Today's guest is Vicki Batman who not only has a cool name, but writes compelling stories. Vicki and I met in an online class a few years ago and we stay in touch via a loop for the magazines we write for. I loved getting to know Vicki better through this post and I hope you will too.
1. The heroine in I BELIEVE, Allie, desires the kind of man her cousins and sister have. Sounds like you have lots of experience with “girl talk.” What kind of sisters, cousins, and friends do you have in your life?
I do have lots of opportunities for girl talk. I have three sisters, lots of girl cousins. Book club girls, yoga girls, Jazzercise girls, writer girlfriends, the Plotting Princesses. I go on girlfriend trips and have lots of chocolate. Girlfriends can be like psychologists.
2. You’re obviously hopelessly in love because you’ve given your husband the codename Handsome when you speak of him publicly. Do your fictional heroes share any traits with Handsome?
My friend swears Jeffrey Carpenter in IB is Handsome. I'm like "no, he isn't." In fact, Handsome never came to my mind when writing this story, except for one major component: the chant. When I woke up and repeated the chant to my roommate at RWA, later on, I realized it is a poem I'd written for him.
Occasionally, I make a character tall, dark, and handsome like Handsome, but that's probably by coincidence. Living with men, I've learned they speak few words, are strong, honest, know what they want.
BTW, lots of people call him Handsome now instead of his real name. LOLOL. I began calling him that when we first married and he inscribed a card with Beautiful Wife and I put on mine for him, Handsome Husband. Squee!
3. What was the hardest thing about writing I BELIEVE?
I bet everyone out there can guess this--writing the SEX. (And this is the part my friend became embarrassed over because she thought Handsome inspired it). When a writer friend reviewed IB, she said it wasn't sexy enough. I thought "oh, boy," and worked to make it more so.
Here's the blurb and an excerpt: Allie deeply desires what her sister and cousins have--the man of their dreams. And they assure her she can…if she’s willing to believe. When her sister shares their grandmother's spell for conjuring her own true love, Allie's deeply conflicted. After all, magic is a risky business. A woman died when a potion went wrong. Did she want to mess with magic, knowing it might not work? Only the outcome will tell....
"I Believe" explores what happens when someone is so desperate, she'll do anything to -- and quite possibly will -- find true happiness.
And I'd been lonely far too long.
June—the time of year for summer, picnics, baseball. And weddings. My cousins, my sister, and I had gathered in Bitsy's living room for the monthly meeting of the Single-teeners Club, the one we'd begun when we were fancy-free, out-on-the-town gals. Cheerfulness radiated from the girls like moonbeams in a sickening, sticky-sweet way.
I knew why: Everyone had found her beloved, her mate. Her happily ever after.
But not me.
As if reading my thoughts, my sister Paige frowned my way, then at her knitting project. "Allie Palmer, it's time you found a man."
"A man?" I snorted. "The good ones are hiding. You three got the only decent guys in the whole universe, and I'm stuck with alien, delivery man Jeffrey Carpenter, who persists in making goo-goo eyes at me while I'm working hard on Sweet Style's new wedding campaign. His "aw-shucks" manner is so corny. The fashion police should arrest him for those plaid shirts."
"Here we go again. He can't be that bad." With a click-click of her knitting needles, Martha, Bitsy's sister, said, "You need to get royally screwed."
"Martha! If our mothers heard you, you'd be dead. Served up like Sunday fried chicken."
Martha shrugged. "They aren't here—"
Bitsy looped yarn around a needle. "Praise the Lord."
I frowned. Since when did the Single-teeners become the Knitty Witties? I was without a knitting project, leaving me feeling left out of this club, too. "Where did you get the idea I needed a man? For sex?" I huffed. "Men aren't necessarily a requirement. Just ask my best friend, Alex, my vibrator."
"You don't have a vibrator. If anyone would know, I would," Paige said. "You're too picky."
"Yeah, picky," Bitsy said. "Men fall at your feet, even when you treat them like slime balls. And still they come back for more. Go figure."
"I. Am. Not. Picky." My eyes rolled ceiling-ward. "I followed Single-teeners's rules. Remember our standards? Doctors. Lawyers. Accountants. Not delivery men-slash-box company owners."
"Those standards go beyond club requirements." Paige clicked a stitch counter. "Picking boogers from noses . . . ." She snapped her finger in the universal flipped-off gesture. "Gone."
Bitsy perked up. "Moustache and/or beard?"
Snap went Martha. "Gone."
"Zip-up dress shoes—"
"Okay!" I flashed my palms their way. "Point taken, except for nose picking. Did you ever stop to think maybe nothing jived between those bozos and me? No chemistry? That's what a successful relationship needs, as you well know."
Paige resumed knitting. A small, white bootie dangled from the needles. "The only chemistry you're familiar with is the one you almost flunked in high school."
"So chemistry wasn't my favorite subject, Miss I-do-everything-perfectly. You're talking about the wrong kind, anyway. And I have more dating under my belt than you ever had." I tossed my hands skyward. "I don't know what else to do. Post a want ad on Facebook or Craigslist? Wave a magic wand?"
A hush cloaked the room. Paige's project fell to her lap. "Did Allie say magic?"
"She did." Bitsy nodded. "I heard her."
Pausing her knitting, Martha bobbed her head vigorously. "Me, too."
This conversation was going nowhere except down the Port-A-Potty. But as I sat there and thoughts passed through what little brains my dad teased I had, I noticed the girls shared a distinct look, like they knew something I didn't. Each lifted one brow, a shoulder raised in a bare shrug, as if they were communicating through . . . telepathy.
4. If your story were to be made into a movie, who do you think could play Allie’s part and why?
Wow, Joya, this is a hard question. I'm really stumped. I'd never even thought of it as a movie. Any ideas?
Joya’s note: LOL, so now I’m stumped, too. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say Kaley Cuoco (from “The Big Bang Theory). What do you think? Come on, Hollywood, give Vicki a call.
5. What’s your next release and when is it coming out?
For sure, Christmas 2012 brings "Twinkle Lights." The publisher hoped to put it out this year, even got a cover, but nothing yet. It's a very funny story.
Otherwise, I have eight things on my computer to put somewhere. Am working on a secret project. And writing a new short story--"Raving Beauty." Yeah, it is a funny one, too. I'd be lost without my humor.
Thanks, Joya, for having me here. I wish you much success in your writing.
Great to have you and thanks for stopping by, Vicki. Best wishes to you for much continued success!
Vicki Batman is kicking back with her diet Coke and working on another short. Find her at: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com
Or at: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com
Find "I Believe," her sexy novella with a touch of magic at: https://nobleromance.com