Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mystery We Write Blog Tour with Vivian Zabel

AN INTERVIEW WITH VIVIAN ZABEL, MYSTERY WRITER AND PUBLISHER
Vivian, welcome to Mystery We Write Blog Tour, and thanks for spending time with us. We appreciate your sharing details about your life and about your latest novel? Would you start by describing STOLEN and how it came about?



My latest novel, Stolen, is a mixture of mystery, suspense, and even love, but it is not a classic mystery. Torri Adamson discovers her playboy husband has a second wife and takes her children home to Oklahoma. She rebuilds her life with her grandparents, mother’s brother and his wife, and closest friend, until her friend dies of cancer. Torri rebuilds her life again and shared grief with her friend’s widower develops into love. Then her life is torn apart when her children are stolen.
The story is one I had to write after I couldn’t find a way to deal with the pain of two grandchildren being taken by their father. When the novel was written, we didn’t know if they lived or not or where they were. I took the agony, loss, and frustration and gave them to Torri. Of course I still felt the loss, deeply, but at least could better deal with it.

Losing a child must be the most frightening thing imaginable. Just the thought makes my blood run cold. This book is in now my TBR stack. Will you be writing any other books of this sort?

I have a sequel to Stolen in the works, titled Betrayed, because that how missing or kidnapped children feel when they return home and discover everyone else’s life continued.

I’d never thought of the emotional trauma kidnapped children must suffer after they’re safe. Just their coming home has always seemed like a happy ending to me, but just your one sentence has opened my eyes. Of course, that’s exactly how they would feel: BETRAYED. Now I have a new title on my book list.

Were there any challenges in getting STOLEN published?

I had my novel “sold” to two different publishers at different times, but they wanted a happily-ever-after ending. I couldn’t change the ending because doing so would change the whole theme of the book: rebuilding one’s life when trauma and destruction hits. Therefore, I put the manuscript back in the computer and waited.
When I started 4RV Publishing, I wasn’t going to do self-publishing. My submissions go through the acquisition editors just as every submission does, anonymously. Stolen was accepted, however one of my submissions has been rejected.

It’s astonishing that you were ejected by the publishing company you started and now operate. That’s what I call a testimony of integrity. I’m going to check out more of the 4RV books! Now, another question: Who designed your book cover and did you have any say in the final result?



Willow Raven designed the book cover. I was able to give suggestions after she did the design, but I didn’t have any other control. She captured the essence of the writing.

I think readers would like to know something about your personal life. Do you have a pet? If so, tell us about this special relationship.

I have two cats. I love German shepherds, but we don’t have a room for a dog. Therefore, we have Funny Face, who’s nearly 15 years old, and Shadow, who’s about six months old. Funny Face can count to three and knows “treat” means run to the kitchen because I’m going to give him canned cat food. He isn’t able to climb into my lap well any more, but he will sit by my chair until I help him up. Shadow is the great-great-great-great (etc.) grandson of a tom cat I had for over ten years, and he’s smart as can be.

Your cat stories put a smile on my face. I love cats! So independent, a bit like writers, don’t you think? Tell us what are you now reading and who are your favorite authors?

I read Carolyn Hart (what a delightful woman), J.A. Jance, Merline Lovelace, William Bernhardt, Jordan Dane, and others. However the ones named are from Oklahoma, even though Jordan has now moved to Texas, and I know or at least met them all.

If you could choose another time in history to live, when would that be?

I would want to live in the future when houses cleaned themselves and the medical world healed us easier.

Good choice! I think that we’d all like that. Now just a couple more questions:
If you could travel anywhere in the world to research a book, and if someone else pays expenses, where would you pick?

Just one place? Hmmm … I would love to go to Europe and visit the countryside. Yes, a few places in some of the major cities would be enjoyable to see, but I would want to visit the country, castles, villages, and such. I’d like to see places where some of my ancestors lived.

Another good choice and I’d like to trail along. Now for one final question: How do you motivate yourself to write when you’re not in the mood to create even one more sentence?

I allow my mind to take over and create more of the “movie” of my manuscript in my head. That’s how I do my writing anyway, in my head. I have the characters, plot, everything real to me before I put my fingers to the keyboard or pen to paper.

Ah! The magic of writing.

Thanks so much Vivian for stopping by and sharing your life and experiences with us. It’s been fun.

Readers, post any questions or remarks that you have for Vivian, I’m sure she’d be glad to respond. May all of you have a joyful and creative day.

Vivian's Links:
Blogsite:  http://vivianzabel.blogspot.com/

Website: http://vivianzabel.com/

STOLEN and other books by Vivian Zabel can be purchased through any bookstore, on Internet book stores, and through http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/
Hugs,

Jackie

37 comments:

4RV Publishing said...

Thank you for having me, Jackie. My links are as follows:

Blog: http://vivianzabel.blogspot.com

Website: http://VivianZabel.com

Books can be purchased through any bookstore, on Internet book stores, and through http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com

Vivian

Jean Henry Mead said...

A delightful interview. Oklahoma writers are among my favorite authors.

Anne K. Albert said...

Such an incredible and traumatic catalyst to write a book, Vivian. Transfering your own suffering to your heroine's is pure genius. I wish you every success with Stolen.

Ginger*:) said...

A wonderful interview and insight into one of Vivian's books. I think "Stolen" should be on everyone's summer reading list.

Beth Reinke said...

Jackie, what a lovely interview. I learned some new things about Vivian and chuckled over Funny Face's antics. :o)

It's obvious that Vivian poured her heart into Stolen. I hope lots of folks read it!

Anonymous said...

What a touching interview. I've enjoyed learning more about you.

Marja

Cozy in Texas said...

I am so sorry about your grandchildren. I had the same thing happen. Although it was a step-granddaughter, the pain was still there and writing a story for Chicken Soup helped somewhat. I pray one day you will be reunited again.
Ann

Pat Browning said...

Great post, Vivian, but I'm curious about that cat who can count to three. (Great title for a book, by the way -- THE CAT WHO COULD COUNT TO THREE).

Anyway, how do you know the cat can count? Does she or he stamp a paw or something to indicate a number? I know cats can be taught to do tricks, but counting is one I haven't heard of before. Just curious.

Best of luck,

Pat Browning

Jackie King said...

Vivian, Thanks so much for being my guest on COZY MYSTERIES AND OTHER MADNESS. Your novel STOLEN is heart wrenching, and I'll be glad when you have finished its sequel.

I'm impressed that your books have to go through the same sequence as a book that comes in "over-the-transom." It cuts me to the heart to get a rejections. Can't imagine getting one from my own company.
:-(

Best,
Jackie king

Jackie King said...

Jean, What a nice thing to say. May I return the compliment and say this Oklahoma writer loves Jean Henry Mead?
Best,
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Anne, I agree that it was brilliant for Vivian to use her angst in a positive way.

Thanks for stopping by.
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Hi Ginger, I'm so thrilled to have a children's book illustrator leave a comment. Please stop by again.
Cheers,
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Beth, I'm in love with Funny Face, too. What a sweetheart, and so smart.
Hugs,
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Hi Marja, Love having your comment. Sorry you had to become "anonoymous" to be visible.
Best,
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Anne, Thanks for stopping by. I think everyone's heart is touched by this brave book.
Jackie King

Jackie King said...

Oh Pat, leave it to you to want proof and exact info on the counting cat. Bet this will show up in one of your stories one day.
Love,
Jackie King

4RV Publishing said...

Oh, my, where to start. My grandchildren are back in my life, at least I hear from them and know where they are. They were gone for over 12 years, though.

I got tired of standing with the door open while Funny Face decided whether to go in or out or not, so I'd count to 3 and shut the door. He began to scoot the door quickly when I was ready to say 3. Or he'd turn away by 2, or look at me when I said 3 and walk away. If anyone counts 1, 2, 3, he looks at the door. Shadow now does the same thing.

I'm rather partial to Oklahoma writers, with a few Texans thrown in. *grin* (And some from Montana, Utah, Indiana, Canada ...)

Thanks for stopping by.

Vivian

4RV Publishing said...

I assume my comment will show up sometime in the not too distant future.

I do appreciate all the comments, though.

Nope, no one can have Funny Face. He's my senior citizen cat. *grin*

Vivian

Sharon Ervin said...

We see the business side of you at 4RV, but not so much the personal. This interview was enlightening.

Jackie King said...

Aw Vivian, How about just renting FF out for a weekend?
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Sharon, I so agree with your comment. Thanks for stopping by.
Jackie

4RV Publishing said...

Well, Jackie, you know how senior citizens can get a bit cranky and difficult? FF is going through that phase of his life. He hides from other people, but he loves to climb in my lap, with help of course. We're quite a pair: We neither one can move well.

4RV Publishing said...

Sharon, I'm a bit more private, personally. I'll talk forever about the business, the 4RV authors and illustrators (Hi, Ginger). It's just harder to open up myself.

Vivian

Gloria Teague said...

Great interview. I, too, knew nothing about your grandchildren being taken away. I'm so happy you now know where they are & that they're okay. Your cats sound as beloved as my dogs are. Nice job, Vivian!

4RV Publishing said...

Thanks, Gloria.

Vivian

Jacque said...

Loved the interview and the questions were well thought out to give a good picture of Vivian. So glad to have Stolen as the subject as it is one of my two favorite books that Vivian has written. I also enjoyed the mystery Midnight Hours by Vivian. Thanks for a great interview, Jackie.

4RV Publishing said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jacque. Guess you're back to David's.

bob said...

Interesting interview, Jackie and Vivian.

4RV Publishing said...

Thanks, Bob. Glad you enjoyed.

Vivian

Jackie King said...

Hi Gloria, Thanks for stopping by, it means a lot.
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Hi Jacque, Glad you liked the interview. I'll bet there's not much about our Vivian that you don't already know. You two work together so much.
Best wishes,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Hi Bob, I love it when you stop by...but I'm waiting for one of your wry, humorous remarks.

Best,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Vivian, thanks so much for being such a gracious guest on Cozy Mysteries and Other Madness.

I'm really enjoying our MYSTERY WE WRITE BLOG TOUR.

Hugs to all,
Jackie

4RV Publishing said...

Thanks for hosting me, Jackie. See you on the OWFI email list and at the conference, if not before.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by.

Vivian

Velda Brotherton said...

Hi Jackie, Good interview. Vivian is a delightful person I've had the pleasure of visiting with. Clever answers to clever questions. I enjoyed.

Jackie King said...

Hi Velda, Thanks a million for stopping by. It's wonderful to hear from youm, and a special thank you for your kind remarks to Vivian and me.
Hugs,
Jackie

4RV Publishing said...

Thanks, Velda. I'm glad you left a comment and you enjoyed the interview.

Vivian