Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to have Vickie Hall, author of Secrets of the Red Box in the hot seat today!!! She has kindly agreed to interrogation tell us a little about herself. Welcome Vickie.
What do you love most about writing?

VH: I love creating characters, deciding their back-story and what makes them tick. I try to make them a complete person with a history so I know how they'll react in the situations I place them in. They become real to me, and I have to admit there's been more than one time after completing a book, that I've actually missed a character and was sorry the story had ended!
Tell us about your writing process.

VH: Once I have an idea, I flesh it out with character, complete with full back stories. Then I do an outline, not really detailed, but just enough to sketch out the beginning, middle, and end. Once I have that I begin whatever research might be necessary until I’m comfortable with my era, or subject matter. Next, I start writing. One trick I like to use when I have to stop for the day is to leave the story in the middle of a scene. When I come back to it the next day, I re-read several preceding pages and then pick up the writing where I left off. It’s as if I never stopped. Anyway, it works for me!
What is the best writing tip you ever received?

VH: Years ago, I was reading about Charles Dickens. He offered some writing advice that has been with me ever since (in fact I did a needlepoint picture of it and it hangs in my office): “Make then laugh, make them cry, make them wait.”
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

VH: I'd always enjoyed writing, and when I got to junior high I had a very influential English teacher who encouraged me. She asked me if I'd ever thought of becoming a writer. I guess she saw something in my assignments that must have prompted her to say this. As I thought about her question, I realised that, yes; maybe I could be a writer. I owe her a debt of gratitude for her belief in me and her suggestion. Thank you, Mrs. Harvey.
Where do your ideas come from?

VH: Some of my ideas come in my dreams. I am a very vivid dreamer, full colour, very detailed, and I am able to remember most of them. Because I enjoy writing historical fiction, I often watch the history channel and find some inspiration from that.
Do you have a favourite character you have written so far?
VH: I loved my character, Bonnie Cooper, the protagonist in Secrets of the Red Box. She's very complicated, flawed, and far more real than most fictional characters. The great thing about her, though, is how she is transformed by love - something she's known little about in her life. She is somewhat tragic, but also very vulnerable and a tenacious survivor.

Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book Secrets of the Red Box?

VH: Not only will you be dying to know what secrets are in the red box, you won’t be disappointed!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
VH: Shopping, watching old movies on TCM, and researching my next idea.
State 5 random facts about yourself.

VH: I'm a strawberry blonde, I wear size 11 shoes (I know!), I love muscle cars, I compose music and play 5 different instruments, and I hate avocados.

Any new projects coming up?

VH: Yes! I'm working on a new manuscript about a fake medium in 1910 Baltimore who gets drawn into solving a murder. It's really progressing well and will be quite different than some of my other books.

Do you have a favourite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
VH: My favourite quote is from George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” I started seriously submitting manuscripts in my early thirties and got nothing but rejection letters. I became discouraged and decided to stop writing. Still, I always believed I was meant to be a writer, and so pursued my efforts again several years later. This quote holds special significance for me!
Lets find out a bit more about the book.................................
' Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? A psychological suspense set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is sure to keep you guessing to the very end!'

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