Aug 21, 2014

A Short & Sweet Interview @VickiBatman #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author Vicki Batman talks about her latest book. 
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

What if... we ask her a few questions?

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
So much so, my men are afraid anything they say or do will show up.

What kind of research do you do for a book?
It depends. So far, the funniest has been about plumbing.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I wished for a long time I could write mysteries like Dick Francis. It took me many years before I did so.

Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from?
Bug Stuff…and other stories follows my other two shortie collections, Man Theory and Little Birdie Who. I'd submitted them to a popular magazine, but they were turned down. A few had nice notations included. The stories weren't bad, just not what they were interested in acquiring because they'd already had something or wanted something specific. I couldn't let them languish; so I decided to indie pub them.

Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?
I do. For me, writing humor in my stories comes naturally. And it is more real life (at least, with the people who surround me).

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
An idea goes Bing! And I take off, usually in dialogue with a smattering of the other stuff as it pops in my head. My first draft is very, very rough. I read over and over and edit and edit to get it perfect for my critique partners. When I get my critique back, I'd hoped all would be good to go, but alas, it never it. So I work and work it again. Then one day, I let go…

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Sounds crazy but I always workout. Every single day. I do needlepoint and chill in front of the TV with Handsome.

How can readers find you?
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Author Central
Vicki also writes for Plotting Princesses!

Temporarily Employed, romantic comedy cozy mystery

Release Date: October 17, 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Word Count: 75,000 words

Blurb: New Job. New Love. And Murder.

Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite insurance company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. The last thing she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he makes her heart pound.

Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life.  He evolved from a pocket protector-wearing geek to a handsome police detective.  When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.

Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?

Book Excerpt:
“Yuck.”
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
How embarrassing.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.
A litany of:  "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
As I viewed him drawing closer, my heart pounded harder. Awkward circumstances usually brought out the worst in me like shyness, ineptness, and uh...more shyness, hang-ups I carried from childhood. Back in the dark ages, I’d deliberately steered clear of embarrassing situations by developing the best self-protection— avoidance. Over time, I’d adapted to embarrassment, but every now and then, some unusual situation would spring out, and like a stealthy cat, those old prickly feelings crept back inside me.
The policeman stopped by the driver’s side, his head slanted to better peer inside.
Up close and exceptionally personal, I saw his sunglasses with dark lenses which shielded his eyes.
“Ma’am, I’m Officer Wellborn. I need to see your driver's license and proof of insurance—”
Something unknown possessed me. I bulldozed in and snapped in an overly loud voice, “What do you want? Why did you pull me over?”
His body stiffened like a package of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough.
Oops. My brows shot skyward as my hand quickly smothered my mouth. Had I really done that? Had I really hollered at a policeman, a very big no-no? Now, he'll surely ticket me.
“Shouting at me could result in disorderly conduct charges,” he said.
Golly. His stern tone intimidated me. Maybe babbling and apologizing profusely will make amends. “I’m so sorry. I’m not normally rude. Mom would give me her little talk on Being Polite to Other People if she’d heard me. I’m really, really sorry.”
A quick glance told me he'd tilted his head in an attentive manner which indicated he appeared to be listening to my explanation with professional interest. I said, “I’ve had an appalling, hideous, horribly dreadful day.”
“I know.”
His flat statement struck me momentarily dumb. How the hell would he know?  He didn’t know me. He hadn’t followed me around all freakin' day and seen what I’d gone through. Perhaps, everyone said these things when they were pulled over, and his “I know” reply was the stock answer.
Maybe a so-so explanation would cover my ass.

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