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Good to have internet access again.

As some of you may know, Staten Island was hit by a Nor’easter last night. Yeah, I know, just what we needed after Hurricane Sandy devastated the east and south shores of the area. But this Nor’easter knocked out my cable and Internet services, which caused me to stare at my apartment walls all night.

At work, we didn’t have Internet access until just a few hours ago, which caused a huge sigh of relief throughout the office.

Anyway, that is why I am posting my Wednesday Interview a day late. Hey, better late than never!

This week, we have Texan Judith Victoria Douglas. She is the author of several books, including A Price of Love: Ariel’s Cottage, which can be considered a New Adult story.

Megan Cashman: What inspired you to be a writer?

Judith Victoria Douglas: I always knew I’d write. When I was young my mother aspired to be a writer so belonged to a local writer’s club and attended classes. I went with her and I think I absorbed a lot more than I could tell about from those experiences. When I was a teen she asked if I thought I’d ever write and I answered, “When I have something to write about.”

An undergrad professor (when I returned to finish my degree) encouraged me after reading some of my beginning attempts at children’s stories while studying a course on writing for children. I learned a lot from the course even though I wasn’t quite able to complete it. I’ve always be disappointed by that.

A master level professor suggested I write psychology/self-help books because I could write well. He meant in that educated jargon used among professionals, but I didn’t see anyone reading those books that really needed them. I wished to write fiction because I’ve always believed people learn more and better when it’s fun. I know I do. Just look at all the misinformation that abounds from movies and books so many think is fact.

Megan Cashman: Romance is very popular these days. Can you give your own thoughts on why that is the case?

Judith Victoria Douglas: When I began to write I would have never called myself a romance writer, but discovered I had strong leanings toward it. I think, because of that insight, it’s a natural response to want to love and be loved.

Most of us have our ideas of what romance is and I think its universal. We enjoy reliving the experience over and over since it tends not to be relived on an everyday basis. Vicarious experiences are internally as affective to us as the real experience. Along with those feelings is a desire to share all the scenarios where two people can come together and find such a deep attachment, more than just attraction.

While I do write intimate scenes they are never truly erotic because I don’t think erotic and romance are always compatible. One can lead to the other, one the beginning and eventually include the other, but not always.

Love is a very basic and strong need connecting all of us, especially for woman, but I think many men are becoming more romantic. They can certainly write very good stories about it when they are.

Megan Cashman: “A Price for Love: Ariel’s Cottage” could appeal to NA readers. Why do you think so?

Judith Victoria Douglas: I think it’s due to Ariel’s age, 22 years, but also because she’s stuck at seventeen mentally and emotional. As with many victims’ experiences, her trauma arrested her normal maturation process and certainly denied her some normal experiences. It doesn’t have to be a big trauma as it was with Ariel, but a significant one to the individual. Many can identify with it at this age.

 Megan Cashman: Do you believe NA has any potential to be a successful category for readers?

 Judith Victoria Douglas: I think it’s a very important and too long overlooked category. YA has long been an too encompassing only option so to break it down like with the younger ages – their unique age-associated situations has been the norm – this group can show they have an outlook of their own.

Megan Cashman: You’re a self-published author. Why did you choose that route and not the traditional?

Judtih Victoria Douglas: I’m an older writer, waiting too long to decide to pursue publication, and, frankly, it’s difficult for me to trust someone like an agent I don’t know to watch out for my best interest. And I certainly could never believe a publisher would do me any favors unless, maybe, I was making big money for them. Plus, the process is very long and slow. I tried working with a publisher, but got stuck on the cover. She did a fine one, but didn’t seem to think I agreed, so dropped my story. I don’t have time to wait if I want to see all my stories published. I had a book out in a month once I decided to do it all myself.

Megan Cashman: What advice do you have for self-published authors or those considering that route?

Judith Victoria Douglas: Use the first book as a learning experience so pick a small/short book, maybe an anthology, and consider everything about what a finished book should look like. There’s a lot of online information about how the interior of a book is put together. Keep a big publishing house copy nearby for reference, one with an overall appearance you like, inside and out.

And don’t ever skimp on the cover. It sells the book or not, so those cut and paste covers are tacky and only appropriate for children’s books and characters.

To find out more about Judoth Victoria Douglas check out her sites judithvictoriadouglas.com