Today we meet VJ Schultz aka Vera Jane Goodin Schultz, a graduate of University of Missouri-Rolla. She has wanted to write books ever since she learned to read. She enjoys writing in multiple genres including mystery, romance, and fantasy. Together with her photographer husband John, they live in Missouri with their three spoiled inside cats, one less-spoiled outside cat, and one happy parakeet. When she isn't writing or teaching writing, she takes photos, reads, and does Tai Chi. A member of Sisters in Crime, VJ is also a founding member of Sleuths' Ink, a mystery and suspense writing group, and belongs to Ozarks Romance Authors.
You have the most interesting characters. Why did you write about Bigfoot?
Thank you. Creating interesting characters is one of the most fun parts about writing. That and answering the ‘what-if’ questions. Bigfoot is such a fascinating topic. Does he or doesn't he exist. If he did, would he be on a trail in the Ozarks? And...well, I don’t want to give away the twist in my story now do I? Who could NOT write about Bigfoot? I have a feeling Bigfoot has more starring roles in some of my future stories.
You've now indie published several books. Why did you decide to go in that direction rather than a traditional press?
While I hold traditional publishing in the highest esteem and do want to be published that way as well as indie, I've long been a dabbler in publishing. During the 1990s and into the 2000s I published several small periodicals featuring fiction and poems by authors across the U.S. and beyond. These were Creative Reading, Hodgepodge Short Stories & Poetry, and The Sunny Edition.
With the great opportunity afforded writers by the e-book market and POD publishers, why not take that step? It is fun to be in total control over the layout, cover illustrations and so on. Well-published author friends were putting their own works out via the Internet. Amazon struck me as the best vehicle so that is the way I went. And my paperbacks are through Create Space.
A friend, who edits professionally, edited my manuscripts. Friends provided the first reads and great comments. Once the final rewrites were done and the layout as clean as possible, I took the leap of faith. Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales hit the Amazon marketplace. So far, I’m glad I went indie.
In a couple of sentences tell us about each of your books.
Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales is a compilation of my short stories which are more in the suspense/mystery genre. The book officially holds ten stories, but I always put in one extra--just because.
Truth or Dare & Other Tales is set up the same way, but covers more of a horror genre. One reviewer describes the stores as campfire stories. For those who enjoy zombies, I can promise there is one in this book. A good chance exists that a future set of short stories will be zombie themed, as I've become a fan of The Walking Dead. By the way, those writers are masters of suspense and the cliffhanger.
Undercover Love & Other Tales is similar with the genre being romance, in this case sweet romance. What is life without romance?
What is your current work in progress?
I wish I could say just one, so I had focus. But I can’t. One novel that I began in January is entitled Cookie Crumbles and certainly has an element of suspense. Another romantic suspense novel waits rewriting to update items like phones, because electronics change so quickly. A publisher wants to see it. A couple more books of short stories are planned and the stories are already written.
Creating and indie publishing blank journals, a goal-setting calendar, and an internet password organizer have sidetracked me from my writing. I enjoy putting together publications; these are through Create Space, too.
You belong to Sleuths’ Ink, a mystery writing group. How has this advanced you as a writer?
Being surrounded by positive, creative individuals who are interested in their craft inspires me to be a better writer.
So on a more personal level, if you could travel any place in the world where would it be and why?
At the moment, I want to go to Alaska. A cruise with land excursions would be perfect. Perhaps the deepest reason Alaska is on my bucket list is because my father always wanted to visit that state and never made it. The wilds of Alaska draw me, but only so far as the path goes. I’m more of a city girl at heart. Who wouldn't want to see glaciers, whales, mountains and all that comes with a vast wilderness area? Of course, we will take lots and lots of photos. That is an occupational hazard as my husband is a professional photographer and gave me the photo bug.
What kinds of things do you wish readers to discover in your work?
It may depend upon the genre as to some of what I want readers to discover in my work. Most of all I want readers to enjoy a good tale, good laugh, or a good lesson that may better their day or even their life.
If you could be any author, past or present, who would that be and why?
I don’t want to be any author other than myself. However, there are authors I admire past, present and I sure hope in the future, too. Some that come to mind are: Charles Dickens, Claire Cook, Andre Norton, Rex Stout, Dean Koontz--you can see I read all over the board. I look for a great character, good story, suspense, and really enjoy a bit of romance and humor.
How can readers reach you on social media?
Although keeping my social media platform up to date rates high on my to-do list, it doesn’t always get done. Yesterday I realized my blog was woefully old, so it is best if readers sign up to be notified when a new post is up. My addresses are: http://vjschultz-author.me ; http://verasversion.blogspot.com; www.facebook.com/VJSchultz and https://twitter.com/VJSchultz.
List your books and how to buy them.
My books are available on order through Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.
Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales at http://www.amazon.com/Death-Bigfoot-Other-Tales-Take-ebook/dp/B00EUOW596/
Undercover Love & Other Tales at http://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Love-Other-Tales-Take-ebook/dp/B00JWEUVTU/
Truth or Dare & Other Tales at http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Dare-Other-Tales-Take-ebook/dp/B00GDKV5YQ/
Remember! Your Simple Solution to Keeping & Organizing Passwords at http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Solution-Organizing-Passwords-Organized/dp/150855594X/
Life’s a Beach at http://www.amazon.com/My-Journal-Lifes-Beach-Creative/dp/1505509173/