Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
I grew up in the Deep South. I’m an avid sports fan and absolutely devoted to the Green Bay Packers. Few things make me happier than making a meal for my family and friends. Except for writing of course!
Do you write full time?
No, I have a day job. Hopefully one day I will be able to write full time!
What are 5 fun/interesting facts about you?
- I’ve been belly dancing for five years.
- I speak Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.
- I have seen all the James Bond films.
- My favorite TV shows of all time are Xena, Warrior Princess and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
- In addition to sprinting in college, I also competed in the hammer throw.
What are the “must haves” for you when you sit down to write a book?
A computer and my plot outline. I devote a lot of time to plotting my books before I even start writing. I plot chapter by chapter. It’s nothing super detailed, just the highlights of the plots. I always like to know where I’m going. Surprisingly, I’m not a coffee drinker.
What made you decide to become a writer and how old were you?
I honestly can’t attribute it to any one person or thing. It’s my love of the craft. I’m a storyteller. I enjoy building worlds and creating characters. I’ve been writing poetry and short stories since I was a child, but a novel has always been my primary goal. Completing Fire and Ice was the culmination of a lifetime of development of my skills as a writer. For me, writing is never work or a chore. I deeply and sincerely love my art.
Who or what was your inspiration for writing “The Coven: Fire and Ice”?
Witches and magic are definitely cool, but I also had something to say. This novel allowed me to make a statement about the destructive nature of bullying and its far-reaching consequences. We all need to be cognizant of the power our words and actions have on others. It’s an issue that just about all young adults face, and I also wanted to offer some guidance on dealing with it, as someone who has experienced bullying and come out much, much tougher. Being bullied is an awful thing to go through, but it’s true what they say – it does get better.
Do you feel that you can relate to one character in “The Coven: Fire and Ice” more than any other? And why?
While Kat and I clearly have different backgrounds, I definitely wove some of my personality traits into her. She’s strong, smart-mouthed, and has a mind of her own. Those are things that I think are lacking in a lot of female characters in literature and entertainment as a whole (TV, films). All of the female leads in The Coven series are going to have a little bit of me in them. I also feel I can relate to Kim Stewart (the girl who commits suicide) as well because I was bullied a lot when I was younger. Thankfully, I overcame the teasing and emerged as a stronger person, but I definitely know what she was going through.
What do you Love most about writing?
I would definitely say developing characters. They become so real to me, and I spend all of my time thinking about them. I love immersing myself in my characters’ heads: exploring their pasts, their motivations, their likes and dislikes. I have notebooks full of nothing but tidbits about my characters. Not all of it makes it into the books, but it definitely informs my writing.
What is your biggest challenge when you write?
Definitely dialogue. I spend a lot of time and energy making sure that my dialogue sounds natural and realistic. That’s especially important when you write YA; readers will be turned off by anything that sounds forced or like it wouldn’t come out of a character’s mouth. I always read my dialogue out loud to make sure that it “flows” right.
Do you have any advice for any other aspiring writers out there?
Keep writing. You can have the most well-oiled promotion machine in the world but at the end of the day, the work has to speak for itself. You need to sit your butt in a chair and WRITE. That’s the only way you’ll get better at it. As I write book two of the series, I can already see how I’ve grown as a writer since finishing Fire and Ice. Producing the absolute best work that you can is the most important thing.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read! You can’t be a good writer without being a reader, in my opinion. After reading, belly dancing is definitely my relaxation mode of choice. I’ve been training in belly dance for about 5 years now. It’s a feminine and sensual dance, but requires a lot of control, coordination, and strength. Cooking and baking are big hobbies of mine as well.
When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
On the fiction side, I really like historical fiction (primarily of Europe and Asia), paranormal romance (YA and adult), and all kinds of literary fiction. Beyond this, I’m really more drawn to interesting stories than to genres themselves. I read a lot of nonfiction too, mostly books on history and anything related to the Middle East.
Since becoming published, what has been your favorite part of the process?
Interacting with readers! I especially love it when people tell me how they were affected by the bullying theme in Fire and Ice. That’s always gratifying, since the book was definitely a vehicle for me to comment on the destructive nature of bullying and its far-reaching consequences.
If you can, tell us what is up next for you?
I’m working on Book Two as we speak – it will focus on Cody Quintana. I’m shooting for it to be available early next year. In all, I’m planning five books to be in The Coven series, each one focusing on a different member of the Brotherhood.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Coven: Fire and Ice
The Coven, Book 1
Author: Verdell Walker
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
ISBN: Print – 1481981080
Ebook – 9781301450695
Number of pages: 454
Word Count: 114,679
Cover Artist: Gabriela Miyares
After her clique’s bullying causes a classmate’s suicide, Kat Grey trades the vicious world of the California “in crowd” for the chance to become a better person in Massachusetts. But when she steps in to protect a classmate from being bullied, Kat sparks a war with Hannah, Milton Academy’s resident Queen Bee.
Kat’s courage and compassion attract the attention of Blaze Ward, Hannah’s ex-boyfriend. As they fall in love, Kat discovers that Blaze is more than the boy next door. He’s a warlock. He is also the leader of an in-crowd like no other – the Brotherhood, five young warlocks charged with defending witches and humanity from a demonic adversary named Seth.
Kat challenges Blaze to become a better man and leader while he helps her find redemption as she makes it her mission to stop bullying at Milton. But when Hannah teams up with Seth to destroy her, Kat becomes a hostage in the age-old war between the Brotherhood and their greatest enemy. Saving Kat will require more than Blaze’s strength and skill; it will mean breaking one of his kind’s most sacred laws. Blaze will have to make a choice: his honor or Kat’s life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Verdell Walker is the author of THE COVEN series. Born and raised in the South, writing has been her escape from reality for many years.
Verdell is an avid sports fan and absolutely devoted to the Green Bay Packers. A gifted cook and baker, few things make her happier than making a meal for her family and friends. Except maybe writing about her favorite boys.
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Disclosure: This Information was provided by the Author through Bewitching Book Tours. This is NOT a compensated post.