BlogHer Interview!

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Five Questions With Victoria Bolton

Hot on the heels of her latest release The Tide is High in the Rude Boy USA series; Bolton has had a busy year. Not only publishing three books within a twelve month period, the most successful being Rude Boy USA which is about a multicultural group of mobsters, but she is also now working on the prequel to the trilogy, tentatively called Rhodos, which focuses on the Chimera Investment group’s founder Bernard Rhodos. Bolton discusses her plans for the series and navigating adverse aspects of success.

How did you come up with the idea for the Rude Boy USA series?

It started with a concert and evolved. I have had many spiral notebooks full of ideas in the five years it took me to get the book out. The plot changed about fifty times. All of the names were different and right up until eight weeks before publication; I was still trying to figure out how major characters were to be presented. I did a movie that was controversial that involved some nudity on my part and someone who was unaware of the subject matter compared me to a Playboy person although it had nothing to do with the theme. I decided to take that and have the main character’s origins Playboy based. Believe it or not, it made the character much more fun to write. I saw a basketball player that I have crushed on since high school one day and decided to make one of the main male characters after him. After that everything else about the story started to fall into place and it has been good ever since. The books are well received, and I am grateful that I took this route.

Readers see Rude Boy USA as a movie. Do you imagine your work on the big screen?

I would love to see the books translated to the screen. I think that it is something that people should see. There is a lot more to it than just mobsters doing mobster things. It is a whole case study of the politics of the work environment, race relations without it seeming too tragic and the difficulties of navigating personal relationships. It is tough to put four different personalities in an office environment and expect total and complete harmony. The only expectation should be is that they get the job done. I pulled a lot of the storyline from my daily personal experiences at work. For example, I am an admitted introvert and yet I work in a group environment. It is unbelievable how much pressure it is for me to make like I enjoy constant attention in the workplace. I think I do my best work when left alone. I put that quality into John’s character. Some others need validation and to make sure that everyone knows how good he or she are. I put that aspect into Ben’s character. That does not always mix well in such a confined space. When it comes to the tasks at hand, they work well but outside of that the expectation should be that they live their lives and be happy.

Many authors expressed caution when the mention of their works turned into movies. What makes you confident that Rude Boy USA would be different?

I am just as protective of my work as every other author. The specifics that I used were imperative and did not leave much room for interpretation. I wrote the books in such a way that if there were any interest in turning them into motion pictures, it would be relatively easy to adapt.  That may have changed the way the prose in the books were presented to the dislike of some, but I wanted the story to be easily imagined as if you were there watching everything that happens in the story. It is like the Hunger Games or Fifty Shades of Grey. Those books were easy to imagine on the screen and were successful. I had a movie evaluation of the book done, and it is great. I love the direction, and there wasn’t much to contest about how it was put together. I think the book made it easy for that to happen. If there were wrong parts, then that is where I would come in and advise.

You are very active on social media. You have recently had some bad experiences with internet trolls. How do you handle it?

Social media is that landmine discussion topic. I am in it because it is a great free resource to get your work out there and an excellent way to communicate with much of the world for a low price. Internet trolling is designed to be a trap, and I know that there is a saying about not feeding the trolls. For the most part, I do not. I ignore more than I address unless it starts to affect my livelihood or attack things that are near and dear to me. I feel that I do my best when I discuss a real situation and then move on. It has gone farther than someone just going on one of my pages and saying something stupid; it has gone as far as them trying to take down everything that is associated with the book, or me and my first guess are that these are strangers, at least I hope they are. I do not see anything productive about it especially if you have the option to live your life and ignore it.

I love everyone until they go too far, then all bets are off. I do not care if people say things about what I am on the outside, my looks or whatever. Those things are silly, and no one is safe from it. It is when someone puts in time and effort to take someone else down for no reason but to feel some satisfaction for themselves is when the problems arise.

What’s next on your plate?

I have so many ideas, but I will not start those until I finish book four tentatively titled Rhodos (Release date to be announced.) I feel that that the prequel will answer many questions that were not covered in the first book of the series. I am quite excited about that and love how the direction is going.


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