Our next interview features Veronica Robbins, who owns Robbins Creative Content, LLC based out of Woodland, California. Her winning entry, And A Little Child Shall Lead Them, will be published in StarkLight Volume 3. Here is her interview with Virginia Carraway Stark:
1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?
I wrote a poem about Thanksgiving when I was in the third grade that I was asked to read in front of our church congregation. When I was in fourth grade, I wrote my first real short story. It was called, The Mystery of the Killer Poodle, and it was about a poodle that picked off members of his family one by one. Pretty dark for a fourth grader, don’t you think?
2. What is your main inspiration to write?
I can’t not write. The words just come into my head and have to get out. Even when I’m writing marketing copy or non-fiction, which I write more than fiction, it’s the same way. I can’t get any peace until the ideas are written down.
3. What is your story for Starklight press about?
It’s about a little girl who sees angels. Her adopted mother thinks she’s seeing imaginary friends until she learns that they are, in fact, real angels. Not only that, but they come from another world with a message. It’s a tale about God’s children being spread all over the universe and how we are just a small part of his creation. It’s also about learning to open our minds to different concepts of space, time, and communication. Unlike The Mystery of the Killer Poodle, no one dies. It’s all about life.
4. Why did you choose this story/genre?
I chose the genre because I learned that StarkLight Press was looking for Sci Fi stories. I’m new to the genre so I thought it would be a good opportunity to stretch my wings a bit. The seeds of the story come from an idea my husband and I have been discussing for years. Are there angels among us? Could they be aliens and could these aliens simply be God’s children created before us? That’s where the spark came from, and I just took it from there.
5. What advise do you have for aspiring authors?
Write what you love. I spent the better part of my professional career writing for others to make money, and I did make very good money, but after 15 years it started to kill me. Life is both too long and too short to spend it chasing money by doing something you don’t enjoy. Follow your heart and then find a way to earn a living on that same path. Most importantly, don’t quit. Don’t give up. If you’re really following your heart, you won’t be able to quit anyway, but be prepared for naysayers, even in your own family, who tell you that it’s a hopeless dream. No dream is hopeless. Anything is possible.
My last piece of advice is write everyday. We writers are generally an undisciplined lot. The only way to reach your goal of finishing a novel or whatever you’re working on is to write regularly. Writing everyday keeps the thoughts flowing and fresh.
6. What are some of your other hobbies?
I read a lot, of course. I read a lot of non-fiction, but I love fiction and poetry, too. I always have three to five books going at once, sometimes more. I also knit and crochet, which are great for stress relief, and I meditate daily. And I love to play with my dog, Handsome. He’s a miniature poodle, by the way. Hmm…. Finally, I spend time engaging with social media and reading and writing on writers’ sites every day. It’s part marketing, part community-building, part fun.
7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?
I honestly believe that everything I read makes me a better writer. The other things I do each day make me a well-rounded person, which is important for someone who writes five to ten hours a day. If I didn’t have a life, I wouldn’t have much to write about, would I? For example, I homeschool my youngest son, and I’m now working several articles and a non-fiction book about our homeschooling experience. I meditate daily, and I have some audio CDs out on affirmation-based meditation (books soon to come), and I’ve written poems about lessons learned while knitting. Reading, living, and writing are inextricably linked in my world.
8. How has your own past influenced your writing?
After I wrote that poem in third grade, my mother told me at every gift giving occasion, “You should write her a poem!” For a while that made me hate writing poetry, but only for a short while. What she was really teaching me was that giving a gift of myself was the best gift I could give, and few things are closer to us than our own writing. Most of my past shows up in one way or another in my writing – in my poetry, on my blog, or in my fiction. For example, my love for baseball is just oozing throughout my romance mystery novel, Rookie Season, which will be out in January. Anything I write is a piece of me.
9. Any final thoughts?
I want to thank Starklight Press for including my story with those of so many other fantastic writers. I’m grateful for the opportunity.