This week’s interview features an author who is new to me and maybe a few of you also. I’m always in search of profiling new or undiscovered talent because I believe everyone deserves the spotlight, so without further ado, let’s get to know author Vivian Ward!
Musings of a Romance Junkie: I’m a huge IR romance fan, and one of the first things I always ask IR romance authors is why IR?
Vivian Ward: Several of my family members are in or have been in IR relationships, and it was always such a controversial subject outside of our family. Our family has never batted an eye at it but many people do, and that’s sad. When I look at people, I don’t see skin color because I see a person, and I thank my grandmother for that. My hope is that I can help educate people about IR relationships and portray real struggles that people face on a daily basis.
MRJ: Have you always wanted to be a writer, or did you just “stumble” into it?
VW: Funny that you asked that. I’m very much a social butterfly and love talking to people–I always have. Anyone in my family will tell you that once I start talking, I don’t stop. I actually have a medical background but when I was unable to work due to pregnancy complications, I started ghost-writing video descriptions for a few different companies and I really enjoyed it. After that, I started writing short stories and eventually dove into romance novels.
MR: Describe your writing process? How do you actually decide what to write about?
VW: Honestly, my best story ideas come to me while I’m driving, so sometimes I’ll go driving around until something pops into my head. It works because it’s the only place that I can think where it’s quiet. My husband and I have four wonderful, noisy children and a dog named Shorty. Once I come up with an idea, I’ll usually outline it, write the first five chapters and come up with an even better idea. Then I scrap all my work, grab a notebook, jot down a few sentences and go from there. Sometimes I draw on my own life experiences (pregnancy complications with two out of my four pregnancies) or I write about those who are very close to my heart that has struggled with certain issues whether it be love, money, family or career.
MRJ: One of the things I immediately discovered about your books is you have two major themes: billionaires and/or babies. Are these easy themes for you or have you settled into a comfortable niche that you’re sort of making your own?
VW: As my bio says, I grew up in a low-income area and we struggled a lot. I’ve always had to work and fight for everything I’ve ever had. The billionaire genre is a fantasy escape for many women, including myself. I also love to write about babies for a few reasons: they’re cute, they bring people close together and I love babies. I don’t know if I would say I’ve settled into a comfortable niche, but I still have plenty of those kinds of stories to tell and as long as my readers still want them, I’ll continue to write them.
MRJ: How has social media affected your recognition and growth as an author? Do you feel like it’s a necessary marketing tool or just another place to hang out and waste time (I speak from experience lol).
VW: I don’t feel that it’s absolutely necessary but I do believe that social media has helped me gain recognition in some ways. I’ll also admit that I do waste more time on Facebook than I should. My novel will be calling my name saying, “Vivian, come work on me. Finish up this chapter to tie up those loose strings.”, but my mind says, “Oh, wonder if that was a fan commenting on that last post? I better go check!”. I actually kind of like it when Facebook puts me in jail (yes, that’s a real thing–Facebook jail) so that I’m limited on what I can do. My work miraculously gets finished much faster!
MRJ: How do you come up with the names for your characters? I’ve always wondered that of authors…
VW: Sometimes I use family member’s names, sometimes I’ll use an old classmate’s name (one I disliked for a villain or one that I was good friends with for a favorable character) or sometimes I’ll Google popular names if I’m drawing a blank. When it comes to hospitals, restaurants or other places where my characters might shop, go to school, etc. I’ll use very generic names or make something up that’s completely off-the-wall. And yes, I research to make sure there’s not an ice cream shop called “Super Scoops”, for example, in the city I’m writing about (if it’s an actual city) to ensure I’m not using an actual business name in my works.
MRJ: If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would it be, and who would you cast?
VW: Wow, these questions are really good. If I could, I would turn “The Baby is Mine” into a movie. I would love to have Rihanna play the lead female role for Tasha and Ryan Gossling for the lead male character, Blake. Rihanna is so pretty, and he is SUPER cute.
MRJ: Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they influenced you as a writer?
VW: You asked so you can’t judge. lol These are in no particular order: Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, Gillian Flynn and autobiographies about people who have escaped cults, strange religions or have escaped a horrible ordeal (like kidnappings, false imprisonment, etc). The types of books, movies and shows I like to read or watch have helped me come up with very creative and unique situations to put my characters in.
MRJ: Do you self publish or are you affiliated with an agency?
VW: At this time I only self publish, though I think working with an agency may have some advantages.
MRJ: What more can we expect from Vivian Ward this year?
VW: I think my fans can continue to expect billionaire fantasies, baby stories and very steamy romance books.
Thank you, Vivian for your time! I love profiling authors who write across themes and genres, and billionaires and babies are certainly a popular theme. Get to know Vivian Ward by connecting with her on Facebook, and follow her Amazon author page for updates!