Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am. Since then she has contracted ten novels and published numerous articles and short stories.
She’s here today to talk about her latest release Age Before Beauty.
Katrina: It’s great to have you here today Virginia. Tell us a bit about Age Before Beauty.
Virginia: My next release is Age Before Beauty, book 2 in the Sister-t0-Sister Series. It will be in bookstores in February. Them main character is Allise Harrod, a young mom who desperately wants to stay home with her new baby . She launches a home-based business selling makeup. She’ll do anything to make enough money to cover her share of the household bills, but how can she focus on her business when her list of problems is growing? None of her pre-baby clothes fit, her checking account is dwindling, and her mother-in-law has decided to move in! To top it off, her husband’s attractive co-worker suddenly needs his help every weekend. Middle sister Joan insists that God has the answers to all her problems, but Allie isn’t so sure. Can she really trust Him?
Katrina: Sounds like a wonderful soap-opra. I can see the humor in it. One of my recent guests made mention that there aren’t really any authors out there that write without some bit of their own personalities showing up in their characters. Would you agree?
Virginia: I have never written a primary character that doesn’t have some elements of my personality. Some to a greater degree than others, of course. Allie’s father and mother divorced when she was a young teenager, and she hasn’t seen her father since. Though my father didn’t desert me after my parents divorced, I didn’t see him very often, and I felt deserted. Allie’s struggle with a fear of abandonment reflects my own fear, and she reacts in a similar way.
Katrina: Tell us a bit about your family and what’s a typical evening is like in your home.
Virginia:I’m married to a great Christian guy who loves me, supports my writing, changes the oil in my car, and fixes anything that breaks around the house – what more could I ask? He not only supports my writing; he supports me. And that’s pretty important, because most writers will tell you it takes several years to establish a career that actually pays enough to support yourself. (Unless your first book is about a guy named Harry.) I have two grown kids and a grand-dog. My husband and I divide our time between our homes in Salt Lake City and central Kentucky. Yeah, that sounds really cool, but trust me, it’s a pain in the neck most of the time. Just think of the logistics of the mail – holding and forwarding and canceling the forwarding order. The guys at the post office shudder when they see me coming.
In nice weather, my husband and I have dinner together out on the patio. In nasty weather, we eat in front of the television. We never did that when the kids were at home, because we insisted on a family dinner around the table. But we’ve grown lax since they moved out. (I occasionally prop my feet on the coffee table these days, too.) We have a couple of shows we watch regularly – CSI, NCIS, House, and MASH reruns – and if those are on, we’ll watch TV together.
That sounds like all we do is watch television, but we really don’t. We do watch the news every night, but if one of our shows isn’t on, we’ll turn on the stereo and talk, or read. I hate to admit it, but I’ll occasionally do some work at night, especially if I have a deadline looming.
Katrina:Well we all certainly understand time constraints. How does your family feel about you being an author?
Virginia: My daughter reads everything I write in manuscript form. She loves my books, and I admit, sometimes I just need to hear someone say, “That was so good!” It helps bolster my confidence as I wait for the revision letter from my editor pointing out all the things that need to be changed. My son isn’t much of a reader, so he hasn’t read my books, but he thinks it’s pretty cool that Mom is a writer. When Bluegrass Peril came out, we were in Wal-mart together and I found it on the book shelves. He got so excited he accosted strangers in the aisles and pulled them over to the book section to see “the book my mom wrote.”
I read my books aloud to my husband in manuscript form as we drive. It helps me, because I catch errors and other things that I don’t catch by reading silently. And he loves it because the time goes by more quickly on a long trip if he’s being read to. He likes my books, but prefers the mystery/suspense novels over the “chick books,” as he describes them.
Katrina: It’s been great having you today and I look forward to learning more about your writing later this week. Until then, I’d like to direct our readers to take a peak at the first chapter of Age Before Beauty.
I’d also like to invite our viewers to leave a comment for for Virginia and ask any questions they might have.