Vicki Tremper bites her lip and runs her fingers through her hair. She knows she won’t escape this experience unscathed. But still, she steps forward and sits down on the HOT SEAT.
Vicki loves travel, food, her two little boys, her husband and their puppy. She can count to ten in seven languages (and has forgotten how to in three others). Like Susanna, Vicki joins us from New York in the USA.
So, Vicki, let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?
Young adult and middle grade fiction.
Tell us about Kwizera Means Hope, your most recently completed novel, in 25 words or less.
Cecile Kwizera, a sixteen-year-old Hutu, weathered the bloody Rwandan genocide, standing by shocked and silent while young men with pangas massacred her Tutsi classmates.
Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I spend my non-writing time with my two little boys and my husband, or occasionally exercising at the gym, or very occasionally cleaning my house. I also teach French in an afterschool program once a week.
Tell us a little about your writing process.
Well, I’m an outliner. I love writing the first draft, which usually takes me about three months. I get very little sleep and my kids watch a lot of TV, because I’m so excited to write, that I just write whenever I can. When I’m not writing the draft, I’m thinking about writing the draft. Then I revise revise revise, get some feedback, revise some more – you get the idea, right? My last step is to edit for repetitive words and weak words.
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?
My kids. They love books and I just want to be part of that.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Keeping motivated in the face of rejection, finding the time when family pressures mount, and quieting the voice of self-doubt.
And now for the HOT SEAT questions
If you had to give up either reading or writing for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Oh, that’s just cruel. While I might be bitter about not being able to write anymore, I think I’d go insane if I couldn’t read.
If your current WiP was going to be made into a movie, who would play your lead character(s) and why?
The main character of my current WIP, a historical fantasy set in 19th century Paris, looks like Natalie Portman, but she’s probably too old now to play Sophie in a movie. I’d love Keira Knightley to play Sophie, because she has the perfect physique for a dancer (as does Natalie) and a certain elegance that would work really well, but I can still see her being awkward when she needs to be.
Why do you write? What do you hope to achieve?
I write because I love bringing my stories to life, and because I just have to. When the bug hits, it hits hard. I’ve gotten other bugs (learning Hebrew, knitting, Tarot-card reading, etc.), but none have lasted my entire life like writing has.
I want to share a little of the whole wide world with kids, in a non-pedantic way. I want to feed their curiosity and excite them into learning more more more.
Thanks for taking a seat, Vicki. Kwizera Means Hope sounds confronting, but fascinating. I can’t wait to read it.
If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀