Wednesday, February 18, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brenda Vicars


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Brenda!!  Welcome to The Gal!!  It is great to have you here today.  Made even better since we're from the same neck of the woods :)  
            Let's start with something easy.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brenda Vicars:
I have three happy, healthy, successful children.  Whenever I have doubts about what I've accomplished in life, I remind myself of them.  My career is in education - I've been a teacher and an administrator - mostly working with student support services.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Brenda Vicars:
  1. I watch Dr. Phil, Oprah, Dr. Oz, and The Bachelor every chance I get.
  2. I like to make things out of repurposed wood.
  3. I lived in Haiti for two years when I was a child.
  4. I once stayed up all night long watching Dexter.
  5. I almost won a hula hoop contest.
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Brenda Vicars:
The Boxcar Children

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Brenda Vicars:
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Brenda Vicars:
I don't remember ever not wanting to write.  When I was six, I wrote my first poem, "My Little Sister Vicki Is Very, Very Tricky," and I've been writing ever since.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Brenda Vicars:
I tend to move around - write in different parts of the house - love to write in coffee shops and airports.  I have a treadmill desk and usually do some writing while walking each week.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Brenda Vicars:
My favorite time to write is in the morning when I first wake up.  I love those days when I don't have to be some place early, and I can go straight to my laptop - still in PJs - and start working.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Brenda Vicars:
I think the ideas come from students I've worked with - mainly from unfair situations I've seen them have to work through.  I'm fascinated with the reality that the playing field is not even for all kids.  I can't stop probing at inequity and trying to expose it on the page.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Brenda Vicars:
There are so many!  Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a beautiful book.  It touched me both because of her eloquent writing and because of her life experiences.  And Justin Chen's North of Beautiful inspired me because it elevated my understanding of how profound young adult literature can be.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver made me want to tell stories the way she does, and it's one of the few secrets that I've wanted to read more than once.  I also love Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Brenda Vicars:
I want my characters to be diverse, but when I'm writing about characters from different races or belief systems or cultures, I feel very tense about making sure I'm respectful and that my characterization isn't biased by my own cultural lens.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Brenda Vicars:
The most important component is a compelling character - someone who leaps off the page into your heart and makes you care about him or her.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Brenda Vicars:
All the characters have threads of me, and all have their own unique sides.  But, I'll choose Tilly, the girl who has Down's syndrome, because she often understands the deep, down truth but struggles to come up with the words to explain it.  And Tilly is so loving and compassionate - I like to hope that I'm that way, too.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Brenda Vicars:
Teens still have the capacity to envision change.  And they are the future - literature that touches their hearts can ripple into the rest of their lives.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Brenda Vicars:
My books are inspired by the situations I've witnessed young people work through.  Even though my characters are fictional, their struggles are real - happening right now.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?

Brenda Vicars:
In my trunk is my first novel, This Hour's Term.  It's a saga covering several generations of a family.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Brenda Vicars:
I'm working on Polarity In Love.  In Polarity in Motion, Ethan and Polarity learned how much they care for each other.  Now they are ready to take new risks and move their relationship to the next level.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks so much for dropping by, Brenda!!  It's been great having you!! 
            One more thing before you go: Where can we find you?

Brenda Vicars:

No comments: