Missouri vaun shaped her writing career in journalism before becoming an award winning romance novelist. She was nice enough to spend some time answering our questions.
You began as a writer as a journalist what skills do you think you picked up that serve you well in writing fiction?
I actually worked as an illustrator and then later as a reporter. The two writing styles are SO different. I mean, yes, you improve your writing skills in general, but in journalism you are presenting facts, or reporting on an event and if you do it well, you should not interject your own opinions about the subject matter. You are completely immersed in the real world. In fiction, you are world building… which is super fun, but presents its own set of challenges.
You have strong themes of responsibility and loyalty in your work do you think these are things that have been declining in society in the recent times?
I don’t know if they’re declining or are simply being overwhelmed, drowned out, by the loud voices of negativity. I think a lot of us read stories/books to feel better, to feel less alone perhaps. So, I want the characters in my stories to be people you would want in your life. People that you could count on in crisis or simply when things get a little hard.
Your books cover a lot of genres from modern times, medieval and even science fiction, how do you keep things ground and personal when writing in fantastical settings?
I think all the same components that make a great character exist in all genres. I guess I strive to balance things so the environments, the settings, don’t overrun the characters. At the end of the day, it’s the characters people care about.
I saw you were going to be speaking at Clexacon2020 how did you get involved with that and do you know what you be speaking on?
Nell Stark, an author friend of mine, submitted a panel about writing Queer Paranormal and it was accepted. There are some really fun writers on the panel with me. This will be the first time I’ve attended Clexacon, but I’ve heard really great things about it.
) Who do you read to stay inspired?
I end up reading a lot of non-fiction and quite a bit of poetry. I’m currently reading a collection of essays by Mary Oliver. I find that poets expand language for me. They describe things in a way I wouldn’t think of. I think that challenges me to be a better writer.
Your last novel Chasing Sunset came out in August do you have a new project you are working on?
I’m just now finishing up a manuscript for a book titled, The Sea Within. It’ll be out in October of this year.
If people want more information about your or want to pick up one of your books where should they go?
All my books are listed on my website: MissouriVaun.com
They are also available from Bold Strokes Books and Amazon.
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
North Georgia… at my tower writing studio. It has the perfect defensible elevation for Zombies. I’m just thinking they won’t be very good at stairs, which will make them an easy target.
Q ) How do you identify Jedi, lesbian, Ninja, gay, vampire, bisexual, were-wolf, transgender, pirate, asexual, fairy, aromantic, sith, intersex, Spartan, non-binary, wizard, genderfluid, time lord , queer, …? ?
Old school tomboy. (Is that still a thing?)
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
See Rembrandt’s Night Watch in person. I had no idea how big it was.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
Missouri Vaun (my pen name) was actually my great-grandmother’s real name.
She’s writing lesbian fiction from the grave.