Today I’m delighted to welcome Vicki Weavil writing as V. E. Lemp to the blog talking all about her new book The Light From Other Suns!
Artist Karen Foster draws while dreaming. Scientists label her a valuable commodity. Aliens call her their perfect messenger.
Karen, seeking money for art supplies, is thrilled when charming researcher Alex Wythe recruits her for a dream study called the Morpheus Project. But the Morpheus Project is not what it seems, and neither are the detailed technical illustrations Karen draws in her sleep.
Warned off by government agent Mark Hallam, Karen refuses to leave the project, even after her fellow subjects suffer breakdowns. Like the sun, her love for Alex blinds her.
Karen believes their love is forever, until a tragic accident blasts both their lives.
Aided by Mark—as well as a UFO investigator, his psychic daughter, and the dark-eyed strangers who haunt her dreams—Karen must fight to uncover the truth.
A truth that includes humans trading lives for profits—and a powerful cabal that will kill to keep such secrets from the world.
A truth that unveils the ultimate, terrifying, reality –
We have never been alone.
When did you first begin writing seriously?
I’ve always loved to write, but only began writing seriously five years ago. All my life I said, “Someday I’ll write a book,” but while I’d written poetry and some short stories, I’d never finished a novel. So in the fall of 2011 I decided I should write one novel, just to prove to myself I could.
That novel turned into a book and a sequel – THE LIGHT FROM OTHER SUNS, which will release on March 8, 2017, and THE DARK OF OTHER SKIES, which will release on April 5, 2017. I have planned a third book to complete THE OTHERS trilogy titled THE ECHO OF OTHER EARTHS. I intend to release the third book in 2018.
Why the gap between writing and publication for these two books?
Since they were my first completed novels, both books required a lot of revision! Also, in-between writing these adult scifi novels and now, I have written four other books, including YA Fantasy CROWN OF ICE (originally published in Sept. 2014), and its companion novel, SCEPTER OF FIRE. Both titles, the first two books in my MIRROR OF IMMORTALITY trilogy (written as Vicki L. Weavil) will be released by Snowy Wings Publishing in May 2017. A third book in the series, ORB OF LIGHT, is planned for 2018.
I also wrote a YA scifi, FACSIMILE, that was released in March 2016. And, to keep busy (!) I just completed a cozy mystery, CATALOG OF DEATH, under my penname, Victoria Gilbert. My agent now has that book out on submission.
Over the last several years I have actively been writing, revising, promoting, and so on. But I never forgot about my first books, so when I decided to become a “hybrid” author and self-publish, I chose LIGHT and DARK as the first releases under my White Tulip Press imprint.
Is there a theme in these adult scifi books that you believe to be unique?
Yes, I believe that my emphasis on the importance of the arts is somewhat unique, especially in scifi. The aliens in LIGHT and DARK have studied humans for many centuries – not due to our scientific or technical achievements, but because of our creative endeavors. My aliens have no art of their own, and are fascinated with humanity’s development of visual art, music, theatre, literature, film, dance, and other arts. They admire my protagonist because she is an accomplished painter, and also use her abilities to transmit messages, via drawings she creates while dreaming, to their human collaborators.
I wanted to focus on this aspect of human achievement because I feel that art, in all its forms, is often what lift us above our frailties and limitations. Our desire to create and express through various art forms is, to me, what makes us uniquely human. Thus, I felt that it might be the one thing that could truly fascinate a technically advanced alien race.
What is a typical writing day for you?
I have to distinguish between a writing day and a regular day. My regular day includes a rather demanding full-time job, so usually I can only write for an hour or two in the evening. (My life also includes family members who need some of my time). When I get a day off, or carve out time on the weekends, I often write for hours.
What are your plans for future novels and will they be in the same genre?
As I mentioned, I need to complete my two trilogies, so this year I must write the final book in THE MIRROR OF IMMORTALITY young adult fantasy series, as well as the final book in THE OTHERS scifi trilogy.
I hope I will also be writing books to follow my cozy mystery, but we shall see!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of writing a novel?
Don’t worry about publication. Don’t let yourself be sidetracked by what other people think. Don’t write anything you don’t believe in, or that doesn’t resonate with you on some level. Just tell the story your heart and mind want you to tell. The rest can come later.
I had to set LIGHT and DARK aside for some time before I felt they were ready for release (and I was ready to self-publish!) but I never gave up on them. I believed in this story, and my characters, too much to abandon them.
Which leads to another piece of advice – try different avenues toward publication. There is nothing wrong with self-publishing, especially if you put in the time and effort to do it right. There is also nothing wrong with traditional publishing, or author publishing co-ops. I actually think it’s important to experiment with various publishing options, as well as different genres. Sometimes we don’t know what we do best until we do it!
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
I think the most difficult thing for me has nothing to do with writing—it’s the necessary self-promotion and social media presence. While I do enjoy interacting with readers and other authors, it takes a lot of time. That’s difficult when working full-time and also trying to write more books! But it is part of the writer’s life, and—except for the time crunch—I really enjoy promoting my stories, as well as other authors’, because I truly believe there can’t be too many books in the world. The more books, the better!
About the Author
If there’s one word to describe Vicki it’s “eclectic.” Equally enchanted by classical music and current chart-toppers, and appreciative of pop culture as well as high art, Vicki loves good writing in all genres. A lifelong fan of fantasy and science fiction, Vicki also enjoys a twisty mystery or mind-expanding literary fiction. Although her focus is on novel-length works, a few of Vicki’s short stories and poems have appeared in print and online literary magazines.
Coffee, cats, and chocolate are basic essentials in Vicki’s life. A library director for a performing and visual arts university, Vicki loves foreign films, but will defend the merit of television shows like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, FRINGE, and TWELVE MONKEYS against all naysayers. She’d be happy to travel the world, if someone would just provide the ticket.
Vicki is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats.