Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
I live in central Wisconsin with my husband Ron and a houseful of misfit pets. Since I have a BA in Education and work with children everyday I thought I should try my hand at writing for children’s books, but that’s not exactly what happened. Although I have written articles, short stories and puzzles for youngsters my novel The Dream House Visions and Nightmares, Asylett Press July 2009 is definitely for adults.
In The Dream House Visions and Nightmares, recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. The romance comes in the form of a very sexy bakery owner named Brock Cooper. Brock offers Hope all the things her ex-husband didn't, friendship, support, encouragement, romance, understanding and love.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
My dreams have always been a little frightening, and I was experiencing a recurring dream that led to writing The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. My work in progress, The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary has a few scenes that have kept me up at night.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
I’m a writer so everything I hear, observe, touch, and experience can lead to material for a book. I love observing and analyzing human behaviors. My friend Denny gave me a t-shirt that says “Be careful, you may end up a character in my next novel. In The Dream House Visions and Nightmares and Bolt Action I delve into some of the emotional pain of domestic violence, which I experienced as a child before I was adopted. The Dream House Visions and Nightmares is based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where I was born, and in each of my books I mention Wisconsin life. Of course, I have to reference the Green Bay Packers, brats, cheese curds, various cities, and tourist attractions in my novels.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Each of my books has required research, which I do as I write. Some of the research I’ve done has been for the Lotti Cooper, police procedure, autopsy facts, domestic violence, guns, medications, serial killers, and breast cancer statistics.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I want them to enjoy the story, but I want to convey that in the good or bad situations that life my challenge us with, we choose our attitude. Life can be hard, but we can make it or break it by with our positive or negative attitude.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I don’t outline, so I guess I’m a pantser and I wing it. To begin I have an idea and a character in mind. The characters end up taking the story line over, so it is also a surprise to me how the story will unfold and conclude. Sometimes while writing The Dream House Visions and Nightmares I would edit things the next day and never remember writing them.
How long did it take for you to be published?
It took me a year to get a contract from Asylett Press for The Dream House Visions and Nightmares and then a year for the book to come to print.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
“Qtip” Quit taking it personal. This is in regard to the rejections that will come. If I get a rejection I immediately look over my submission materials and send it out again. Determination, hard work, and persistence pay off.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
I must have coffee to write! I write my novels on the computer, but I copy the pages off to edit. The more I learn as a writer the more the pages look like a very mean English teacher got a hold of them.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Stephen King, Jordan Dane, and Heather Graham. I guess the influence would have comes from everything we read including the news.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I have no sense of direction and I don’t like to travel. I can even get disorientated trying to find my way out of large buildings. Good thing I don’t mind asking directions, unlike my husband.
What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
When I was eighteen years old my sister Tammy and I went to California to visit our sister Helen. The highlight…a hot tub with a Scottish Rugby team.
Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual? (ie: Do you wear green? Fix corned beef and cabbage? Speak with an Irish dialect for fun?)
My friend Alice showed up at work all decked out with green hair, green top hat, and a shamrock on her cheek. She was running around with green shot glasses and a bottle of something. I nearly had a heart attack because we work at a church. I was relieved it was only juice because I didn’t want to pull the I’m the boss card on my friend!
I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
Wisconsin Badgers of course!
The Dream House Visions And Nightmares by Victoria Roder Rated BEST BOOK by The Long and Short of it Reviews
Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. The romance comes in the form of a very sexy bakery owner named Brock Cooper. Brock offers Hope all the things her ex-husband didn't, friendship, support, encouragement, romance, understanding and love.
Excerpt: The Dream House Visions And Nightmares, by Victoria Roder Asylett Press 2009.
I looked up and down the dimly lit street. There was no evidence of life. Nor were there any sounds. No dogs barking. No horns honking. No children playing. Nothing. I focused on the house-on its paneless windows, weathered boards and dilapidated porch sinking into a sea of overgrown grass and weeds-and nausea overcame me as an overwhelming moldy odor permeated the air. The look of the house didn’t make my skin crawl; it was the essence of it. I watched the dilapidated house-it moved closer. Perhaps it lured me to it. I began to shiver. I looked down at the white cotton nightgown that I wore. Silk embossed flowers decorated the bodice. I was still straining to hear a sound when I realized, blood had saturated my gown until it had become a second skin. I felt a tug on my gown. I looked down-Rae’s hair cascaded over her face as she clasped my hem through the fence. She pleaded, “Please, help me, please. Can’t you hear my children screaming?” I struggled to get away…
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Visit me on my website www.victoriaroder.com where the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.
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