I met Jodi Vaughn at a Romance of America Writers conference in Atlanta, Georgia last year. She was funny and down to earth, and I liked her immediately. When I found out about her book and our shared affinity for the paranormal, I knew we’d be fast friends.
Here’s the gist of her paranormal romantic suspense Veiled Secrets:
Two things twenty-three year old, Celeste Hart, is certain of: One, she isn’t entirely human. Two, she isn’t entirely evil. As a child, she always had dreams and visions about the future. So when she dreams about a certain book that holds the key to her identity, she is determined that nothing will stand in her way. Putting aside her insecurities, she crashes a company party in the very house containing the book, determined to find the truth. After colliding with her boss, sexy Eric Nordstrom, Celeste agrees to let him give her a private tour of the house in hopes of finding the book. The sexual attraction she feels for him is overwhelming, and they both feel an unexplainable thrum racing through their veins when they touch. Their resulting child becomes the focus of a battle between the forces of good and evil. Celeste and Eric–two polar opposites–must fight together to save their child’s life.
Jodi resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas with her handsome husband and brilliant son. They share their home with their yellow Labrador retriever who is, apparently, quite fond of retrieving turtles when duck season is over. She is currently working on her next paranormal series set in the south.
Here are my nine questions with Jodi Vaughn…
Tell us about a little about Celeste Hart, your protagonist in Veiled Secrets.
Celeste Hart has always had visions and yearns to know what she is, good, bad, or evil. She discovers her visions are a result of her Fae blood and that a horrible evil is coming for her. She must put aside her differences with her estranged husband, Eric, and fight alongside him against the Evil Queen of the Fairies.
As a fan of paranormal romance and paranormal thrillers, I’m always astounded by how authors come to the page with new twists and reinventions of what readers have already seen in paranormal realms. Without giving spoilers, how do Celeste’s dark visions and conflicts between the good and evil in her stand out and twist what readers know?
I was born and raised in the South and was instilled with the knowledge that things that could not be explained must be evil. That’s where a lot of Celeste’s issues come from. She wants to be normal and fit it, but her power of prophecy makes that difficult. She will discover that what she views as her weakness will turn out to be her strength.
Social media is such a big part of an author’s life these days. How and why do you utilize the social media tools you do, and where do you draw the line?
Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’m not really big on social media. I’ve learned that I have to make the effort to put myself out there. But with me being an introvert, I really struggle. I’m getting better on my author page and actually love interacting with readers, but Twitter is my Achilles heel. I’m working on it, though.
Published writers tend to either love or hate critique groups. I’ve heard a few authors decry them as clubs for amateurs. What’s your take on critique groups, and where do you find the strengths and pitfalls?
Critique groups are like shoes. You have to try them on and see how they fit. I’ve been in critique groups that do nothing but bash and give no constructive criticism what so ever. I’ve also been in critique groups that give really good critiques, and it’s those groups that can really grow a writer. As with any critique groups, I believe the group has to be accountable and get stuff in and critiqued on time.
It’s no secret that digital publishing has altered the way the world views books. How has digital and online publishing changed the way you approach writing and publishing? Or has it?
It really hasn’t changed how I approach writing/publishing. I write because I love doing it and can’t imagine not doing it.
As an author clearly situated as a southern paranormal writer, how important is it to know where you fit into the market, and how do you think those labels help or hinder reaching an audience?
I write Southern characters. I think branding myself as such helps me in the respect that it’s a bit different, and it does help me stand out a bit more than just saying “paranormal romance.”
Writer’s organizations and conferences are a big part of your writing life. With which organizations are you affiliated, and how have they helped you grow as a writer?
I am a member of RWA, and FF&P. I am also the past President of 2013 of River City Romance Writers in Memphis, Tennessee. Going to conferences is essential to any writer. The opportunity to network is limitless. Being able to connect with other writers and building those friendships are priceless. I’ve met some of my closest friends at writer’s conferences.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten? What is the best piece of advice you think you have to give?
Jodi Thomas told me to “never give up, keep writing.” I must offer that same advice to any writer out there.
What’s next for Jodi Vaughn?
My next book, Veiled Enchantment, will be out 2014. I also have a Halloween anthology and a Christmas anthology out in 2014 as well.
I’ll be at the M.R. Davis library February 8 from 1:00 -3:00 with a group of other authors. We will be talking about writing romance and there will be a book signing after.
I will also be at RT convention in New Orleans this May! Also I’ve been asked back to Dragon Con in August to sit on the writer’s panel (Super excited! Love me some Dragon Con!)
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Check out Jodi’s blog at http://jodivaughn.com
Veiled Secrets is available on Amazon from Gilded Dragonfly Books (A Duel on the Delta -Finalist)