What goes on inside the writerly mind?
Let’s sit down with the first of our two Word Weaver Writing Contest 3rd place winners, Victoria Clapton, and find out.
Southern-born Victoria Clapton is no stranger to writing. She completed her first book of poetry at age eight and her first novel at age thirteen. Multilingual, friend to all creatures, (and in particular, especially a friend to cats in need of rescue), Victoria is a forever curious world traveler with a mysterious knowledge of things and places that encompass many lives ago, an avid collector of saga books, a practicing vegetarian and yogini with her feet well balanced in earth’s splendor. She and her cat companions enjoy all things Viking, faery, vampire, new writing instruments, herbology and anime.
DAN: Did you write your story for the contest or was it part of a larger piece or something you had written before?
VICTORIA CLAPTON: I wrote Excavation Murder specifically for the contest. Usually, I write paranormal fiction, and I jumped at the chance to try something new and expand my horizons.
Tell us about your writing process. What is the journey from idea to published piece /completed story?
When an idea comes to me, I scribble down a few notes, and then I stew on it for a little while. I am a huge nature lover, and often, my ideas form fully while I’m outside among the trees. From there, I write it out — yes, long hand. My process is slightly redundant. I write it out long hand, and then I type it chapter by chapter. This really helps me polish the story.
Where do you do your writing?
Everywhere. My favorite place to write is beneath a willow tree on my property, but over the years, I have mastered the art of being able to stop anywhere that I am, in order to get an idea written down.
Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
Becoming a full-time writer is my ultimate goal. In the meantime, I simply want to continue to grow my audience.
What helps you the most when it comes to writing?
Music. The right music can keep my focused and in the writing zone for long periods of time.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two projects, a children’s book, which is only in the beginnings stages, and a paranormal fiction stand-alone novel. As more and more readers pick up the Binding trilogy, they have asked me to give them more of the side characters. So, currently, I am working on just that, beginning with Zylphia Lynum’s story. Once again, the story takes place in my beloved New Orleans. However, Zylphia’s story is quite a bit darker than that of the Vampire King and Queen’s in The Binding.
There are a lot of writing contests out there. What drew you to this one?
I wanted to write something new.
How did you hear about our contest?
Anne Marie Andrus, author of Monsters and Angels, shared the info on this contest with me.
I’ll have to thank her. THANKS, ANNE MARIE!
Have you ever entered a writing contest before?
No, this is definitely a first for me.
Will we see you again in the next Word Weaver Writing Contest, if there is one?
Yes, this has been a lot of fun, and I have learned quite a lot.
Did you know the piece you submitted was special?
No. I tried to blend a little mystery, horror, and humor together and hoped it would be special.
What’s next for you?
I am going to finish up the two projects I’m working on, and then I will begin one of the others that I have waiting in the back of my mind.
What was Dan’s critique process like?
Critiques are never easy. However, Dan’s critique was an unexpected pleasure. His advice and suggestions were extremely helpful, and several times, his comments even made me laugh. Overall, it was a really good experience.
Do you hate cats?
Ha! I am the Great Cat Emancipator, or so my inner circle calls me. Far from hating cats, I love them. I rescue them. In fact, I have four, erm five, cats at home. But my house is an equal opportunity household. I also have a rescued Akita!
What makes you so damn interesting anyway?
My degree is in Commercial Spanish and International Studies, but I am a great lover of all languages and history in general. Why is that interesting? I speak and even write in a strange mixture of Spafrenglish with a tiny bit of Irish Gaelic, Hindi, and Japanese thrown in for fun. Imagine what my first drafts look like…it is gobbledygook. However, my obsession with world culture adds a lot of color to my stories.
You have a blog. How did that start?
My blog, Tea Leaves, Travels, and Tapestried Tales, began with the need to have a space to keep my readers updated on what’s new with my books. The blog evolved when I received several requests to share pictures from trips I’ve taken. So now, it is also the place where I share my experiences and tidbits of my traveling adventures.
Gang, join me in congratulating Victoria for a terrific story!
Here’s where you can read more of her work: