There is an interesting dynamic in being both a reader and member of the Christian writing community. As a writer, I am SO incredibly blessed to get to know authors I read on a personal level. As a reader, I totally fangirl over getting to meet and know these incredible authors. Which means I’m often squealing on the inside every time I am meeting with each of these women. I’m a hot mess, y’all. So it’s an incredible blessing that I haven’t run them off yet, especially Erica Vetsch. While trying to be professional in this interview, know that I am absolutely squealing on the inside. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Erica’s writing, especially the Thorndike and Swann series. So now it is my immense pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite authors.
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/inspirationalregencyreaders where she spends way too much time!
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Erica with rapid-fire.
CC: Sweet or Salty?
EV: BOTH! I love popcorn with M&Ms
CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?
EV: Print for research books, and currently audio for fiction.
CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?
EV: Tea, Black.
Morning Person or Night Owl?
EV: Night owl 🙂
CC: Favorite Holiday?
I am with you on the book formats. Unfortunately, my life has been too crazy for print. (Cue sobbing.) But I can’t wait for your book to come out on audio so I can really enjoy it. So let’s dive into the meat of this interview.
What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?
EV: I start noodling an idea, letting it marinate, and begin reading history books set in the place/time I am thinking of. I ask ‘what if’ kinds of questions. Then I schedule time with my adult daughter, who listens to the plot, and asks lots of ‘thread pulling’ types of questions to see what unravels. Then we write scene summaries on a white board, with the characters, settings, plot points, etc. After I have it the way I think it will go (which it does, sort of, but there are always changes as I write it.) I tell my girl the story again. Then I type out a synopsis, with a paragraph for each scene, and usually two scenes per chapter. Then it’s time to sit down and write. I keep the research books handy, and I make notes as I write about what else I might need to research that I didn’t know when I started. Each day, I go back over what I wrote the day before, tidying it up and then writing new words. When I get somewhere between the two-thirds and three-fourths mark of the story, I go back to the beginning and change and rewrite in all the things I’ve changed my mind about or discovered as the story unfolded. When that’s done, I’m able to write a smash-bang finish.
CC: It’s always so fascinating (and freeing) to hear how each author works differently. I have some similarities to your process and now have a few things from yours that I might try out on the next story. 🙂
What is your writing Kryptonite?
EV: The Internet. Social media, really. I help administrate a wonderful Facebook Group for Inspirational Regency Readers, and that takes quite a bit of time, but I also love Instagram Reels. 🙂
CC: Oh, that dreaded internet and social media. Although I have to admit, I LOVE the IRR group.
Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?
EV: Write! At first, you may not know exactly what you’re doing or how to plot or craft a story, but write! Finger-paint your story. Then write some more. Don’t obsess over the first story, but begin a new one. Each time you write a story, you’ll learn more about what makes for good storytelling. Read books on the craft of writing, take a writing class online, or go to a conference and sit in the workshops. But above all, write.
CC: I echo this. Without the writing, you can’t have a book.
Now, I’m excited to discuss your newest release, Children of the Shadows, book three in the Thorndike and Swann series. It’s literally sitting next to me and taunting me to pick it up. Sigh. To-do lists first . . .
Someone is preying upon the street children of Regency London. They seem to think no one will notice when urchins go missing–and even if they are noticed, who will care?
Daniel needs to do something about the missing children. But with recent revelations about his past and an unexpected, somewhat unwelcome inheritance to deal with, this is a terrible time to dive back into the seedy underbelly of the crime world. Nevertheless, he’s still a Bow Street runner, and his partner Lady Juliette is sensitive to the plight of these wayward youngsters. They’re on the case, searching shadowed alleys and coal-drenched streets to find the missing.
But the tangle of expectation and the dynamics of power cannot be easily ignored, even if there are children in danger. When Daniel’s past threatens to overwhelm his future, he will need a miracle and the help of his friends to both apprehend the villain and unravel his tangled family web. And it may be that his new responsibilities demand that he leave the children of the shadows to their terrible fate–or lose everything.
Erica Vetsch’s popular Regency mystery series concludes with a bang, sure to satisfy readers who have hung on every page since book one.
CC: Where did you get the idea for Children of the Shadows?
EV: I think one of the things I like best about this story, aside from the justice aspect, is that the characters wrestle with some really thorny problems in their faith. Is God both Sovereign and Good? I think many people can relate to those wobbles of faith where they question God’s ability to act, or the goodness of His actions.
CC: Amen. It’s definitely not a one and done wrestle, and it’s so fascinating to see how much we’ve grown since the last time we wrestled with it.
EV: First of all, an entertaining read with a satisfying ending. Beyond that, if they can see themselves in the characters, learn alongside them, and grow, even in a small way, in their faith journey, that would be icing on the tea cake. 🙂
CC: As a reader, I can say you have definitely achieved that icing on the tea cake. 🙂 Last but not least . . .
EV: The Manatee. A few years ago, I visited my folks in Florida, and we went to a particular spot on the Gulf of Mexico known for its manatee sightings. As we walked along the pier, there were audio speakers along the rail at intervals, telling the listener about the life of the manatee. At one point, the recording said, “When the manatee isn’t sleeping, it can be found eating,” and I knew I had found my spirit animal. 🙂
CC: LOL, oh boy do I feel that one. Except I don’t eat my leafy vegetables as I should. Thank you so much for visiting us, Erica.
Readers, take my word for it. You do NOT want to miss this series. Grab the first one, The Debutante’s Code, if you haven’t started it yet. If you’ve read this newest and last one of the series, DO NOT tell me what happened. I can’t wait to dive in for myself. But please DO leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.