Monday, June 01, 2020

Garden Interview with Vicky Burkholder

Welcome Vicky

Tell us about you and your books.

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write? I do a combination of both – I have a loose outline so I know where I’m going, but often other things develop and I follow them – sometimes. 😊

When did you decide to become an author? Does anyone “decide” to become an author? Writing was just something I always did. But there was a time (a very long time ago) when I decided to start sending things out for publication.  

How long does it take to research and build a fantasy world? Building a fantasy or science fiction world is my favorite part of writing. I love creating new settings, new cultures, new animals, magic and more. Building a world from scratch is so much fun.

How do you get to know your story characters better? Once upon a time, I was a journalist for a local small-town newspaper. My job was “human interest” stories – which was so much more fun than doing the “news”. But from that, I learned to interview people – and that’s what I do with my characters. Part of my “plotting” process is to write notes answering the “who, what, where, when, why, how” questions that a reporter goes after. I just let the character tell me what happened and go from there.

What tips would you give a new writer? Grow a thick skin. You’ll need it. It’s an unfortunate fact of the writing life that you will get rejections and bad reviews. And that hurts. Also, if you’re self-publishing, get a good editor. Someone who is professional, not just a friend who likes books. I’ve read way too many books where the author relied on spellcheck or a friend rather than actual correct usage and grammar. Learn the basics, please. I don’t mean this to sound so negative, but writing is a hard business and publishing even harder. But if you’re a good storyteller, that’s everything.
now for a little fun...
Who do you see as a hero/heroine in your life? My dad was my hero. When I was little, I was considered a “slow reader” and often punished by the teacher for it (this was a very long time ago). My dad took issue with that and started to work with me. Dad was a very smart man, but not highly educated, but he did what he thought would help me. We did crossword puzzles together. Played Scrabble and other word games. He would sit beside me and read Zane Grey to me and other books. He got me interested in reading and within a year, I was reading at the top of my class and I never looked back. Dad was a lot of things in his life… but he was and always will be my hero.

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory? LOL – I did. Several times. My second job out of college was data entry for the government. And I loved it. I’m very good at things like that. I was also a cataloguer for a library, and an inventory clerk (counting pipe fittings in an unheated warehouse in January was *not* fun!) and more.

Do you have any hobbies? Too many! They often cut into my writing time. I do a lot of crafts – sewing, knitting, crochet, beading, bookbinding (I used to teach a class on repairing books). I read a lot – and I do mean a lot. I love to bake (gluten free, allergen free goods). Like I said, too many! LOL

What is your favorite time of year and why? Fall. I love the crispness of the air – warm days, cool evenings. The colors of the trees. And it’s a huge birthday time for my family. In the space of two months, we have twelve birthdays during the fall (including mine!)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you? I’d have a survival manual first and foremost. With that, you could figure out other things. I’d have a medical kit of some sort and an uber Swiss pocketknife. I’m nothing if not practical. 😊
Where can we find you online?
Twitter: @VickyBurkholder

Vicky Burkholder
tales that transcend the ordinary


CA Masterson said...

Great interview! I also have too many hobbies, and love Fall the best. Your new book sounds exciting! Love futuristic tales. Best of luck with your release.

Susan Antony said...

Your father sounds like he was fantastic.

Judith Sterling said...

Great interview, Vicky! Wishing you all the best!

D. V. STONE said...

It's nice getting to know you better. Best of luck with your writing. D. V.

vickyb said...

Thank you all!

CB Clark said...

I enjoyed your interview, Vicky. Great advice for beginning writers.

Karen Hulene Bartell said...

Great interview - best of luck with your writing!

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

Thanks for sharing, Vicky.

Unknown said...

I'm like you on the data entry job question! I like stress-free work. :)

Great interview, Vicky!

Anonymous said...

My older bother taught me to read. For some, like me, one-on-one works best!

Barbara Bettis said...

Loved the interview, Vicky. Wishing you all the best!

GiniRifkin said...

Hi Vicky: nice to get to know more about you. Loved the comments about you father. What a busy gal you are! Admire you world building skills.

Kimberly Baer said...

Great interview, Vicky! I love your journalistic approach to plotting and character--I'm going to have to try that!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Great interview. Loved your story about your dad helping you to read better.
Your book sounds interesting.