Guest Author: Vivi Anna!

30 Nov

Let the Words Flow is proud to present our first Guest Author, Erotic Romance author Vivi Anna, who is signed with me at the the Bradford Literary Agency.

~

Thank you Savannah for inviting me over! This looks like an amazing group of writers and I hope I can give a little bit on insight into what my life has been like being a published author.

1. How did you get your agent?

My first agent I got from sending out query letters. I made a list of my top five agents, made that the A list, then my next top agents, made that the B list. I sent out queries to all my A listers and waited. And waited. Rejections trickled in. Then I talked to an author friend of mine and she told me about an established agent that was just starting to take on romance authors. So I queried him. An hour later, I had an offer from him.

The second time around, I also sent out queries, but this time I talked to the clients of the agents I was looking at. To get in depth information about how the agent worked and such. I ended up getting a couple of referrals from friends, I queried those agents with a new project, but ultimately those agents passed. Then I talked to another author friend and she encouraged me to query her agent. So I did. And I’m so glad I did. That’s how I signed with the lovely Laura Bradford.

So my point in this is, never pass up an opportunity. Always be on the look out for them.

2. What was your submission process like?

Like I said, I made a couple of lists. I made my top dream list of agents, calling it the A-list, then the B list. Send them all out to the A-list and wait. Most times you’ll be waiting around 2-3 months for an answer, either with a rejection or with a request for a full.

If you go through you’re A-list start on your B-list. If you make it trhough your B list without an offer, then I’d be looking at you query letter, is it any good? And I’d be looking at my story. Is that any good?

3. How often do you communicate with your agent?

I like to talk to my agent once a week, but only if I have stuff going on like submissions, or working on a new project. If I’m fully submersed in a deadline, and I don’t have new stuff on the go, then there’s only need to talk to her when I need to.

4. Have you ever been on book tour, and if so, what was it like? How did you pick what to wear? What was the budget like?

I’ve never been on a book tour. But I have done a lot of books signings.

The key is to dress comfortably and be yourself. Don’t over dress but don’t under dress either. You can do jeans if you wear a nice top. Don’t go to a book signing dressed like a slob.

Not only are you selling your books but you are selling yourself. Be personable.

5. If you could give one bit of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Be determined, be ambitious, but learn to cultivate patience. You will need it above everything else.

6. Have you ever had a crazy/obsessive fan?

Thankfully no.

7. Which book that you’ve written is your favorite, and why?

My favorite books are two that haven’t been published yet. An adult UF and a YA UF.

Both are ME. Both are my true voices with subject matter that I really like. I think sometimes an author can lose their voice, or have to dampen it for whatever reason, to fit into a line, or a publisher, but these two books I wrote without deadlines, without pressures from anyone but myself and I think that has made a difference for me.

8. What was your shortest, and longest books written, and why?

I’ve written a bunch of short stories and novellas for various anthologies. Word counts from 6K to 20K.

But my shortest book would be the Nocturnes I’m writing for Silhouette. At 70K they are a shorter book. The longest would be a book I wrote years ago, a fantasy novel, that hasn’t been published. It sits at about 98K.

9. Do you have a ‘day’ job?

Nope. I used to work part time at a bookstore but quit after landing my second major publishing deal. But with the economy right now…who knows that might change.

I’m a single mom and homeschool my kid during the day, so that’s like two day jobs.

10. What are peoples’ reactions when they find out about your writing life?

First reaction. Cool! Second reaction: Can I find your books in the bookstore? Third reaction: So, you must be like rich, hey?

Ah no.

11. When did you write your first novel?

I wrote my first novel in 2004. I’d been writing short stories and novellas before that since 2000.

12. What made you want to start writing?

Honest answer: money.

I thought I could make some money quick writing short erotic stories for men’s magazines. I did that for a while, made a little money, then realized that maybe I could actually make this a real career choice, if I learned my craft and really dug deep and made a go of it. That was in 2000.

13. Do you write anything besides novels?

I write screenplays. I wrote like 12 back in 2002. I queried producers, got a lot of scripts read, came close twice, but quit. It is REALLY HARD to get produced. Getting a book published is HARD, but getting a movie made from you script…it’s a long shot.

But it’s always been a dream of mine, so I’m actually making a go of it again. I’ve rewritten a couple, wrote a new one, and I’ve gotten some interest. So who knows this time around what will happen. I’m a better writer now and have more experience and have a tenacious drive to succeed.

14. Do you have a pen name, or multiple pen names?

Vivi Anna is a pen name.

Eventually I hope to be writing under a couple of pen names. One for my romances, one for YA and maybe another one for something else.

~

Thanks so much for stopping by, Vivi!

Advertisements

17 Responses to “Guest Author: Vivi Anna!”

  1. Savannah November 30, 2009 at 6:36 PM #

    Wow, Vivi! I had no idea you were so varied!

  2. svonnah November 30, 2009 at 7:30 PM #

    So how much of your writing life is just thinking up creative ways to vividly describe sex? How do you keep it fresh, or is there a ‘method’ you use?

  3. Vivi Anna November 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM #

    Yeah Savannah I’m a chameleon…

    Svonnah, I actually hate writing sex scenes. I sometimes will leave them to the last and add them in once I’m done the book. The reason I think is because I do want them to be fresh and varied and inventive. I don’t want it to be the same sex scene over and over again.

    I do have my staples, like I always will have a love scene in the kitchen. Every book I’ve written I think there’s a love scene in the kitchen. LOL

  4. junebugger November 30, 2009 at 8:51 PM #

    I’ve always wondered what the “behind-the-scene” procedure was to writing love scenes. I hear it’s pretty tough. Especially to have each scene differ from the other.

    I’m curious about how you go about writing your newest story. Do you impulse write? Outline? I’m struggling a bit on that.

    And thank you so much for sharing your journey to publication with us! I’m currently in the process of querying to agents and have received only rejections. It’s always so encouraging to read the experiences of other published writers!

  5. Alexandra Shostak December 1, 2009 at 9:33 AM #

    Thanks for doing a guest blog for us!

    So your current agent is your second agent? I can’t imagine having to query TWICE, after getting an agent.

    How did you start writing romance/erotica? Was it always what you wrote, or did you experiment with other genres first?

  6. Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 9:55 AM #

    Hi June!!

    I’m a pantser now. I used to be a planner though.

    I used to outline 3 chapters, write them, then outline another 3, write those.

    Now I just sit down and write. But I do do some character development before writing anything. I have to know my characters inside and out first. So I will do a character sketch and personality profile, and background on them, then I can sit down and let the words flow.

    Except my contracted books with Nocturne, I have to write a detailed synopsis for them first as part of my contract, so I usually work off of that.

    • svonnah December 1, 2009 at 10:22 AM #

      “let the words flow” How cute!

  7. RKCharron December 1, 2009 at 9:56 AM #

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for a wonderful interview. It was very informative and I loved learning more about Vivi Anna. Thank you very much for sharing Vivi. There is a lot of great advice/writing wisdom contained within this interview.
    All the best,
    RKCharron
    🙂

  8. Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 10:01 AM #

    HI Alexandra,

    I started writing erotica first out of necessity to make some money. Sounds awful I know, but it’s my reality. After selling short stories to men’s mags and then some anthos, I discovered epublishing, and there again the big seller was/is erotic romances, so I wrote those and sold some to epubs.

    Then I decided to move forward, and I hunted for an agent, landed one, then soon after got a NY book deal with an erotic imprint Kensington was starting..Aphrodisia.

    Sometimes you have to write for a market.

    Now I’m gearing away from the erotic. My Nocturnes are not erotic, and my UFs I’m shopping are not even really romantic. And I’m also writing YA, which, of couse, isn’t erotic. LOL

    When I was young and in school, I tended to write horror…I grew up King and Koontz and Straub and Saul…so that’s what I wanted to write.

    And now all these years later,,,I am leaning in that direction again. It’s weird how it comes full circle sometimes.

  9. Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 10:03 AM #

    Ooops forgot to answer your agent question Alexandra.

    Yes Laura Bradford is my second agent. She rocks by the way!!!

    I left my first agent for various reasons. We weren’t going in the same directions. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, it’s scary, but an author has to do what is best for their career. Having no agent is sometimes better than having a bad agent.

    • junebugger December 1, 2009 at 11:47 PM #

      Oh wow I admire that move you had to make. I hope I won’t find myself in such a situation….it really MUST be scary.

  10. Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM #

    Thanks RK.

    Glad I could dispense some useless knowledge.

    • Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 3:53 PM #

      OMG, I said useless, instead of useful. LOL

      Hmm, I wonder if that was in my subconscious?

      • svonnah December 1, 2009 at 3:54 PM #

        Lol, I saw that, and I thought the comment you were replying to had said useless instead of useful accidentally, then I realized that no, you had actually said it on your own, and figured you were having a joke at your own expense!

  11. priscillashay December 1, 2009 at 1:59 PM #

    ah. Hmm, I was curious about the sex scenes too. I haven’t written any of those scenes, but the new story I’ve been working on, the characters are ..begging? for one. They’re so much sexual tension it’s crazy. But, yeah, good process, I’m hoping to jump in soon!

    • svonnah December 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM #

      Writing sex scenes is pretty fun. I try not to get too specific, cause then you have to decide if you’re going to actually have to name all the various anatomical parts involved, or if you’re going to use metaphors and similes, which can crash soooo badly. I’m a fan of the ‘pan the camera away’ method, where you get them involved and then just imply what happens next. Chapter break.

      🙂

    • Vivi Anna December 1, 2009 at 3:56 PM #

      Priscilla, one way I prepare for writing love scenes, is to watch romantic films, I’m a visual person, so I will study the little gestures, the light touches, the looks, all the unspoken tender moments…

      I think those are sometimes way more hot than the actual sex act. Also another hint, is to add lots of emotion, her response, his response, dialogue is great too. Just don’t get too flowery with purple prose then it becomes silly and not sexy.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: