed to read it to wait years for a publisher to say "yes"!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Believing, and now knowing from the feedback I've received, that readers truly love my writing style and can't wait for the next book, even when I've just launched one 2 weeks prior! What a buzz! I also take great pleasure in having readers say that reading my book is like having a cup of coffee with me while I tell them a story. That's wicked!
Are any of your books based on something other than sexual abuse? If so, can you tell us about that one?
Sure! After 3 books focussed on incest, I've reached the stage where I need a break. Despite what happened to me, for the most part I'm a very positive person and I have a great sense of humor. I love laughing and making others laugh with me. So, I've also written a semi-memoir short book titled "THE LADIES OF LORETTO", based on the 4-5 years I spent as a student in a Catholic High School in the early 60's. This is a fun read and former classmates who have learned about the book love it. So did the school I attended when they learned I had written what is kind of a nostalgic tribute to their past. Loretto College School in Toronto actually held the book launch for me and have since invited me back, as part of their "Speaker Series" to address current students about becoming writers and what it means to have been a "Lady of Loretto". What fun!
What's the story behind your 2nd memoir?
In my latest book, LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF, I share 40 years of self-discovery and recovery from the child sexual abuse that I wrote about in my first memoir, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER. I didn't plan to write either book to be honest, but when I told my family about the abuse, after hiding it from everyone, including my husband, for over 40 years, my family encouraged me to write my story to help other victims. NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER, to my greatest joy, earned me a gold medal in the 2014 Readers Favorite Book Awards. But my fans wanted to know more! They wanted to know how I got over my past. So I wrote LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF.
What do your fans mean to you?
If it weren't for the fans, the odds are good I might not have even considered writing a second book, and now the third that I'm working on. They keep me motivated to write. Fans are invaluable. I dreamed all my life of writing books folks wanted to read. My fans now tell me that's what I do. One even told me last year that if my name is on a book, he's buying it. What a compliment! What more could I ask? Thanks to my fans, I've realized a life-long goal. How many people can say that?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life's too short to spend it sleeping!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been the answer to getting my book into the online distribution channels quickly. What they did in a week would take me months. I now facilitate memoir writing classes, and when it comes to eBook publishing, I push Smashwords services above all other means of getting ebooks to readers worldwide and quickly.
Who are your favorite authors?
Erma Bombeck; Margaret Laurence; Margaret Atwood; John Grisham
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Swimming, walking, reading, helping others write memoir, limited chatting on Facebook, blogging ...oops...blogging is writing ... and enjoying my family whom I love more than life itself.
What is your writing process?
First thing I get up, I put on a cuppa, grab my iPad to check email, news and weather, and then I turn to whatever project I'm working on. I'll write anywhere from 90-120 mins, pretty much non-stop. I believe in just letting the writing flow, unchecked. Mistakes, editing can all come later. I must admit, I often start by re-reading what I wrote the day before, sometimes making a few changes. I do that more to get myself in the mood and back on track. But once I start writing, I don't stop until hunger sets in and it's time for breakfast. That might be as late as 11am!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have several blogs on various subjects related to my writing themes, e.g.. I have a blog on incest and child sexual abuse at http://vigaland.blogspot.com and I have a personal blog, usually related to my activities as an author and also used to promote other writers on my personal website at http://www.vigaboland.com

My website is very comprehensive. Visitors can watch videos, including a very effective book trailer on "No Tears for my Father", or videos of me talking about my books during TV interviews and also during formal book talks. Doing book talks and facilitating memoir writing workshops for others at my local library has also been effective in getting the word out about my books. I make steady use of Facebook and Twitter, belong to several writers' groups on LinkedIn, and where I can, I participate in writing conferences and book fairs.

I'm also about to embark on something that might be an ambitious project but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm working on editing a new magazine titled "Memoirabilia" using the "bookwright" feature at http://www.blurb.ca This magazine will be geared toward those interested in writing their own memoirs. It'll contain tips, prompts, book reviews, and if I get them, submissions i.e. vignettes, anecdotes, poems, by other writers. I want to help others experience the joy and value of writing and publishing their memoirs. I really hope "Memoirabilia" takes off for their sakes and mine.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I loved writing compositions. During high school, I wrote lots of poems, and in the early years of my marriage, I wrote poems and articles and did a lot of book reviewing for various publications. I managed to win several awards for poetry and get articles published and one of my favourite writing achievements was being given the task ... actually a pleasure... of interviewing one of Canada's greatest women writers, Margaret Laurence. I have posted that interview, which I wrote in 1977, on my website. Interested readers can download the interview here: http://vigaboland.com/margaret-laurence-interview/
How do you approach cover design?
My husband has been a professional photographer most of our married lives. We have a gazillion photos. If I can find one that suits the covers of my book, I use it!
Published 2016-03-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Don't Write Your MEmoir without ME!
Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 50,300. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
(4.00)
An easy to read and motivational workbook/gulde to writing your memoir. Anything but a textbook, you'll come away believing, as the author's workshop participants have, that you too can a memoir folks will want to read. Written by Viga Boland, the author of 4 memoirs, including the Gold Medal winning, "No Tears for my Father", this book is cover to cover good advice and fun reading.
The Ladies of Loretto
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 35,020. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Education
A humorous memoir about what it was like to attend a Catholic girls High School in the 60's when the "Twist" was a sin, the Beatles were just becoming known, and President Kennedy's assassination shocked the world. Laugh and cry along with Heidi, who feels like a geek and often acts like one as she tries to fit in with the nuns' determination to turn teenage girls into "the ladies of Loretto".
Love Has No Gender
Price: Free! Words: 9,920. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sexual alternatives
Meet Dolores, as sad a figure as her birth name implies ie.. sorrow and suffering. A 50 plus, sheltered spinster desperate to experience life and love, she goes on a cruise where she meets James who is also looking for love. Can they make romance work given the secrets each carries and is afraid to tell the other? Find out as they discover each other in this short story with a timeless message.
Voice from an Urn
Series: No Tears for my Father. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 35,470. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Abuse / general, Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sexual pathology
(5.00)
Voice from an Urn answers the questions most frequently asked by readers of Viga Boland’s first memoir of incest, the gold-medal winning “No Tears for my Father”. There are no simple answers to "Did your mother know?" or "Why didn't she do anything?" But using her mother's own words and voice, Viga Boland brings her true story of childhood sexual abuse to a touching close to her gripping trilogy.
No Tears for my Father: Part 2: Learning to Love Myself
Series: No Tears for my Father. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,740. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Marriage
Learning to Love Myself is the continuation of the true story of incest told in the author's award-winning memoir, "No Tears for my Father". This book is not just a celebration of rebirth and recovery after abuse, but a love story: the love of a husband and wife; the love of children, and that love so important to healing: love of self.
A Steak & Potatoes Man
Price: Free! Words: 1,060. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Marriage
What do you do when the secret ingredient in hubby's meal is the last thing he wants in there and it's missing what he wants most?
The Day 36B’s Became 40D’s
Price: Free! Words: 970. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00)
At some point, your mother probably read you the story of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". Well this post-menopausal woman has her own version of a day like that that many senior women will relate to.
The Red & Black Boa
Price: Free! Words: 1,410. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Parenting / parent & adult child, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Useless forgotten and inexpensive items can have greater value than than those with a high price tag. A feel good story.
Bentley
Price: Free! Words: 1,540. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
(5.00)
A touching, true short story that relates an experience in Barbados back in the 70's that makes one realize how lucky we are in comparison to others
No Tears For My Father
Series: No Tears for my Father. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,720. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Child abuse, Nonfiction » True Crime » Family violence
(5.00)
Trapped in a web of deceit & confusion spun by her father from the age of 11, the author shares her true story of incest in the hopes that by coming out from under years of sexual abuse, other victims will be encouraged to do the same. This is an important, no-holds-barred book complete with graphic scenes and language because "that’s the way it happened and that’s how it must be told."