Interview with Victoria Bolton
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an ipad. I would invest in a kindle but there is an app for the kindle so I would rather not have multiple devices to carry around.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Gosh, I would say just word of mouth through friends. I have a Twitter and WordPress account and that also helps. Free book promotions also help but I’ve only done that with the first book.
Describe your desk
It is an absolute mess, as if a hurricane hit it. The weird part is that I can locate any piece of paper on it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Chicago, Illinois but I think the moment I sat foot in New York, my writing took on a new dimension. I love New York, the history, the culture the vibe is everything to me. You can find every kind of person here and I really love that.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book at eighteen years old. It is called Looking for Mr. Potential. I recently looked at it and to be honest, I loved the story but I cringed so hard. Spelling and grammar errors, bad editing etc. the cover was in your face. You can tell that an eighteen-year-old wrote and released it. The goal is to do a real edit because it sounds dated and redesign including cover and re-launch it.
Book one Rude Boy USA introduced you to the core group of the mob family Chimera. Chimera is basically another name for hybrid, which made this group of four top guys. One boss, one underboss and two associates. Everyone else worked under the direction of those four guys. Two were black and two were white. The boss was half Greek and Jewish whose grandparent immigrated to New York. The Underboss is a light-skinned Black man from northern Louisiana who settled in New York and married a white woman (a friend of the boss) when he moved there which was taboo at the time. The third one was a brown skinned black man from Harlem and the fourth one was Italian from Brooklyn who served in Vietnam.
They ran a shell investment company that covered for their real activities which was something that most mob families did at the time. A woman comes into the picture and changes the landscape. She was a waitress (black) at the Playboy Club and she is also a New York native. I chose that because what a lot of people have no idea about Playboy waitresses, was how disciplined you really had to be to work there. There were strict codes and rules you had to follow and some of those attributes were seen as beneficial to Chimera besides her good looks. Of course being there brings another set of issues when romantic relationships form. She was one of a few of color at the New York Club at the time.
Book two, BunnyWine basically was the aftermath of the crackdown on the mob stranglehold in New York City. There was an ambitious prosecutor who was out to put them all away and make an example out of guys that are like the ones in my story, I could not just write three books about mob guys shooting up people and feeding them to the fishes. I wanted to show the real life consequences that many of them faced from being in that life. A lot of the mobster glamour disappeared after the mid-eighties.
Book three, The Tide Is High (Which comes out in September 2016) finishes it off. When gangsters graduate and go into politics. It is said that there isn’t much difference in the political structure as it is in the mob world. Those lines are blurred and the book will focus on that.
I think the books show a natural transition. It’s the same concept but put in different scenarios.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided on self-publishing because with this particular project, I wanted total creative control, which is something that you don’t get once you sign with a traditional publisher. I will pursue traditional publishers in the future but this particular story means a lot to me and every detail had to be precise right down to the cover(s) that I designed myself. I had a theme and look in my head of what this whole thing should be like and the only way it was going to come to fruition was that I do it myself. So the plan was more artistic than commercial.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The wide distribution is key. I started off with Amazon with no knowledge of Smashwords until I did some research. I am glad that I found this place and will use Smashwords in conjunction with Amazon.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That people enjoy my stories. I did not write to get rich because that has not happened but I do love the positive critic response to the series and for that I am grateful.
What do your fans mean to you?
The feedback is incredible. They will tell me when I am foul for a storyline in a second and I appreciate that very much. It helps me write better and that is something that we all need.
What are you working on next?
Re-releasing my first book Looking for Mr. Potential and a novella based on very young caregiver to her grandmother whose sons abandoned her when she developed dementia. It will show how her life was turned upside down with the developments.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have a day job so a paycheck forces me out of bed. My bed is relaxing especially in the winter but I know that I have to get up and move around.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy going to parks, talking with close friends and going to NBA and NFL games. I enjoy watching sports. I can’t play any but I love being a spectator.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
The cover and description attracts me.
What is your writing process?
I would do an outline of events in the story and just start typing. The end result doesn’t always match the outline but that is the beauty of creating a world from nothing.
How do you approach cover design?
I do all of my own covers. I used to paint faces and other things growing up so I have some background in design. I will do the cover before the story because it takes longer for me to decide what I want to do for the concept. Sometimes its harder than the actual story.