Hello, lovelies! Here for another delicious interview? Well, you’re in luck. I happen to have one. PA Vachon, author of the Bears in Love series, joins us today to give a look behind the scenes of writing. The Bears in Love series has received good reviews and Vachon’s fans are already clamoring for more.
RJ: Can you tell us a wee bit about yourself?
VACHON: I am a mom of three mostly grown cubs (my eldest is married and owns her own home, my middle will be 22 in May, and the youngest is a senior in HS). I am the wife of an amazingly supportive man. If not for him, this writing thing never would have happened. We’ve been married for 10 years this July but have been together for 27 years total. We have five dogs, two cats, and lots of scaly pets as well.
RJ: You’ve been writing for a while now, but only recently decided to publish. What drew you to writing and storytelling? Have you always wanted to eventually publish, or were you more focused on getting your ideas out and sharing them with friends and family?
VACHON: For me it was being read to at a very young age. I began reading alone when I was three years old. I have always made up stories in my head and shared them with those around me. The written word is our legacy to the generations to come. When I am gone, my stories will still be out there.
RJ: Toward the end of last year, you began writing full time. What kind of obstacles did you overcome during the transition to full-time author? Did you ever feel overwhelmed or uncertain about the decision?
VACHON: I was writing full time for about a month, and then it was right back to working a full-time day job and writing. I think for anyone, full time/part time (or anytime really) there is a curve. Time management was a big one for me. I get distracted easily, like Dug the dog from UP … squirrel! It’s awful sometimes. I feel overwhelmed on a daily basis. Between the writing, the day job, kids, and other outside forces it gets pretty hard to do what I need to with my writing. But I definitely make it work.
RJ: Can you tell us a wee bit about your debut novel, Mated to the Grizzly, and your inspiration behind the story?
VACHON: This story had been in my head for a few years. I finally started putting it to paper last June. I wrote one paragraph and put it away. Yep, just the one. Then, in early October 2017, I said screw it and wrote the rest of the book in about three weeks. Ian and Lauren are a great match. Lauren is the curvy girl who is okay with her extra weight—until she looks in a mirror. Sometimes when you are overweight you forget until you see yourself. Ian is the epitome of protective; he will do anything for his Fated Mate. Did I mention this is a shifter romance? Ian is human and grizzly bear. And no, there is no weird bear/human sex in my books (you’d be surprised how many times people ask me that question—ew). When you read Mated you can tell it’s my first book, but trust me, they get better as I continue to hone my craft and add to the series.
RJ: Both the second and third books in the Bears in Love series, When I See Her Smile and Bearly Mistaken respectively, came out earlier this year. When writing Mated to the Grizzly, did you already know it would be part of a series?
VACHON: I always knew that Mated would be book one in a series. Originally the series was going to be a six-book arc. After talking with my editor and an amazing author friend, I decided to do a spin-off series instead. That is when the Lake Alice Shifters series was born. The next series is dedicated to the children of the Bears in Love couples finding their mates and their HEAs.
RJ: You now have three titles under your belt, plus a prequel, a spin-off, and a new series in the works. What is your writing process like and how are you able to keep your ideas organized?
VACHON: Luckily, I have a pretty good memory and I re-read a lot! Plus, I keep a notebook next to my laptop on my desk that I can check as needed. I do mostly free writing. I will put in my headphones, blast the playlist for whichever book I am writing, close my eyes, and type.
RJ: Are there any specific authors that have influenced your writing?
VACHON: So many, but my hands-down, most influential has to be Moxie North. Her series and her books always move me. And that is what I want to do with my books: move people. And another favorite is Caitlyn O’Leary. Not only is she a tremendously talented writer, she is super supportive of her fans that branch out and try their hand at publishing. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have an ARC readers group and a pretty good following.
RJ: What was your marketing experience like for Mated to the Grizzly and how has it evolved for each title since?
VACHON: Marketing? Yeah, book one had pretty much no marketing at all. I did try a BookDoggy promo at one point and it did so/so. For books two and three, I did more—newsletter swaps, blog tours, promos on Facebook and Amazon, a BookBub ad, and another BookDoggy promo that did much better. I built my NL base subscribers and continue to build on that now. I also did a release party for each book with other authors coming in and celebrating my release with me.
RJ: What has been the most intimidating aspect of being an author? Is there something you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing?
VACHON: Not knowing what the heck I was really doing at first. I wish I had known more about the author support groups out there. They have been tremendously helpful when I have questions.
RJ: What advice do you have for new authors?
VACHON: Don’t be afraid to do this thing. Also, if you don’t know, ask questions. There are so many wonderful people in the Indie publishing world that are genuinely trying to help and guide new authors.
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