An Interview with Vicki Batman

Please help me welcome Vicki to my blog by leaving her lots of comments. Don’t forget that if you leave a comment you are entered in the prize drawing.

How did you get started writing? A friend posed a question in a game and I took it to heart. Two days later, I’d written eight chapters. She said to keep going. Since I follow directions well, I did.

What genre(s) do you write in and why? I write sexy and funny romantic short fiction. The easy answer is it just came to me!

What movie best describes your life? Why? Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. It’s the trials and tribulations of remodeling, and more about one’s past and future.

What inspired your latest story? I just submitted one based on a little black dress episode and Handsome’s reaction.

What is your favorite part of writing? It’s exciting to get the first draft of any and everything down.

What is your least favorite part of writing? promotion

What is your next project and when will it be released? Store Wars will be available August 2012 from MusieItUp Publishing.

What is your typical day like? I work out, clean up, and sit down at the computer until five-ish. Toss in some errands mid-day.

How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you? About an hour plus. I haven’t a clue yet what works best. I believe word of mouth is the best kind of promotion. I mean, truly, how does one find their plumber?

How has your experience with self-publishing been? Not truly self-published.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories? Handsome has been a great source. He says hilarious stuff. My head goes BING!!! And I have to write it down. Other times, it’s just as simple as a word and saying I’m going to write a story about this.

Do you have critique partners? Absolutely. And they have made me better.
What is your favorite dessert/food? There’s a lot–good queso and chips; Hershey’s chocolate with toffee bits; strawberry cake.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? They have a good chance.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why? Emotion, especially the falling in love part. It is important to get the stages . Linda Howard has a good talk on this.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park? Peril, I guess. I wrote three books and nada. Not in the right place at the right time. Wrote a short story and three years later, have sold twenty-one.

Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like? I sit at a desk with special stacks. Desk top in one corner. A lamp fashioned from a silver pitcher. Sticky notes lined up in front of the monitor. Monitor with a sound bar (love it!). Mechanical pencils. A diet Coke.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader? I read a lot of mystery, romantic suspense, romance.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in? Probably more than me. My funny stuff gets a lot of laughs.

Tell us a little about yourself and your latest book. Me? I’m an ordinary ol’ gal.

Here’s a BIO:

Like some of her characters, Vicki has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm. The list is…endless.

Born in Dallas, a graduate of Texas Tech, she is married to Handsome, has two big boys, an attention-demanding cat, and two adorable poopies.

She has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA, and the DARA, Elements, and RWA-WF chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”

Store Wars features Janie and Fletcher, once a couple. Janie’s heart’s desire is to open her own store, but that could be thwarted when her old love is back in town, running the competition’s business.

Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not? I use Batman. I married a superhero and rarely is that last name forgotten. LOLOL

What are you currently working on? A new Christmas story. Another short story collection. And I have six things waiting on my computer for the right spot.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors? Persevere, work hard, don’t let others define you.

What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? At one point, a teacher. In college, a department store buyer. I began writing poetry at age nine. I evolved.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have the helped you with your writing? How? I belong to RWA and several chapters–DARA, Elements, RWAWF. Savvy Authors. Plotting Princesses. Yahoo groups. Oh my, the support they bring to the table! And the friendships are awesome.

When did you start writing toward publication? I began eight years ago.

Why have you become a published author? Honestly, once I began my book, it felt natural to continue.

Do you have any rejection stories to share? The worst one for me came from a contest. A judge wrote “Why are you writing?” I took the comment to mean my writing is terrible. And cried. I told my friends who were supportive and listened. Two days later, I gave myself a pep talk and determined no one will be defining me. A year and a half later, that manuscript took third in a contest.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing? Each sale is a pure treat.

What’s next for you? I’d love to sell my romantic mystery and am hoping my magazine submission’s are bought. Then, there’s short stories I haven’t sold and will this next year.

Excerpt from “Store Wars:”

“This stuff is crap.” I ran a finger along the edge of a faux-finished table parked inside the store’s entryway, flicking more than a hint of dust from my fingertip. My best girlfriend, Tracy, and I were scoping out the competition in the Sommerville Historic District, one of which was Tejas Souvenirs owned by an old flame’s mom. So far, no business we’d visited had measured up. The other stores all looked…tacky touristy.

I walked through to the next section, thoroughly disgusted with what lay before me. This store needed major first aid. No quality merchandise anywhere. The overpowering scents of vanilla and cinnamon from the cheap candles loaded on another table top caused me to have a major sneezing fit.

Tracy passed a tissue. “Janie, need this?”

“T’anks.” I stuffed the used wad in my pant’s front pocket, praying the urge to let loose again would bypass. “Why in the world is a huge candle display by the front door, assaulting a customer when he-slash-she walks in? I can’t be the only one who’s allergic. And look…” I pointed to the section at the top of four steps, “room diffusers up there. Another brand of candles over there. And yes, people, let’s combine those with scented bath products. A whole lotta stinky people and stinky homes are out there in the big wide world.”

Tracy scribbled notes as I surreptitiously took pictures of the store’s contents. “Undoubtedly,” she said in a hushed tone. “So what else turns you off?”

In one corner, imitation leather purses embellished with rhinestone crowns had been stacked on a glass and chrome shelving unit. Cheap, gemstone bracelets decorated a nearby display stand. I pointed to a shirt rack and said in a soft voice, “I’d never wear these clothes.”

With a frown, Tracy cupped her mouth. “Me, neither. They’re aimed for the nighttime crowd—if you catch my drift.”

“I do. Yuck.” Taking in the whole enchilada, I stopped when I spied the jean-clad backside of a male employee sweeping the floor. God, I hope he hadn’t heard us. I steered Tracy aside and whispered, “We’ll have no problems with Twinkle Toes succeeding in the Depot District. Even better than the mall.”

“I agree. Let’s split up, take mental notes, and meet out front in fifteen minutes.”

I peeled off to the left, and she went to the right. The man cleaning glanced over his shoulder and straightened. “May I help you?”

Instantly, my body froze like an icicle. It couldn’t be— Could it? Fletcher? As in my once upon a time boyfriend, Fletcher Babcock? When had he abandoned the bright lights of Big D and return to Sommerville?

Find Vicki at:
Twitter: @VickiBatman

Find “Store Wars” at:
MuseItUp Publishing:

23 thoughts on “An Interview with Vicki Batman

  1. An interesting interview, Vicki. Thank you. I always enjoy reading about how writers approach their craft. I especially liked the way you overcame that early rejection – and am so glad you rose above that comment.

    I enjoyed your excerpt – love reading witty light-hearted stories when I want to cheer myself up or simply escape for a while.

    And you really have a husband called Handsome? I’d love to see people’s reactions when you’re out visiting new places and you refer to him by name…

    • Thank you so much, Manic Scribbler! I’m glad you liked the excerpt and I think my writing is cheerful too. Okay, the truth about Handsome. He is pretty handsome. LOL. He signed cards Handsome Husband which I just shortened to Handsome. (I am Beautiful Wife. LOL) We were in a bookstore in SF and I went, “Handsome.” Another man turned around. I said, “Not you, Handsome, the other Handsome.” Everyone laughed.

    • Hi, Margaret. I know what you mean. Standing in the street and looking down at all the retail, thinking what if?? Well, it worked. Thank you for posting.

  2. Vicki, great interview. I learned some things about you I didn’t know. Your day sounds very much like mine. I love your stories and I love the new cover and excerpt. Can’t wait to read it.

    • Hi, Cara! I thought you knew all about me. LOLOL. I love your stories too. And yea!! for the cover. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thank you, Marian. I was sad for about two days and then said “No Way!” I guess the lesson is persevere. Thank you for posting today.

    • Thank you so much, Carole, for the compliment. It took me twenty years to give writing a go, but I did and am very happy.

    • I know, Karilyn! Who would have thought? The lack of tact. But it did make me change and for that, I am grateful. ox

  3. I love your excerpt, Vicki! Why are you writing? The better question is, “Why are you judging contest entries?” Talk about a power trip judge. Sorry you had to read that and cry. I know it was a while back but I’m still sending you a fat, virtual hug! I’m so thrilled you never gave up! I always enjoy your stories! Your tag line is perfect for you too because it fits your books to a T!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and compliments, Alisha. I didn’t give up. Now, if I’d sell a little/whole lotta more…

      That judge. I was told I should have reported her, but didn’t know at the time that was protocol. Oh well, live and learn. And tell the story so others won’t give up too.

  4. Vicki, I love stories that make me laugh and your books always manage to do that. In fact, I’m still chuckling over everything you write. And I love how you get so much of your inspiration from your man, Handsome. 🙂

  5. Hi, Sheila! But you make me laugh too! And I can’t wait to read your work. Without Handsome, I’d have a whole lotta different stories. Thanks, pal!

  6. I had such nice responses today. Thank you! And thank you, Cynthia. My greatest desire is to tickle a funny bone. I’ll do a drawing for a winner tomorrow. Happy writing and reading!

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