Vicki Batman was one of the first authors to submit work to the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology. I knew immediately the project was off to a strong start when I read her delightful story of a holiday tradition that began with her sisters in childhood and has lasted through the years. Following is an interview Vicki and I did via email. I think you’ll find her enthusiasm for life rubs off. Oh, and you can probably guess this, but just in case, Handsome, whom she mentions below, is her husband.
There’s a vivacious spirit to your blog, as well as to “Sister Act,” the story you contributed to the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology. Have you always been so full of life, and how do you manage to convey this in your work so well?
Thank you for the “vivacious spirit” compliment, Laura. As a child, I was incredibly shy and didn’t know I said anything funny until, as an adult, when on a girlfriend trip and one friend told me I was funny, I went, “Really??!!!”
As I delved into more authors, I began to really like funny writing, which is hard to find. Sometimes, there are funny exchanges and that’s a plus. And then a friend handed me a Janet E book, and that book confirmed funny is great fun! In my work, I stick in silly incidents, funny internal dialogue, and pick specific funny words. Funny is good, but overly funny is not.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer, and what steps did you take to make that a reality?
For a long time, I had a secret desire to write. When my son was two and I discovered Dick Francis’ mysteries, I confessed to Handsome how I wished I could write like my favorite author. But I had no confidence. I didn’t have a writing background except for poetry and good essays. A friend challenged me many years later. I wrote eight chapters, showed her, and she passed them back, saying, “Keep going.” So I did. And yes, she takes credit for pushing me. LOL.
I love writing short. A writer friend told me about the True magazines, which bought thirteen of my short stories. Short time frame fits my busy life. I sold four more to an e-publisher and pubbed several on my own. Then in 2014, my romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Employed, was published. What a great day!
What drew you to the romantic comedy and mystery genres?
Even in comedy there are dark moments; yet, not all of life is dark. It’s fun and funny. I’ve read mysteries since the Bobbsey Twins, to Nancy Drew, to Trixie Belden, and onward. Writing in those genres is just a natural extension of my taste.
You’ve published stories in a number of magazines and anthologies. What have you enjoyed most about publishing this way?
I began with magazines because short stories were hard to place when I started writing. Now, e-publishers and indie publishing have embraced short stories because more and more, readers are reading on their phones, and short is attractive. I like anthologies because of the teamwork and hope-wish-beg to be involved in more of those.
The Wild Rose Press recently released two of your books. Tell me about them.
Actually, only the first is available right now: my romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Employed. It’s about the exploits of Hattie Cooks who has lost the job she loved, and in order to make ends meet, takes temporary jobs where murder and mayhem and romance cross her path.
Temporarily Insane should be out this fall. More murder and mayhem and romance with Hattie. Why not?!!
Have you written other stories about your sisters in addition to “Sister Act?”
Not specifically about them. I do blog, and my sisters occasionally appear there—like recently when we cleaned our parents’ home, and I found the Hoochie Coochie viewfinder. I write essays to warm up, and every now and again, find a place to put one, like in Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
What are you working on right now?
Edits for Temporarily Insane. Have written two new short stories. And dabbling in Temporarily Wed. I have lots more short stories to place!
What are your dreams for the future?
To travel as much as possible. There’s a lot to see and do I haven’t done. Zip-lining! Bungee jumping! Fabulous hikes! More chocolate!
Where can people learn more about you, read samples of your work and purchase your books?
Here are some links:
If you like humor, romance, and a light mystery rolled into one book, I’m your gal. If you join my newsletter, you get an e-book for free! Happy reading!
Many thanks to you, Vicki, for taking time to share part of your writing journey here.