Interview with Briana Vedsted

Posted on October 16, 2013

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Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the wonderful Briana Vedsted and now I get to return the favor.  Please enjoy this talented author’s awesome interview!!
 
 
Do you write under any other names? No, I don’t use any pen names.
 
What are you currently working on? I’m planning to start working on my fantasy series again. I first started writing it in 2009, so I have a lot of editing and rewriting to do. I hope to have the first book done by January, but I make no promises!
 
How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles? I have three books that I’ve self-published, and one that should be out in November, published through Tate Publishing (Title: Me and Billy the Kid) The three self-published titles are: The Night I Walked off of Boot Hill, The Ballad of Margaret Hearst (The Untold Story of Margaret Hearst, alias Maugrim Valletta), and A Girl Named Cord.
 
What inspired you to write your first book? My first book, which has yet to be published, was inspired by a dream I had about furry, black creatures with glowing eyes. This book is not yet finished, and will eventually become a series named “Lane Williamson”.
 
Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer? Not really. I like to write in both first and third person, it just depends on how many main characters I have in each specific book.
 
How did you come up with the title of your book(s)? Finding the right title is difficult for me. I usually go through three or four before I find the right one.
 
Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp? Each book has a different message, which varies from friendship is priceless, true love is a rare gift, or loyalty and trust is necessary for life. But again, it just depends on what my book is about and how I feel about my main character.
 
How much of the book is realistic/true? All my westerns are historic fictions. I start with the truth, and then fill in holes and gaps with my imagination.
 
Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes. In all my books, the main character is me. I make people I know into other characters and often use my own life experiences to make the book seem a little more real.
 
What books have most influenced your life most? Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series, C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia”, Louis L’Amour westerns, and the Bible.
 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”? Louis L’Amour. His western, while they included romance, it was always clean and appropriate for readers of all ages. There was plenty of action and adventure, too.
 
What book are you reading now? The Last Enchantress by Scott and Judith Powell.
 
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My WordPress blog. There are so many people I have virtually met that believe in me and my work, I cannot name just one. They have helped me so much, I don’t know how I can ever do enough to really thank them.
 
Do you see writing as a career or a hobby? I really want it to be my career, but at this point in my life, it has been put on the backburner and is more of a hobby.
 
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? A Girl Named Cord is my latest book, and overall, I am very pleased with it.
 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My mother loved literature, and always bought me books. She also encouraged me to write down the stories I would make up.
 
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m bouncing around to a few different projects right now, but the one I’m putting most of my attention into is my modern-day werewolf book. It is about Ness, a born leader who will not accept her destiny and kill werewolves. She wants peace and harmony, but cannot achieve it unless she turns her back on her family and her alpha and runs away. She loves her alpha with all her heart and cannot hurt him. But she can’t be a murderer, either. The trouble I’m having with this book is that is has a really long backstory. There is so much history that must be told in order for the readers to understand what’s going on. And then when I tried to explain how the alpha’s mind works, with their telepathy and the fact everything is just a play of the mind, I think everyone is going to be lost and I’m just not sure how to arrange everything in a way that it doesn’t sound like a textbook.
 
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Not ending the book in a way that makes it seem like I was rushing to be done.
 
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? At present, I love Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles. I like the way that his characters are young and have to face challenges that most adults wouldn’t even make it through. The characters are almost all demigods, and the magic and history/mythology he incorporates into the books are just awesome!
 
Who designed the covers of you books? Dirk Porsche from http://shiggyenterprises.wordpress.com/
 
What was the hardest part of writing any of your works? Just being able to find the time to write a complete book! I usually come up with a great ending or middle, and then I have to build around it. Sometimes I mentally hit a roadblock and have to take a break from that manuscript. Sometimes I return to it after only a week or so, other times, I don’t work on it again for over a year. I have so many work-in-progresses, I’ve lost count of them all!
 
Do you have any advice for other writers? If you love writing, then write. Be open to criticism, but you don’t have to change up everything just because one person didn’t like one of the characters.
 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? When you read my books, there are a few things you should know about me. For the most part, humor isn’t my thing. I throw hard situations at my characters. I hate sad endings, even though I have written a few books that even leave me in tears. One thing you’ll never read in my books is the main character’s pet dying. I don’t care if that cat just went through a tornado, she is coming back. I hate animal cruelty, and it kills me when I lose any of my animals. I guess that is the reason that I can’t even kill off an animal in my book.
 
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your stories to life? It would be the research. I do try to keep all dates and places as accurate as possible.
 
What character from your writing is your favorite and why? Angel, from Me and Billy the Kid. She is strong but not overbearing. She gets hurt but doesn’t curl up in a ball and sob. She’ll throw her share of punches, and isn’t afraid of much. She is loyal to her one true love, and would die to save him.
 
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