Saturday, February 8, 2020

Inside the Mind: Vicky Weber

Welcome to Inside the Mind where we here at The Faerie Review interview authors and creators.
Our guest today is Vicky Weber, the author behind Aurora's Orchid.

Lily: Thank you for agreeing to this interview Vicky, we here at The Faerie Review are really excited about this! We like to talk about the book first, then get to know more about you. Can you tell us what inspired you to write Aurora’s Orchid?

Vicky: So, Aurora’s Orchid is actually based on the true story of mi Abuela. In the story, Aurora and her children plant the orchid together, and in real life, it didn’t bloom until the day she was buried on the island. The orchid still thrives to this day. It even survived Hurricane Maria!

Lily: That's amazing! I love the story, and it's wonderful that it was inspired by your life. Do any of the character names have special significance?

Vicky: Yes! Aurora is based on my Abuela Aurora and her real-life children are also characters in the story. Eddie is my father, and I was fortunate enough to surprise him with this book on Christmas Day. It was a very special moment for my family with lots of happy tears. 

Lily: That's a beautiful story, and I'm starting to tear up now. What was the highlight of writing this book?

Vicky: It was hard writing about something so personal, but it was amazing to see it start coming to life! When you are writing a story based on people you know and love, the pressure can be intense. I think the best part was getting to give it to my father. It just made the whole thing real. 

Lily: I imagine writing from real life would be a little more pressure! Glad it was all worth it in the end. Was it difficult to choose an illustrator?

Vicky: It was. I had to do a lot of research on different styles and think about what I wanted for the book. In the end, I decided on watercolor illustrations and I found someone online with a portfolio that I liked.

Lily: The illustrations were wonderful, and really brought the story to life. I'm glad you found the right fit. Let’s discuss you as a writer. Do you have a favorite time of day to write?

Vicky: I’m a full-time teacher, so I find myself writing the moment I get home. Sometimes on weekends too, but always with the TV on in the background. 

Lily: I'm glad you find the time to write, even while working. I always have the TV on when I'm working too. It's nice to know someone else who does. When did you first realize your words had power?

Vicky: Probably my first year of teaching. I learned very quickly that you have to say what you mean and mean what you say. Children take things very literally and because of that, teachers need to be specific and purposeful with word choice. Parents and childcare workers too. 

Lily: I remember my mom telling me how literally I would take things as a kid, so I can imagine how important it would be for you. How was the publishing process, and how does it feel to be published?

Vicky: It was a lot of work, but it feels great! It definitely isn’t as simple as it may seem. Even the editing process was much more work than I originally expected, but quality work takes elbow grease! My second book, Lazlo Learns Recorder, just released and I have several more in the works as well. 

Lily: I'm looking forward to checking out more of your books, I enjoyed this one so much, and I know Dani Le Chat would love to read some of your books too. Now we like to shake things up for the final part of the interview to get a peek inside your mind. When did you decide you wanted to go into education?

Vicky: I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was young. I changed my mind a few times about what I wanted to teach, but there was never a question in my mind whether being an educator was right for me. In high school, I was involved in band, choir, and every musical club I had time for. It was then that I decided on becoming a music teacher. 

Lily: I'm glad you decided to share your love of music for others through teaching, and I'm sure the kids are too! What’s your favorite song or musical artist/composer?

Vicky: That is a tough question! I don’t know that I really have a favorite because I see the value in all genres and styles of music. Generally speaking, I love reggaeton music, but I also have a sweet spot for the Andrews Sisters. 

Lily: I listen to a wide variety too, and the Andrews Sisters remind me of the Abbott and Costello movies I would watch as a kid with my family. Best and worst flavor ice cream?

Vicky: Vanilla shakes remind me of my childhood, so that is a personal favorite of mine. I’m not a fan of peanut butter flavors...which my husband can’t understand since those flavors are his favorite. 

Lily: I must admit I do love peanut butter but I'm not crazy about it in ice cream for the most part. How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?

Vicky: Yuck! I’ll stick with my cheesy pizza. 

Lily: Hehe. It's a popular question among my friends and we're always divided. I only like pineapple on my pizza if it comes with pepperoni. Would you rather be able to talk to land animals, animals that fly, or animals that live under the water?

Vicky: Land animals because then I could talk to my dogs.

Lily: I wonder what our pets would say if they could speak. Would make for an interesting day dream. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Vicky: I am really excited to continue writing and publishing children’s literature. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have pursued this dream of mine without my husband pushing me. I always had ideas for children’s books, but it took someone I love believing in me to help me realize that I could do this. 

Lily: Sometimes a push from a loved one is all we need. I'm glad he pushed you! How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Vicky: The best way to see what I’m up to is to follow me on Instagram or visit my website!

You can also find Vicky on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads

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