What is the best thing I love about my work? I split my time between being an attorney, an author, a mother, a wife, and an individual. The balance is not always pretty, but each one of those activities is something I love. When I wrote my first novel about four years ago, I discovered how much I needed that creative outlet in my life. Now I rarely allow a single day to pass without writing or revising something on my computer.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? A weekend away at a cabin with my family and my laptop. Mornings hiking in the woods or skiing, sitting on the porch with coffee and my laptop all afternoon, and spending the evening playing games with my husband and kids.
What is my greatest fear? That I watch bad things happen and refuse to act. To be complicit in something by omission is unacceptable to me.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Although my mind moving in a hundred directions at once helps me create unique plots in my stories, it also creates chaos in my house when I forget to buy milk, pay bills, and take care of something that is necessary, but not prominent in my thoughts. I write to do lists, set alarms, and still could forget my child’s dentist appointment as I disappear into my imaginary worlds.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I admire writers who have amazing books, yet they are rejected, again and again by the mainstream publishers. Despite the setbacks, they forge their own paths and create brilliant careers. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill was self-published, Barbara Freethy and Bella Andre created entire series of romance novels, and Andy Weir, who wrote and self published The Martian, are all people who inspire me to let nothing stop me from my goals.
What is my greatest extravagance? My cabin and my children’s education. One gives my husband and I our perfect getaway and the other is handing my children the keys to finding their own passion in life. I have no idea what they will do with it, but I know they’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at them.
On what occasion would I lie? To save a life and also a person’s dignity.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I hate writing the first draft of a book. I love to plot and can do so for weeks. Once the first draft is pulled out of me with gallons of coffee and many glasses of wine, I enjoy revising the book into a story worthy of my readers.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? With the sale of my first novel Untrue Colors, my confidence soared. I had made it in publishing. Little did I know the hard work that would come with the edits, the marketing, and writing the next book. Without those future worries hampering me, I was able to enjoy the moment.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Untrue Colors received a lot of great reviews and won the 2016 the Bookseller’s Best Award for a Romantic Suspense as well as being a finalist in the 2016 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Romantic Suspense. I hope to improve my writing as I continue, but I’m very proudof that particular book.
Where would I most like to live? My cabin. I love the solitude of the mountains.
What is my most treasured possession? My friends and family. Everything else is replaceable.
What is my most marked characteristic? In writing, I tend toward the darker side of life. How a person reacts when everything is rock bottom fascinates me.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I often drive to Longwood Gardens on an old DuPont estate to write in the beauty of the formal gardens.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? There’s an Italian restaurant La Trattoria in Edgemont, PA that never fails to create a perfect meal.
What books influenced my life and how? The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the first book to fully absorb me into the story as though I’d entered a virtual reality. I crave that feeling in the books I now read. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Robert Ludlum, while living, and Karen Marie Moning have all brought me that incredible feeling in their writing.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Most likely the music of Bach. He inspires my writing and keeps my mind calm. On my last day, hard rock or any music that invokes panic would only ruin my final moments.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I’m a huge fan of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. He’s such a fascinating character, especially his ability to live off the grid, his quest for justice at any cost, and his addiction to coffee, something I share with him. The movies are good, but the books are fantastic.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I am in debt to the many people in the military, and in emergency services such as police and fire departments who regularly place their lives on the line for the greater good.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? I loved Chariots of Fire. The entire movie inspired me to live according to my own beliefs.
What role art plays in my life and work? Life is a balance. I find handling legal cases to be intellectually challenging and emotionally draining at times, and taking care of my home and family is a logistical nightmare, but writing taps my creative side. The thoughts and images that accompany me through each day find life in the stories I write and help me deal with some of the mundane aspects of living. I’ve noticed the same with my children. When they’re engaged in art, whether visual art or music, their personalities are amplified and they seem happier. Life can become monotonous, a series of one task after another resulting in more tasks that lead to nothing. Art has no beginning and no end, yet it colors and enriches life.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My mother has always been my biggest fan. She’s learned so much about the writing business and is constantly challenging me to push myself to achieve as much as possible. The confidence I’ve gained from her has helped me through some of my toughest times.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would love to work with Nora Roberts. Her work ethic is unmatched and her professionalism has pushed romance from something whispered about to a genre that is taken more seriously.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’m headed to the Romance Writers of America Convention in Orlando this summer. So many impressive authors are speaking on craft, marketing, and the writer’s life. I look forward to meeting some of my idols and getting together with old friends.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on a legal thriller series based in Boston, Massachusetts, my hometown. It’s been great writing about the places I remember from college and and law school in the city.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I have a book coming out this summer, but it doesn’t have a name yet. Check my website to learn more about it. http://www.veronicaforand.com
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It means that writing isn’t a job. It’s something that I could do twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week and the only reason for me to ever step away is to find more inspiration and to see my family.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Kate Forest writes inspiring romance novels about people with disabilities. They aren’t watered down, but show the difficulties of finding love while dealing with other issues. I’ve yet to read one of her books without tears of sadness and joy.
How can you contact me? At my website, http://www.veronicaforand.com, on facebook or twitter @veronicaforand. The links are all on my website.
You can find my books on amazon here
BROUGHT TO YOU BY PETER DE KUSTER
The Heroine’s Journey is brought to you by Peter de Kuster dedicated to educate, amuse and enrich creative professionals.
Almost five years after launching The Heroine’s Journey and The Hero’s Journey, business storyteller Peter has become an irreverent, forceful voice—inspiring people to make make money doing what they love.
To learn more about having Peter speak at your event mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org