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Victoria Hanley

Frequently Asked Questions

Victoria HanleyThank you for visiting my website. Under this "Frequently Asked Questions" section I'll answer some of the questions I've received from readers over time. Email me questions you may have that I've not already answered on these pages.  This F.A.Q. is also available in Spanish/F.A.Q. en Español.

Where were you born and raised?’
What’s the difference between a ‘sequel’ and a ‘companion book?’
Will you ever write a sequel to The Seer and the Sword?
Are you married?
Will you read a story (or part of a story) I've written and tell me what you think of it??
Why are your books published in so many countries?
Do you read all your own email?
What was it like growing up without a TV? Do you ever regret it?
Why do you write in the young adult category?
Who enjoys your books the most?
Does writing come easy to you - do the words flow?
How did you get the idea to write your first book?
I enjoy writing myself, but I often begin a story, get bored and start a new one. How will I ever finish a book?
How long did it take to write your first book?
What, out of all the advice you could give to aspiring writers, do you think is the most important?
Do you have a favorite book, author, or genre?
Do you ever get really discouraged with your writing, and if so, how do you get over that?
Have you written short stories/poetry?
Since you write fantasy, you have to make up all the places and events in your books. How do you think them up?
Are your characters based on people you know?
Do you have to be passionate about what you’re writing to write a good story?
What do you most enjoy about being an author?


Where were you born and raised?
    Born in southern California, I lived there until I was nine. My family moved to Massachusetts, staying for two years. We moved again, to Wisconsin, where I spent junior high and high school. I went to college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After college I moved to Oregon, and then to Colorado where I live now. [ Top of Page ]

What’s the difference between a ‘sequel’ and a ‘companion book?’
    A sequel begins right where another book leaves off. A companion book takes place in the same world but may be about new characters or a different time in that world.  [ Top of Page ]

Will you ever write a sequel to The Seer and the Sword?
    Maybe.  [ Top of Page ]

Are you married?
    Yes, and I have two children, a son and a daughter.  [ Top of Page ]

Will you read a story (or part of a story) I’ve written and tell me what you think of it?
    The only time I would read your story and tell you what I think of it is if you’re in one of my writing workshops. If I were to read all the stories people want to send me, I’d have no time to work on my books! But when you’re ready, I encourage you to find someone you trust to share your writing with.  
[ Top of Page ]

Why are your books published in so many countries?
    There must be some universal appeal to the stories.  [ Top of Page ]

Do you read all your own email?
    Yes. I answer it, too. Depending on my schedule, it will take between a few days to a month to get back to you.  [ Top of Page ]

What was it like growing up without a TV? Do you ever regret it?
    I don’t regret it and still don’t watch TV. Be a rebel! Live your life instead of watching a flickering screen.   [ Top of Page ]

Why do you write in the young adult category?
    I define ‘young’ as a person of any age who wants to do—and will do—new things, things with unknown outcomes. Such people are fun to write about.  [ Top of Page ]

Who enjoys your books the most?
    I’ve heard from many people young and old, male and female, from all over America, the UK, Europe, and Japan. So I can’t typify my readers.  [ Top of Page ]

Does writing come easy to you - do the words flow?
    Writing is like exercising. Some days, it goes quite easily. Some days it’s a big pain.  
[ Top of Page ]

How did you get the idea to write your first book?
    The idea for The Seer and the Sword began when Torina appeared in my imagination. She seemed very much alive and I couldn’t forget her.  [ Top of Page ]

I enjoy writing myself, but I often begin a story, get bored and start a new one. How will I ever finish a book?
    It’s natural to do a lot of starting and stopping when you’re young—I did that too, many times. It’s a way of testing your wings as a writer.  [ Top of Page ]

How long did it take to write your first book?
    A long time: more than five years. During that time I often stopped working on it for months at a time, and many other things distracted me – such as going to work and taking care of my children.  [ Top of Page ]

What, out of all the advice you could give to aspiring writers, do you think is the most important?
    Develop a strong relationship with the writer within. One way to do this is to keep a journal that’s just for you. Record your thoughts, observations of people and places, dreams, wishes, prayers, troubles. . . everything. Don’t criticize what you write in the journal, because there needs to be somewhere in your life where your imagination can run free. Writing is like playing an instrument—the more you do it the better you get. The instrument you’re playing is yourself. Keep going!! Don't let anything stop you. Learn all you can.  [ Top of Page ]

Do you have a favorite book, author, or genre?
    Too many favorites to pick just one. I don’t read according to genre—a book is either worth reading or it isn’t.  [ Top of Page ]

Do you ever get really discouraged with your writing, and if so, how do you get over that?
    Yes, I get discouraged sometimes—probably all artists do. Creating stories requires spending a lot of time in the unknown. The unknown doesn’t exactly lend itself to confidence. When discouragement comes up, I remind myself that fear is not the same as truth—not even close. Instead of dwelling on fears, I focus on what I love and what inspires me.  [ Top of Page ]

Have you written short stories/poetry?
    Most of the poetry I write I keep to myself. I’m no good at short stories—no good at all.  
[ Top of Page ]

Since you write fantasy, you have to make up all the places and events in your books. How do you think them up?
    That’s just where my mind tends to go.  [ Top of Page ]

Are your characters based on people you know?
    As a writer you observe people and places keenly. Every place and person I’ve known is now part of me. I don’t base any character on one person—actually my fictional people seem to have a true life of their own.  [ Top of Page ]

Do you have to be passionate about what you’re writing to write a good story?
    I think you do. It’s a tremendous amount of work to write a book, and if you don’t care about the story with all your heart and mind, how do you get through all that work?  [ Top of Page ]

What do you most enjoy about being an author?
    Two things: the freedom! And the readers!!!!!  [ Top of Page ]

  © 2012 Victoria Hanley
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