Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Writing With Betty: Interview With Violette Woods

For Betties on the FB page, our featured author is known as Betty Kat. I use pen names in my titles because I want each of the interviewees to feel like they could post a link to a professional page or Twitter account and have fans of their work know who the heck I'm talking to!

Violette was hesitant to be interviewed here since her work is far racier than anything we regularly consume at TUJD but I told her that as long as we dealt in euphemism and made our clear disclosures up front, that it would be totally awesome to talk to her. And Reader, it was.

Due to competing turban factions on the FB page,
Betty Keira was adept at dancing around tricky topics.

(Giphy)
What full-length novels have you published? Mostly self-published or traditional? Tell me a little about them.


Both of my novels, The Way to Their Hearts and Sweet Temptations, are listed on my Amazon page.  
My nom de plume is Violette Woods, and I’ll tell you a Bettys-only secret:  When I was searching for the perfect romance-author name, I was inspired by the bluebell wood in Heidelberg Wedding!


Do they all tend to share the same genre and Brighton-rating? (Now would be a great time to give readers your best Brighton euphemism. Example: “My books explore the Brighton suburbs but tend to avoid the downtown commercial district.”)


Yes!  My books are both categorized as MFM Menage by the publisher, Siren Bookstrand.  
They… provide full and in-depth group tours of Brighton’s biggest hotspots, complete down to
architectural details, with no euphemistic curtains left undrawn.
Betty Keira wondered if it was
fair to say they were on the warm side.

(Giphy)
There’s also a good thread of suspense going through them, because my second love after Romance is Mystery, and nothing keeps me turning pages like wondering where the bad guys will strike next!

True. Here is a snippet from her Amazon author page:

"She also loves Victorian-era novels, fantasy and science fiction, golden-age mysteries, and cozies - the kind of mysteries that feature cats, teacups, and occasionally recipes. She dreams of being summoned into a drawing room by a brilliant detective with a mustache, and asked if she has been wondering why he's called everyone there today."
It was obviously Veronica. He only had to figure out
how she hid the weapon in that skimpy sequined jumpsuit.
Certainly not in her bosoms. She hadn't any.

(Giphy)


What drew you to romance writing (or other genres if that’s where you also write) and is it your full-time work or do you have to find time to shove it into a schedule chock-full of other commitments?


I think I’ve always wanted to be a romance writer.  I started reading romance really early, and while
I read a lot of other genres, it’s always been my favorite.


I do have a day job, as well as a household to run, so I publish far less often than I would prefer.  
Fortunately, I have a loving and committed Mijnheer who also has a day job and an artistic dream
job (he’s a professional opera singer!) and we are really good at teamwork.


For those of you who are interested, he is six foot three, truly vast, and has a Dutch last name,
a version of which appears somewhere in the Canon.  And his hair is silvering. But I must point
out that he only drives a socking mid-size Toyota.


As does my Mijnheer. Fiscal prudence is my jam.

What’s the most fun part of writing and which part is the part that you would rather walk barefoot across a room full of Legos rather than start?


Starting a new work is the best part!  Finishing a novel is the hardest. I keep going back and
tweaking this and editing that, and second-guessing whether it’s ready or not.  


But pressing that Send button on the email that submits a manuscript to a publisher…  that’s
definitely the barefoot-over-Legos part. The doubts and worries really set in at that point.


Do you work with a community of writers--trade organizations, critique groups, press-ganged best friends--or do you prefer to work solo?


I definitely work solo.  I’ve tried collaborative writing, and I do a lot of it in my day job, but when it
comes to my romances, I’m best as a solo artist.


Who is your favorite character that you’ve written? If you could be that character’s get-a-grip friend, what would you tell them/warn them about? (I’m always wanting to tell Gold Medallist Rose Comely to slap on some flattering lipstick and un-do the uppermost button. She would follow none of my advice and still wind up with the man but I would feel like I’d gotten something off my chest.)


I’d have to say Sara, the heroine in my current WIP [work-in-progress], is my favorite so far.  
I’m still deciding how she’s going to face down her personal demons, but for a woman who begins
her story by being abandoned at a truck stop and manages to wind up in a happy-ever-after romance,
she’s doing pretty well for herself!

A runner-up would be Kris, my crafty and clever heroine from Sweet Temptations.  I don’t want to
give too much of her adventure away, but she is pretty brave when armed with nothing but yarn!  
Who among us hasn't taken out a hit man
with a well-timed stockinette stitch?

(Giphy)
I tend to insert the get-a-grip friend right into my books, so if you’re ever wondering what I would say to one of my heroines when she’s being stubborn or silly…  look no further than the next time she talks to Jill or Maria!


How do you introduce your work when you meet someone? Which book would you want them to try out first? (and why?)


Oh, gosh.  I tend to not mention it until I really get to know them.  I mean, who wants to know that
the nice co-worker in the next cube who bakes cookies also writes smut on the weekends?
Reader, I am the person who wants to know. I always want to know.

Who has been the most supportive person in your life, when it comes to your writing? What are your biggest obstacles?


Definitely Mijnheer is the most supportive person in my life, without a doubt!  He is always there for
me, and cares for me beautifully. Sadly, he is not a millionaire, or even a thousandaire…  but I am
a good cook and a thrifty housekeeper, and I am comfortable shopping at the American equivalents
of the British Home Stores.


I’d say my biggest obstacle is procrastination.  It’s so easy to say, “Oh, I’ll finish this crossword,
then I’ll start writing,” or “Let me get the chicken in the oven, fuss with the laundry, and then I can
start.” Keep that up, and you’ll never start.

Thank you again to Betty Kat!  

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