Sunday, January 29, 2012

Interview with Victoria Foyt

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
As a young girl, I was a voracious reader, and still am. I was always writing, whether it was long letters to pen pals and relatives, or diaries and journals. I couldn’t not write.

At the University of Miami and in Europe, I studied foreign languages, which deepened my love of words and prose. Later, I moved to Los Angeles and found the opportunity to write screenplays, which helped hone my use of dialogue, location and story structure. I also studied acting and starred in several indie films (Déjà vu, Last Summer In the Hamptons, Going Shopping, Babyfever) that I co-wrote. I highly recommend at least one course in acting for all writers if you want to boost your understanding of character.

Currently, I live in the pretty coast town of Santa Monica where I write every morning, play tennis and spend time with my family and friends. Writing fiction is a chance to bring together all that I’ve learned, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

What inspired you to write?
A burning question usually inspires me, what if…? In Revealing Eden (Save The Pearls Part One): what would happen if global warming turned today’s prevailing beauty standards upside down? In the story, because Caucasians have less melanin in their skin to protect them from the sun’s burning rays, they are branded as inferior Pearls. Dark-skinned people, or Coals, have more resistance to the Heat, and therefore, now rule society. Eden Newman, a lithe blue-eyed blonde, would be considered gorgeous in our day, while in the future she has to beg for a mate or suffer an early death. The direction in which this “what if” question took me greatly surprised me, as it often does. Finally, forced to discover her inner beauty, Eden opens her heart to true love.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
The list of writers whom I admire and who have influenced me is long and varied. I have always been an enthusiastic reader of all kinds of books from romances by Jane Austen and Nora Roberts, and mysteries by Raymond Chandler, to biting social commentary such as Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger or Lois Lowry’s The Giver. As a teenager, I devoured Ernest Hemingway’s books, and have recently reread many of them. His direct prose and elegant storytelling definitely set the bar. On the other end of the spectrum, I adore Isabel Allende’s lush, more feminine prose and quixotic stories. One of my favorite books is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez because it breaks my heart, page after page. From each one of these authors, I’ve found the courage to find my own voice and to let my imagination run free.

What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?
“Life is a daring adventure.” --Helen Keller
Helen Keller didn’t give in to her limitations, but followed her natural curiosity and passion for life. Finally, there is the set of circumstances we are given at birth, and then, what we make of it.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I would like to have a daemon, an animal that represents my personality, like the characters in Philip Pullman’s brilliant young adult trilogy: His Dark Materials. I suspect my daemon would be a bird, one that sings loudly, has colorful plumage, and flies south for the winter.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
A dedicated space in which to write is vital, one that can shield you from day-to-day distractions. A sacred spot. It can be in a coffee shop or your garage. When you go to your spot, you know this is where you write. It also helps to show up at the same time very day so that your muse knows when to appear.

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
Every author has a unique “voice.” My books, like Revealing Eden, tend to combine the fantastical with a sense of longing for connection and love. I have greatly enjoyed books with similar themes such as the Twilight Series, but between theme and the actual telling of a story there lies great latitude. Oddly, Revealing Eden most closely resembles one of my all-time favorites, Gone With The Wind, though the resemblance might not be immediately apparent. Both Scarlett and Eden, feisty, brave girls with a stubborn streak, are cast out of their familiar world and must learn to survive in an unfamiliar, dangerous one. And they spar with intractable, very masculine men, Rhett Butler and Ronson Bramford, respectively. Their relationships are fraught with misunderstanding, and it takes a while for the women to realize how deeply in love they have fallen.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
We all want to be loved, right? Not for how we look, or who we know, or how much money we make. Deep down, we really hope someone will see us exactly for who we are, and love us anyway. Isn’t that why a great romance book tugs at our heartstrings? It reminds us not to lose hope. For this reason, I’m attracted to the romance genre.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When I hear writers complain about how hard it is to face a blank page, I simply can’t relate. There is nothing more exciting to me than beginning to write a story or a chapter in it. To me, the blank page is liberating, a vast field of opportunity. I can’t wait to see what will happen, and where my characters will lead me. Often their digressions from my outline and unexpected revelations surprise me, happily so!

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Editing, editing, and even more editing. I grow anxious to move on to another story once I’ve finished the first draft because I have so many to tell. And yet, over the years, I have come to value the necessity of editing. Often, in the last stages, I will suddenly realize that some key element needs elaboration or more detail. Once I have reached the last draft and have seen the manuscript bloom, I’m grateful for the patience I found to edit. I might even have a little fun in the process.

What are you currently working on?
I’m writing the sequel, Adapting Eden (Save The Pearls Part Two). If Eden Newman thought life and love challenged her in Revealing Eden, the stakes ratchet even higher in the next. Her journey takes her from oppressed, fearful girl to an alpha babe, or Jaguar Babe. She must fight to save those she loves against impossible odds, testing herself beyond her limits—in love and physical strength—while the countdown to humanity’s extinction continues. I’ll tell you, it has been a wild, exciting ride to be in her head!

Where readers can find you?
I love to hear from readers! Please visit me at or at And thanks for all the cool videos you’ve uploaded at You make it all worthwhile.

For Revealing Eden, we created an incredible, interactive site at where fans have been posting their own “mating” videos or commenting about Eden’s blog posts. With my background as a filmmaker and actress, it was fun to write and shoot ten short videos based on the book. Seeing Eden, who is a gorgeous girl by today’s standards, despair over not being able to find a mate and facing death if she doesn’t, or watching her desperation as she secretly meets with her dark-skinned Coal boyfriend really captures her future world. Please check it out! The Facebook fan page for the book is:

LAST QUESTION: Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Do you wish you’d started writing novels in your teens or twenties? I often ask myself this question. In looking back, I see that the path I took from studying foreign languages and literature in college, to acting and screenwriting and directing afterwards, all provided key tools I would need as a novelist. Meanwhile, I was accumulating invaluable life experiences and insights, in other words, my own take on the world, which gives a writer his or her “voice.” By the time I started my first novel in my thirties, I was ready to take off and fulfill my heart’s desire.

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