Name: Violetta Rand
Age: Can’t remember…
Where are you from? Grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and now live in Alaska.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc…
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over eight years, I enjoy the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.
I’ve been “in love” with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, I wrote short stories illustrated by my best friend and sold them in my neighborhood.
The only thing I love more than writing is my wonderful husband, Jeff. I also enjoy outdoor activities, reading whatever I can get my hands on, music, and losing myself in the fictional worlds I enjoy bringing to life.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Book 3 of the Blind Series, Blind Redemption, released June 25. Book 4, Blind Vengeance, is set for publication in December.
I recently signed with the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and now have two contracts with Random House. My New Adult romance series, The Devil’s Den, is edgy and evocative, and explores the sexy world of exotic dancers. That’s set for publication in June 2015 with Random House.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My earliest memories revolve around reading and writing. My mother inspired me to be a great reader, encouraging me to study the dictionary and books.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my first book in the Blind Series released.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ll change that to what inspired me to get serious about writing professionally. I have years of technical writing experience and that eventually translated into pursuing historical romance.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not a sophisticated writer—my agent/publisher tell me I have an edgy strong voice.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Blind Series just seemed to fit the tempo of my Viking stories. And there’s so many combinations for it, Blind Allegiance, Blind Mercy, and Blind Redemption…
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’ve always been fascinated with history, especially warrior cultures. But even in the harsh setting of the Viking Age, these people found a way to reach resolution, through war and diplomatic measures. I believe it’s important to show how different cultures/people achieve peace.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My stories are deeply rooted in history. One of the great things about the Viking Age is there’s so many data gaps in the historical record. The challenge and joy is to fill in those gaps. I do explore the religious nature of Vikings, often exploring how I think the Vikings engaged their gods through prayer and sacrifice.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sure, like every writer, anything I see or hear is fair game. Although I don’t mention the players by name, I often rely on real life experiences to help drive my stories.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
I’ve always loved the epic stories in the Old Testament and the faith represented in the New Testament.
My favorite childhood book was Shadow Castle by Marian Cockrell.
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
The Pillars of the Earth/World without End by Ken Follett
Kepler’s Witch by James A. Connor
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Victoria Vane has been a wonderful friend and my greatest influence.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Outcasts by Elizabeth Preston
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
New to me is probably different than “new” authors. I’m completely engaged with anything written by Kathryn Le Veque and Jodi Ellen Malpas.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The Devil’s Den Series
A new Viking series
My first highlander novel
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My beta reader, Carol Cork.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. Considering I gave up my day job to pursue this crazy and wonderful world of writing, it better be.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I love Blind Redemption, which includes the characters and adventure and any flaws.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Pretty much what I stated before, my mother helped mold my interest in reading/writing and it stuck with me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A teaser from my unnamed Highland novel…
Laird MacRae laughed. “I never said I didn’t trust you.” His bushy gray eyebrows were nearly as expressive as his mouth. “But there’s little time to restore your credibility, Errol. My fate is decided. With humility and dedication, the family you so irreverently dishonored might be convinced to trust you again.”
Again, Errol frowned. Six months ago he’d lost control after playing drinking games all night. The next morning, a lad discovered him in the stables passed out with two maids draped over him, completely naked. “A man shouldn’t be judged for his sexual conquests.”
“Nor should he dip his wick in places it doesna belong.” His father rubbed his face, obviously frustrated. “You deflowered the only daughters of the captain of my guard.”
“Wayward lasses both,” he claimed. “And I’d do it again if I were offered a second chance.”
His father coughed violently. The spells were coming more regularly, and it pained Errol to see his father grow weaker every day—his once powerful frame reduced to skin and bones. Consumption. A disease for which there was no remedy or treatment.
“This behavior won’t suit,” his father said. “There’s enough murderers, rapists, and thieves roaming freely in the Highlands. My son won’t be counted amongst them. Fetch the lass back to her family. Now.” Laird MacRae cupped his mouth with both hands and leaned forward in his chair. If he found the right position, he could breathe more easily, possibly stop the coughing.
“Aye.” Errol gave a quick bow, his love for his sire more important than his selfish pride. He’d recover the lass, then take a switch to her arse. “I may be gone for a while.”
“Take all the time you need, lad.”
Without speaking, he left the great hall, his thoughts dedicated to more entertaining pursuits—like joining his band of friends who were out hunting and fishing.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The isolation. I’m a people person, so dealing with the extended quiet has been a challenge.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’ll focus on romance, Diana Gabaldon. Obviously the woman knows how to research, and I’m in love with the depth of her historical setting. But my admiration and love for her stories is more about her unrestrained writing style. There’s passion in those pages.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but that’s changing soon. I’ll attend the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas next year to kick off my new series.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The artwork for the Blind Series was designed by Ramona Lockwood.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Reminding myself to take a break from writing—my husband often tapped me on the shoulder and told me to eat or sleep.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Improving my craft.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
For me, it’s all about staying focused. Sure, there’s more to writing than just writing. BUT, I spend twenty percent of my time marketing/networking/editing and the rest typing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Hiking and riding my 4-Wheeler.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Braveheart and The Godfather trilogy are my favorite movies.
As for TV series…
Sons of Anarchy
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza/Goldfish crackers/blueberries/Blue/Rock and Roll
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have pursued getting my Ph.D. in Ecology and likely taught at the university level.