For a comprehensive collection, visit each book's unique page.
See the full interview at http://ramonaportelli.com/2020/07/interview-with-author-victoria-j-hyla.
AH: What inspired you to write the "In Death We Part" book?
VJH: A significant crush of mine in high school found out I was a writer and said, "Write a book about me!" I said, "Give me a character." And so we have the hardheaded, intense Matt Brennan. It's been a journey of nearly 20 years and many incarnations starting as a 54-page short story, but the story matured with me, I think for the better.
AH: Summarize your book in one to three sentences.
VJH: Upon her parents' sudden deaths, 17-year-old artist Brianna Wylder must leave Chicago to live in New Mexico. Love in, and for, both places helps heal her wounds but forces her between two very different men. Growing up in this brand-new world, she has to decide which path to choose and how to walk it.
AH: What is the overall theme of your book?
VJH: Losing someone you love doesn't mean your life is over. You need to have the strength to continue and grow from that experience no matter how much it hurts.
AH: Where does this book take place?
VJH: The book begins and ends in Chicago, but the majority is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the surrounding areas.
AH: Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story?
VJH: Brianna Wylder is the lead heroine, struggling to cope with her parents' deaths and discover herself as a woman and an adult. She rediscovers herself and her art and the power of her talent while discovering the powerful riptide of love. Ben Davis is her first point of solace after her parents' deaths and a potential, safe romantic choice in Chicago. Matt Brennan is a challenge for Brianna; his world (New Mexico) is so different from hers, but they are drawn to each other powerfully and emotionally.
AH: Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers?
VJH: The characters are realistic and likable so you can care about what happens to them. The story has drama without being over the top. The romantic scenes get the pulse racing. The ending is unexpected.
AH: How is your book relevant in today's society?
VJH: Today, most middle class teenagers have it easy because everything is taken care of for them. Brianna is no different. Her family is well off, and she's never had to be an adult yet. This is about what happens when she is suddenly thrust into adulthood, and what that means for her perspectives.
AH: What makes your book different from other books like it?
VJH: There's more story than other romance novels where it's simply "get to the sex already." This is really about her growing up and discovering a world beyond the one she knew and was comfortable in. It's about love and romance, yes, but it's also about loss and dealing with that loss in a variety of ways, some of them a bit mystical.
AH: What do you want readers to take away from your writing?
VJH: I want them to have an enjoyable reading experience. I want them to choose between the men and see why it's so hard for Brianna to choose. I want them to see the wonder of the two locations as well as the magic that can exist in the mind and the heart.
AH: How did you learn about topic?
VJH: A lot of personal experiences are peppered throughout the story, but most names are changed to protect the innocent. People I know or have influenced me pop up in various aspects of the characters. As far as the setting, I grew up in the Chicagoland area, which is why it's home for Brianna; and I traveled to New Mexico to research the physical settings and feel of that area, such a stark contrast to Chicago.
Romance Rendezvous Book Blast: Victoria is one of the attending authors at the Romance Rendezvous Book Blast Signing Event in Cedar Falls, IA, August 21, 2021.
Explore the FREE ticketing options at Eventbrite.
Author House released Awake in Elysian Fields in June 2020.
Bartleby the Brave (and the Spanish translation Miedosin el Valiente) are now available!
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