It’s not often that I meet fellow contemporary fiction writers. It’s even more rare to meet one who lives near me! (And by “near,” I mean 3 hours away…) Today I’m happy to introduce you to Joselyn Vaughn, writer of sweet, contemporary romance novels that are just plain fun to read.
Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog). What genre do you write? How did you pick it?
I write romantic comedies of the You’ve Got Mail variety. Light, fun, with quirky characters with happily ever after. Most of them are set in fictional towns in West Michigan. This seems the most natural story for me. I’m trying a darker dystopian-type story and it’s very difficult not to slide into the subtle humor I favor in the romantic comedies.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
Romances of course. I lean toward romantic comedies and historical. I read a variety of other things as well, but my go to relax story is a romance.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
My first novel novel took about two years to write and then another year from acceptance to publication.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
Some have been easier and some harder. I had horrible timeline problems with my third novel. At one point one of the characters had poison ivy for 3 months. I blame these troubles on pregnancy brain. I think it was somewhat easier when my children were younger. I wrote during naptimes and after they went to bed. Now that they are all in school, it seems like I should be doing something else with that ‘free time’ and they don’t go to bed as early. My daughter has some chronic health issues and that drained my energy over that last year. Having books contracted does make it easier to allocate time to writing.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
I always expected getting a book published to be difficult, if not nearly impossible. That has definitely changed since my first book was published. Self-publishing has become a viable option for many authors and a way for them to keep their backlists available to their readers. The rapidity of this change has been incredible. It brings a greater variety of stories to readers, especially when a story doesn’t fit into a clearly defined genre.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
I’ve tried off and on to get an agent, but the odds are daunting. My first book was rejected by forty agents before I started submitting it to publishers. Putting the rejection behind you and moving on can be difficult. It’s hard not to take the rejection as a critique of you rather than your work or what the agent or editor has on their plate at the time.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
It is really cool seeing your book in print. When my first book was published, it didn’t seem real until I held the galleys in my hands. This wasn’t that long ago, but the publisher was old school and did many things with paper and snail mail.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
My critique group has actually been the best for me. We all write different genres so we learn from each other how to incorporate those elements into our novels. Each one of us also has different strengths, so we get feedback on several different elements of the story.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why? (If you haven’t attended one, which one would you like to attend? Why?)
I haven’t attended many other than small local ones. Before children, I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, which is fantastic, although it is not geared so much toward genre fiction. I would love to attend the Breathe conference, the Maranatha Writers Conference, and something from the University of Iowa.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
I have learned the most of The Gotham Writers Workshop book. It provides fantastic coverage of the basics.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick? Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
I’ve been told Sucker for a Hot Rod would make a fantastic Hallmark movie. Casting is a bit tricky because the people I have in mind either are not actors or are the wrong age. Sandra Bullock would make a good Judi. She would amp up the physical humor as well. I was listening to a lot of Brad Paisley while writing the story and always pictured him as Bryce. Minnie has always been Helen Mirren, feisty, elegant, and a force.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for hosting me. Watch for two new books coming in the future. A Penny Saved is the next book in the Pretty Penny Series. In for a Pound is the first. My Bigfoot novel has also been recently contracted and I can’t wait for it to come out.
You can connect with Joselyn online at the following places:
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorjoselynvaughn