As you may have noticed, todays SATURDAY post is NOT the typical, SINGLE'S SATURDAY POST!! ;) Sorry, buuuuut you know ME, everything can be changed and moved around at any moment, I, MARY, sooooo chooses...Hee, hee!!! I decided to join a book tour from another blogger that I enjoy reading from. Buuuuuuuuut SHE IS single sooooo, there you have it, YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS WHILE YOUR SINGLE, LIKE WRITE AND PUBLISH BOOKS...Really, I admire that!!! On my list of life goals!!!
Soooooo let me introduce you all to Victoria Lyn, a conservative Christian young lady that just recently published her first book, London In The Dark!!! An exciting, adventurous, MYSTERY!!!
I came across Victoria's blog through her commenting on another blog I follow, Audio Theatre Central-You know, the guys that give us the scoop on Adventure's In Odyssey AND all things AUDIO DRAMA!!! Anywayz, being the curious person I am, I was like, I wonder who this chick is and clicked around until I came across her blog, Ruffles and Grace. I began following her posts and enjoying her writing. I admit THAT the other reason I've enjoyed following Victoria's blog is that she comes from a large family, she is one of 9 children, isn't that SO COOL?!?! There's ONLY five kids in MY FAMILY...HAHA!! Really, it's cool coming from a large family, I'm still holding out for my dream of one day being a mom of 7...hee, hee!!!
Anywayz, moving along, I joined her book tour and decided to do so by interviewing her, you know, I just LOVE asking people questions, but not just the typical questions, but THE THOUGHT PROVOKING our of the ordinary ones as well. I took several journalism courses in college and mastered the interviewing part, CALL ME THE QUESTION QUEEN, what can I say, I just LOVE knowing about people!!!!
Sooooooo Victoria, we're curious, tell the Classic Mary Moment readers some stuff...
1. How did the story "London In The Dark" begin to form in your mind?
It really started out as a particular thought of what it would be like to be the sister to someone like Holmes. And then a few scenes started in my mind and those spun into something so vivid, but I didn’t know what to do with them. I am not exactly sure what happened to give me the idea for the whole book, but it totally worked!
2. Have you ever been to London? If yes, how did this help you with writing this story? If not, was it hard writing in detail about a place you have never been?
I have not. I really want to go and am starting to stockpile cash. It was a little tricky, but the majority of what I have read in my life is historical fiction, and I LOVE watching historical movies and I am a huge history buff in general. So, I am pretty knowledgeable about historical things, so that wasn’t difficult, I did do quite a bit of research and found pictures of actual places in London as well as correlated certain locations with real locations. For instance, Clink Prison, London Bridge, and the particular train station in the book, as well as the Hospital are all real places. As well as Scotland Yard.
3. What are the tricks to mastering, writing a MYSTERY?
Ooh. That is a really tough question. Mysteries are hard. There is no way you can “wing it”. My one trick that I would say is making sure you have a well thought out outline before you start writing. That way, you can work out any kinks and make sure that it will all make sense. It doesn’t eliminate all of the fixing later, but it helped me a lot. I did the most comprehensive outline for this book than I have ever done before and I would say it really helped.
4. How did you overcome your greatest struggle in writing?
My greatest struggle in writing for years was actually finishing what I started. I always had these great ideas, but when the going got tough, I got distracted by other stories and would never finish them. Finally, I put my foot down and told myself I was going to finish stories. No two ways about it. They were hard, especially at first, but even if the ending was terrible, I was still determined that I finish them. I think that really helped me. And when the idea for London came along, there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it.
5. What training and teaching have you had in writing?
I was home-schooled and I have always loved to read and have always written. Writing is what makes a good writer. Just doing it I and doing it all the time and often. Being home-schooled, that really opened up opportunities and time for me that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. God has really gifted me with this time and opportunity to start putting my pen to more use than just for myself. I feel so honored by that. But, to answer your question, I have never really had any formal, or college classes in writing. I am mostly self-taught. I have done tons of research online, read books and read articles as much as I could.
6. Where were you when you first started writing this story?
My room, in bed. I actually did the majority of writing for London in my bed after everyone else went to sleep. I used a headlamp and a notebook and pen. I found it quite ironic that I wrote London in the Dark, mostly in the dark. :D
7. Who, outside of your own family and God himself, has had the greatest impact on your walk with God and how did they do so?
Hmmm. . . I know you said outside of my family, but I am closest to my family. We haven’t really had many close friends over the years. They have come and gone, but I would have to say my long-distance bestie and also author Julia Erickson. We are each-other’s prayer warriors and we talk all the time and are there for the other when we are having a bad day and just need a virtual shoulder to cry on, or someone to ask for prayer. I also have several older couples (even older than my parents) who have been very encouraging and faith-building in me and my family’s life.
8. What's your most embarrassing/awkward writing moment?
Oh boy. Most embarrassing? I have some embarrassing moments when I pronounce a word wrong. Those happen all the time because most of my vocabulary is learned from reading, so I don’t have anyone telling me how to say it. Why are there so many French influences in English? French makes so little sense phonetically. LOL! But other than that, I didn’t really find it embarrassing so much as I found it funny. I was working at a booth for our family business with customers buzzing all around when I was struck with an AWESOME idea for a story line. I literally gasped out loud, dove for a pen and paper and was mumbling and talking excitedly to myself while I scribbled furiously on my paper. I looked up and realized that I was getting some odd stares. :D
9. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
The blue or green color of peacock feathers. I am a huge fan of blue and green, and I feel like those shades describe my personality. I am pretty bright and cheerful, but I can also be very deep, sympathetic and calm. I enjoy both parts of being in the spotlight and the background. I like the middle ground there.
10. How does one go about the editing and publishing process if they would like to write a book themselves?
That is a LOADED question. There are so many details and facets that can be combined into this question and I am prayerfully considering doing a series of blog posts about how I went through the process with mine. My overall advice would be to think it through, be very purposeful with it, and make sure that your book is the best it can possibly be before you put it out there. There is quote that has been my main-stay throughout this whole process. I don’t remember who said it, but here it is: “Being a good writer is not about nailing it the first time. But it is about not giving up until it is polished to perfection.” Take your time, be okay with it taking a while. You want your book to be the best it can be before you have the pleasure of presenting it to the world.
Wow, thank you Victoria for sharing with us here at Classic Mary Moments! To all my readers, I just wanted to say that I am currently in the middle of reading this book and am completely enthralled by it! Although I am only on page 97, I can't put the book down! I am EVEN taking a break from my beloved At Home In Mitford series to read this book, which says A LOT, because, I LOVE that series and DO NOT WANT IT TO END!!! So thank you for giving me something else GOOD to read, i'm rather particular these days...hee, hee!!!
Nothing like cuddling up with a good, CLEAN, enthralling, captivating story that can be enjoyed to the younger or more mature audience, both to male and female!!! It may have been written by a lovely young lady, but it is definitely NOT just a chick flick! LOL
♥London In The Dark Summary♥
London, 1910 Budding Private Detective Cyril Arlington Hartwell has a conundrum. London is being ravaged by the largest run of thefts in recent history. His hunch that it is all tied together may put him and those he loves in more danger than he could have reckoned. Olivia Larken Hartwell is just home from boarding school for the summer anticipating time with her adoring parents. She misses her absent brother, Cyril, hoping for the day he will finally come home. But tragedy strikes, causing upheaval for all concerned and changes her life in a way she never could have imagined.
Olivia, Cyril, and their friends must bring the hidden to light, seek to execute justice, and dispel the darkness that hovers over London… and their hearts.
Are you ready for a GOOD READ?!?!
Purchase your copy of LONDON IN THE DARK HERE!!!♥Mary Frances :)