An Interview with Author of the Week – Violet Howe
You have a few books out… what was your inspiration to start (and keep) writing?
I have pretty much always been a writer, since a very early age. My diary from 3rd grade has an entry that proclaimed I would finish my first novel that summer. Sadly, it took me over 30 years past that, but hey, better late than never, right?
Tell us a bit about the genre you write in and how it found you?
I write chick lit, or romantic women’s fiction. I love reading and writing this genre because I love women’s stories. I love their strengths, their weaknesses, their ability to withstand and endure, and their ability to love. I enjoy stories from the first-person female point of view because it makes it easier for me to relate to the character, and it makes it easier to accept my own crazy thought processes when a beloved character seems to think like me! The thing I love the most about my genre is the humor, though. I feel it is crucial for us to have an element of humor in our lives. No matter how bad it gets, and no matter how stressed or frustrated I may be, I always look for some shred of humor. If I can laugh, I can survive.
Is there any author whom you’d admire and read every book they publish? Who and why?
Diana Gabaldon. A dear friend begged me to read the Outlander series for years, and I finally succumbed to her requests last year. Two months later I had flown through all eight novels and existed on less sleep than I’d had since my son was a newborn many years ago. I admire Diana for many reasons. As a reader, I appreciate her attention to detail, the vast amounts of research she puts into her books, and the rich characters she has created. I literally feel as though I know them. Like, they’re family. I miss them when I’m not in their world. I worry about them. (and what she’s going to put them through next!)
As a writer, I greatly admire Diana’s courage in publishing a book that did not fit neatly into any one genre, defied the traditional formulas of what a novel should be, and confronted controversial issues in depth. At the time I first read Outlander, I was fighting for my own first novel as industry professionals were encouraging me to change my storyline (and essentially my story) to make it fit in the neat shoebox of marketable genres. Reading her words—not only in her novels but in every interview and essay I could find from her—gave me the courage to tell my story the way it was intended without trying to conform to others’ expectations for it.
If you watch TV what are your shows right now?
My schedule doesn’t allow regular viewing, so I tend to binge series all at once or store up several episodes on my DVR and run through them at once.
I love Outlander, of course, and am excited for the second season to begin. I love Limitless, the quirky, weird TV show based on the movie. We are about to start the latest season of House of Cards, and we’ve just started watching The Walking Dead (I know—better late than never.) I record Dancing with the Stars each week and inevitably forget that I can’t vote since it’s not live when I watch it. My hubby and I are anxiously awaiting the next seasons of Longmire and Bloodline on Netflix, as well as Jessica Jones. My favorite program is probably CBS Sunday Morning. I love the human interest stories and the feel-good moments.
Do you have any talents other than writing that your fans maybe don’t know about?
I have been an actress in community theater for about 20 years, though my time on stage has been limited greatly by the time invested in publishing.
If you could go on vacation anywhere where would you choose and why?
New Zealand. I visited Australia years ago and absolutely loved it, and I’ve traveled quite a bit in Europe and the Caribbean. But I’d love to get back over to that side of the world and visit NZ for the breathtaking scenery and the amazing hospitality the Kiwis are known for!
You’re a mom! Me too. What been your favorite part of being a mom?
At each stage he reaches, I think “Wow! This is my favorite.” When he could walk, when he could talk, when we could start having conversations and he was a person rather than an extension of me. Then when he started school, and the many changes that came with that. Then middle school, as he became more involved with his friends and his social conscience began to form. Then high school, when our conversations deepened and became more in-depth and he became so well-versed in his opinions on the world—politics, religion, music, movies, etc. Now he’s getting ready to graduate from high school and head off to college—which so far is NOT my favorite part! But I guess overall, my favorite thing about being a mom has been getting to know this amazing individual and watching him grow his wings and prepare to fly. (Ahem. Getting teary. Again.)
Do you have any writing rituals we should all start doing?
A writer at the RWA Convention in NYC last year suggested reserving Monday, Wednesday, Friday for writing days, and then conducting writing business, household business, and social interaction on Tuesday and Thursday. It has increased my productivity and my creativity unbelievably! I have “permission” to focus on what is needed on the designated day and let the other worries be pushed aside until their appropriate day.
What is your favorite movie? & then book to movie?
Oh, wow. I am a huge movie buff and spend a lot of time watching movies. Hard to choose just one. All-time favorites I will watch over and over again? Forrest Gump, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Steel Magnolias. Recent favorites? Deadpool, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Room.
Book to movie? Probably Hunger Games, or Lord of the Rings. Or the Narnia films. I love seeing the fantastical brought to life.
What are three foods you can’t live without?
Pizza. I could eat it 7 days a week, 3 meals a day.
Cheese. In pretty much any form.
About the Author:
Before dedicating myself to writing full-time, I spent fifteen years immersed in wedding planning and five years teaching in a middle-school classroom. Both of which gave me countless stories and experiences to draw from for writing inspiration!
I am happily married to a man I consider My Knight in Shining Armor, and I am a mother to a teenage son whose intelligence, wit, and finesse with sarcasm amazes me daily. We share our home (and live in servitude for) our three insanely spoiled dogs.
I absolutely love to travel, and planning a trip is almost as much fun for me as actually going. I am a fanatic about all things movies–quotes, trailers, awards shows, midnight premieres, marathons, trivia, the smell of popcorn. If it’s movie-related, I’m in.
When I’m not crafting novels, I create magic as a wordsmith, which sounds much more intriguing and dignified than freelance writer, don’t you think?
Find her here:
About her Books:
(click on the covers to check them out on amazon)