Hey, guys! I’m super excited to introduce you to Vicki Cooke. Vicki has a book called Golden Rule in the Huge Ninja Writer’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Giveaway. She’s also just one of my favorite people, so I was really excited when I drew her for the giveaway blog hop!
(After you read this interview with Vicki, click here and choose another blog to hop to. Let’s show these authors some Ninja Love.)
Here’s a little about Vicki: V. L. Cooke is a student and paranormal/urban fantasy author living in a small rural community in Oregon with her furbabies, a yellow lab named Koda and two cats who fight over which is the center of the universe, Celeste and Luna. She’s a devoted aunt and grandaunt to her niece and nephews. As the author of the Custodian of the Golden Assembly series, V. L. believes everyone should strive to find the magic hidden among the mundane in our world. She’s available on Twitter @VLCookeAuthor.
You can download her book Golden Rule FREE, right here.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That depends on what you consider writing. From start to finish, including research, plotting, and writing the first draft, but not counting revisions. It takes me about five months to have a rough draft completed, and completely unfit for anyone to read other than me. Revisions also take about five months, this includes editing. So it takes about ten to twelve months from start to finish for a novel to be completed.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
The television. It distracts me when I’m trying to write. Especially if a scene is challenging for me. Music is also a major distraction for me. However, the biggest advantage distraction for me right now is my sister. She always asks me how much I’ve written and if it isn’t enough she gives me the patented sister guilt look and it kills me.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Most of my work is set in the same world and uses the same characters, but each story stands alone. Even my NaNoWriMo project is set in the same world, but it doesn’t have my main character from my previous work in it.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A dragon. Does that count? I love dragons they are majestic and can set things that annoy them on fire. I think it’s my perfect spirit animal.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Everything. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have the base for some of my favorite characters.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research online and at the library. Typically, I spend between two hundred and four hundred hours doing research for each novel which is kind of funny since I write paranormal/urban fantasy novels that are based in my home state. If it weren’t for Google Maps, I’d never have travel times right.
How many hours a day do you write?
It depends on several factors. I don’t write more than three hours on Mondays and Thursdays because of school. The rest of the time, I write at least five hours a day and on some days as much as ten hours.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Trying to not be stereotypical. As a woman, I found it difficult to write the male protagonist of my novelette because his thought processes seemed alien to me. Although, it could have seemed alien because he’s a dragon and it was set nearly one hundred years ago.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I read all reviews. I try to respond to all of them if I can. I always thank the person for the review because they’ve taken time out of their daily life to write it. I love negative reviews; they help me improve my writing to meet the needs of my readers.
Do you Google yourself?
I have, and it depressed me when I found my novel on a pirating site.
Why do you love the Ninja Writers Facebook group?
There are no egos in this group. Everyone is amazing and helpful. They do not get angry if multiple people ask the same question, they don’t tear people down who choose self-publication over traditional publication, etc. I think Shaunta’s tribe is the most amazing writer’s group on Facebook. We have people from all over the world and are all incredibly talented, intelligent, and helpful. What’s not to love?