The Spotlight Is On...
Welcome to our new monthly author spotlight blog series! Each month, we will be shining a light on a different author, showcasing their work, and providing insights into their writing process. Whether you are an avid reader, aspiring writer, or simply curious about the creative minds behind the books you love, this series is for you. Join us as we delve into the worlds of a diverse range of authors, exploring their inspirations, challenges, and successes. We hope you enjoy this series and discover new authors to add to your reading list!
First up we have USA Today bestselling author Vicki Hinze. Let’s take a moment to learn more about her and then dive right in.
A USA Today bestselling and award-winning author, Vicki Hinze, has written over thirty-five books (fiction and nonfiction) and hundreds of articles that have been published in as many as 63 countries. She is also a columnist for the global Social-In Network.
Vicki writes most often in Romantic Suspense, Thrillers with a romantic element, and Military Romance or Military Thrillers for the general market or for the Christian market. She has written series, political thrillers, suspense, paranormal romantic suspense, time-travel suspense, women’s action adventure, thrillers, psycho-thrillers and contemporary romance with a strong mystery element. All of her books contain elements of suspense, mystery and romance. She enjoys genre-blending and is known as a trailblazer for doing so.
Hinze’s blog (vickihinze.com/blog) is divided into five categories: My Kitchen Table (chat), On Writing (Craft, business, life of writing), My Faith Zone (spiritual journey), Thinking Aloud (a thought to ponder for busy days), and Vicki Hinze Today, which contains all kinds of articles from multiple sources on things of interest relating to books and the publishing industry.
Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a career Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. They and their children moved every few years. Mississippi, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas. They settled in Northwest Florida, where Vicki has adopted a pet turtle named Phred.
PPP: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Vicki: Early. We’d sit in the stairwell (we lived on the second floor) and I’d make up stories and tell them to the other small children. I started reading at three, and by six, every night at dinner the family discussion was a ritual. Read the front page of the newspaper and discuss it at dinner. My dad had a photographic memory, which means he had an amazing gift for giving context to bring events and history and just about everything else to life. I fell in love with his storytelling and craved it for myself. I started with philosophical essays, moved to poetry, and finally to books.
PPP: What was the first book that you wrote?
Vicki: It was a political romantic suspense novel that I’ve never published because it was my training wheels, so to speak, and should never be published. But during it, I fell in love with writing.
PPP: How many books have you written?
Vicki: Sixty or so. Honestly, I’ve lost count. I could sit down and figure it out, but the longer you write, the less significant that seems, so I haven’t done it in a while. That’s not a statement of arrogance, but one of constantly having more and more stories that you want to tell on your mind. You’re so busy looking forward, you don’t spend a lot of energy looking back. I will say I have loved every book I’ve written. Always, that has been my one writing rule.
PPP: On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
Vicki: For over twenty years, I wrote twelve to fourteen hours a day. I have had eye issues since twenty-five, so on days where I could write, I wrote hard, because there were days when I couldn’t, and I rarely had prior notice on when those days would be. It’s been a blessing that working this way allowed me to never be late on a deadline except once. I was four days late, and notified the editor in advance so I didn’t mess up the production schedule. My mother was in ICU and hospitalized for nearly six months. I had to stay with her for communication purposes. I wrote that book in the ICU waiting room.
PPP: What comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
Vicki: Typically, the plot, but the characters soon take over and drive the plot and story. It depends on the story, to be totally honest. Sometimes a character appears out of the blue and creates a plot around them.
PPP: What was your most difficult book to write? Your easiest?
Vicki: Most difficult? All of them. Easiest? All of them. Not being cute, but honest. When you write only books you love, you want to give them all you can. That makes them difficult. But because you love them, that work makes them the easiest. What’s most difficult is fitting into boxes that others create for the books. What’s easiest is writing books that speak to you, haunt you, thrill and chill you. Uncomfortable books.
PPP: Do you have a favorite book or character that you have written? Why?
Vicki: I loved Festival and Shades of Gray, Black Market Body Double and a novella, The Marked Witness. Why? Because they touched me in ways I didn’t expect. Honestly, many of my books did that and it’s a huge gift when they do.
PPP: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Vicki: I thrive on blending genres. Romance and Thrillers. Supernatural elements and hard realities. Spiritual elements and scientific ones. Preparing for this is definitely a quirk. Making the unlikely something that works for you is a huge challenge and a lot of fun.
PPP: Tell us about your current WIP or your most recent book?
Vicki: I’d love to talk about my current WIP, but I won’t because it would diffuse energy in the writing. When it’s done—I’m about 210 pages in right now—I’d be delighted. It’s a complex story but it’s left me breathless many times already! Instead, I’ll talk about Blood Strangers. I love the protagonist in that story, which centers around her and her father, more or less. What a dynamic unfolds between those two! That story captivated me from the start, and she is an amazing woman.
PPP: Where did you find your inspiration for writing it?
Vicki: I was driving down the road and this scene in the book came to me full blown. So I did what all self-respecting authors do. I pulled over and wrote it down. It totally captivated me. I had to write her story to hear her story. Every time I thought I knew what was really motivating, I discovered the reasons went deeper. Fascinated me.
PPP: Tell us about your experience working with the team at Poised Pen Productions.
Vicki: The Poised Pen team has been a gift from heaven. Always there, responsive, full of great ideas, on the ball, and full of vision.
PPP: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Vicki: While I am currently unable to write as much as usual, I am still here, and I so appreciate the readers who have been with me since early on and new readers. I’m blessed by your notes and so grateful for all of you. It’s a privilege to share my stories with you.
In this edgy romantic thriller, it’s suspense to the max with a powerhouse heroine smart and tough enough to take down anyone who gets in her way! But can she live up to her reputation when facing the most dangerous adversary alive?
Hostiles infiltrate the highest corridors of government, the elite Secret Assignment Security Specialists (SASS) team is activated and Captain Amanda West is assigned the lead.
While on an investigative mission to locate the offender, Amanda is captured and buried alive in a tomb by the ruthless SASS nemesis and black-market broker, Thomas Kunz. She struggles, escapes and discovers she’s been missing not for three days but for three months!
Where has she been? What had happened to her? This leads the horrified Amanda to Captain Mark Cross, another operative in a highly classified position who also has experienced a mysterious three-month absence. The memory issues puts their security clearances at risk, which puts their careers at risk.
Together, they must puzzle through events to protect the nation they swore to defend. They must discover exactly what the diabolical Kunz is doing and stop him, for Kunz has been viciously clear. He wants nothing more--and will accept no less--than the nation’s total destruction.
You can find your copy here: Black-Market Body Double
Thank you for joining us, Vicki. It was a pleasure having you here.
Join us next month for our May Author Spotlight. Joining us will be award-winning authors', Tina Susedik, and Sherrie Lea Morgan.
Until next time...
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