Where did you grow up?
I was born in Sacramento, CA and my family moved to Nashville when I was three, then back to San Jose, CA, and finally back to Nashville. So I basically split my childhood between the two.
Now for some legitimate questions about her book and the writing industry:
Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
The prize was a query critique, but he loved the query and the story (I was 20 at this point) and he wanted to read the partial, then the full. During this time I polished up the book I'd shelved, and queried other agents, and thirteen days later I signed with Amy Tipton at FP, who I ADORE. But this book DIDN'T sell. It went on sub for months and months, and in February of this year, I started NEAR WITCH, to keep my sanity. And then in the summer, NW went out on sub! Right after my 22nd Bday. And then a couple weeks ago, it sold!
I'll just add that I made time. If I had tried to find time, I never would have been able to. But it's almost always there, if you make it work. I set aside an hour here or there, and when I couldn't write, I thought about it. I joke that I did most of my plot work staring at the stripe on the swimming pool floor. If you can make space in your head to think about your stories, you can carve out time to write them down. That said, I didn't do much sleeping.
With my first book, the one that hasn't sold (my editor might decide she wants it), it is called THE SHADOW MILE. And it all started with an image of a door standing in an empty lot, without a room behind, just standing there, half-rotted. I walked past the door a few times on my daily walks in real life, and always wondered what it might have led to, once.
With THE NEAR WITCH, however, it was a line. The very first line of the book. "The wind on the moors is a tricky thing." I wrote that line, and had no idea what it meant. I went back to it six months later, and felt like the story was there, sitting and waiting for me.
It always starts its own way. You just have to keep your eyes open, and ask questions :)
on the edge of the village, and gobbled up all the darkness, and sang the hills to sleep, and loved the children almost as much as the garden she kept beside her house.
Sixteen-year-old Lexi Harris, the daughter of a tracker, has heard
the stories her entire life, first from her father, and then from old Magda and Marta, who might be witches themselves. Everyone loves to tell the story, but everyone knows a different ending. Some say that the Near Witch blew away on a gust of wind. Others tell of darker things. Of murders and curses and buried bones.
To Lexi, they’ve always been stories, nothing more. But when a strange
and silent boy walks into the village of Near, and then the wind begins to lure children from their beds at night, she starts to wonder if there’s any truth in them. Could the Near Witch be more than a ghost story?
There is romance! And mystery. And suspense. There's also a different take on the meaning of "witch." In my book, it's not someone with a crooked nose who leans over a cauldron. It's something else. It has to do with the way we interact with the world. It's about the balance between man and nature, and those who are more earth and stone than flesh and blood. As far as sequels/prequels/companions, nothing official :)
If I could BE a character it would be my narrator, Lexi. I adore writing her, and she's a really strong, independent girl. I admire her.
Personally, I am really excited about this book! It sounds like it has all of the makings of what will be a fantastic story: suspense, romance, putting a new spin on what we think fairy tales and folklore are and that one creepy character that makes you wonder what the helk is going? on while still being drawn to them. My one disappointment: this book doesn't come out until 2011 :(. Still, I'm glad that I have something great to look forward too! Thank you Victoria for doing this interview with me!! I had a blast and you couldn't have been nicer! Keep me updated :P!! You can find out more about Victoria by reading her blog!!