About Author

Victoria J. Hyla

Victoria J. Hyla
BIOGRAPHY

Author of the Hearts Drawn Wyld trilogy (In Death We Part, Running in the Mists, Awake in Elysian Fields). Sign up for her author newsletter at www.victoriajhyla.com/news.
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Victoria J. Hyla's Books

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Book
$2.99 kindleeBook, Signed Paperback,
Tears for the Butterflyby Victoria Hyla MaldonadoPublish: Jun 01, 2021 Children's
Bartleby the Brave
(1) $2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Bartleby the Braveby Victoria Hyla MaldonadoPublish: Jan 12, 2021Children's
Miedosin el Valiente
(1) Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Miedosin el Valienteby Victoria Hyla MaldonadoPublish: Jan 28, 2021Children's
Storybook Pub 2
$0.99 kindleeBook,
Storybook Pub 2by Tonya ClarkPublish: Jun 01, 2021 Contemporary Romance Paranormal Romance Romance
The Evidence I Have Lived: The Complete Writings of Lisa F. Gullo
(2) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
The Evidence I Have Lived: The Complete Writings of Lisa F. Gulloby Lisa F. GulloPublish: Nov 02, 2020Poetry Biographies & Memoirs Christian Nonfiction Religion & Spirituality
In Death We Part
(7) $3.99 kindleeBook, Signed Paperback,
In Death We Partby Victoria J. HylaPublish: Oct 25, 2011Series: Hearts Drawn WyldContemporary Romance Romantic Suspense New Adult Romance Romance Women's Fiction Literary Fiction more»
Young Crush
(1) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Young Crushby Naomi SpringthorpPublish: Mar 02, 2021Contemporary Romance New Adult Romance Teen & Young Adult
Running in the Mists: Book 2 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogy
(9) $3.99 kindleeBook, Signed Paperback,
Running in the Mists: Book 2 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogyby Victoria J. HylaPublish: Feb 12, 2013Series: Hearts Drawn WyldContemporary Romance New Adult Romance Romance Women's Fiction
Awake in Elysian Fields: Book 3 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogy
(11) $3.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Signed Paperback,
Awake in Elysian Fields: Book 3 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogyby Victoria J. HylaPublish: Jun 08, 2020Series: Hearts Drawn WyldContemporary Romance New Adult Romance Romance Women's Fiction

Victoria J. Hyla's Series in Order

It's exciting to find a book series to follow. Discover the world created in the book series by Victoria J. Hyla.
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  • Hearts Drawn Wyld

    Awake in Elysian Fields: Book 3 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogy - Published on Jun, 2020 Running in the Mists: Book 2 of the Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogy - Published on Feb, 2013 In Death We Part - Published on Oct, 2011

Victoria J. Hyla interview On 02, Nov 2020

"Victoria J. Hyla has been writing all her life and works as a freelance writer and editor. She has around 15 years of professional editing experience. The author wrote her first full story as a short book for her reading class in third grade. The English component of her education really helped her to write. She adores live theater and musicals with the raw emotions, the drama of it, and the storytelling."
Born in 1977 in a south suburb of Chicago, which is your most cherished childhood memory?

The first things that come to mind are apple orchard picking in Michigan and University of Michigan football games with my parents and grandparents. It was a constant in our lives, and I think fondly of those times. Probably a close second is spending time at my other grandparents’ lake cottage in Northern Wisconsin, a setting that made its way into my second book.

What inspired you to write the first full story as a short book for your reading class in third grade?

The Oz series by L. Frank Baum really inspired me to set the story in Oz, but the character of the unicorn came from the book I selected for my writing assignment. We were given a variety of blank books with black-and-white images on them as inspiration. The one I chose had a unicorn on the front and a girl riding the unicorn toward a castle on the back, so I chose the unicorn as my main character and used Baum’s character of Polychrome as the girl with them heading to the Emerald City while all of the other characters, like the Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger, and Ozma, came straight from the Oz books as well. It’s fan fiction really.

How did you become obsessed with the Oz universe of L. Frank Baum?

I had watched the The Wizard of Oz movie probably 50 or more times since I was 4 or 5 (that, 1776, and The Sound of Music were my major musical obsessions as a kid). Around age 7 or 8, I began reading all the books. I couldn’t get enough of them. The characters are beautifully archetypical in a satisfying way. The color symbolism is exquisite, and the maps in the books fulfilled my geography obsession. The language and some of the concepts are now quite dated, but the whole series and the world Baum created are just awesome. I’m looking forward to reading them with my kids.

What do you love the most about writing short stories and poetry?

These media are not typically what I think of myself as doing. I prefer the longer, more elaborate form of novels, but short stories do allow a writer to encapsulate a single idea in a finite space. I have had some success with this format of late; I’ve written a young adult first kiss story (which will publish in an anthology in March), a gothic horror romance story (which was submitted to an anthology for consideration), and a paranormal romance story (which will be submitted to an anthology next year). It’s exciting, but I probably will turn all of them into longer books eventually since there’s still so much more to tell and my readers have asked for more. I haven’t written poetry myself for more than 10 years, but I am channeling my poetic skills at the moment into a children’s book called Bartleby the Brave, which I hope will be published later this year or early next. I find children’s books with a poetic rhyming cadence the most satisfying, and this story is heartwarming and teaches about being a good person despite those who want to keep you down. Also I have just published a poetry collection for a friend of mine who died from suicide about almost two years ago. It is called The Evidence I Have Lived: The Complete Writings of Lisa F. Gullo. Lisa was an epic, prolific poet who journaled her struggles with depression, childhood trauma, migraines, seizures, debilitating health issues, and her transcendent journey to faith—all through poetry. She never felt confident enough to publish any of her writings, but this collection is a tribute to her and contains all her writings and her artwork as well as the donated artwork of other artists that speak to the themes in her work. Orders can be made at https://forms.gle/vXMg123sN6xeWmQE9.</p> How long did it take you to write the fine short novella of 50 pages called A Summer of Promise?

I’m not really sure since I was 15 and that was way back in 1992 or 1993; probably not all that long though. My high school crush told me to write a book about him. I told him to give me a character, and he gave me Matt Brennan, who is one of the love interests still in my published Hearts Drawn Wyld trilogy. I remember presenting my crush with the story, and he returned it to me with an actual tear on the final page and really great comments. It simply ended with Brianna flying back home to Virginia, I think, from New Mexico after a summer meeting Matt. It was cute. Over the years, that story, which I chose not to publish at the time despite an offer, became the beginnings of In Death We Part. It grew up with me over the years, but a few elements in that short story still exist in its finished form today.

What inspired the plot of your second book, Running in the Mists?

The second book was simply a continuation of Brianna’s story. The first book ended so tragically that I wanted to explore how she would deal with life moving forward with yet another huge loss in her wake. I was curious what decisions she would make and how she would try to get back to a version of herself that could move her forward in her life. I focused more on her ability as an artist with a burgeoning career and a new, more mature way to love; and I wanted to explore how she would forever be tied to the first love of her life yet be able to love another with authenticity. It’s a much more mature story than Book 1, but such is how we live life. You grow with your experiences, and so does Brianna.

How was the experience of being educated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

I loved U of I. I honestly didn’t even know there were colleges outside of the Big 10 when I was applying for schools, having grown up going to the University of Michigan all the time for football games. My brother also went there and, at times, we got to hang out. We lived in the same building and were part of the same service fraternity (AΦΩ). I got to direct theatre there and be involved with really great organizations while getting a great education. I felt like the education was top-notch and the environment fostered independent learning. I really developed as a writer and as a person.

How has studying English Education helped you in developing your writing career?

The English component of my education really helped my writing because I was exposed to an amazing variety of literature, grammar, poetry, and linguistics classes. I really learned how to write and think critically, and I was exposed to a great array of different kinds of people. If you embrace it authentically, that exposure leads to a greater empathy, which I feel is crucial to writing what I write. The education classes didn’t really contribute that much to my writing career, but I’m glad I have that experience, and some of those themes will make it into my next trilogy.

Did you write all the three books in advance in Hearts Drawn Wyld Trilogy?

No, I only really planned to write In Death We Part. I wrote Running in the Mists shortly after since the story had more to play out and I needed a major distraction while my life went toward rock bottom in a miserable living situation in Houston and I came out the other side as I found myself back in the Chicago area. I never really planned to write Book 3 until my dad said that trilogies sold better. I had ideas for it, but it wasn’t the right time to write it, so I put Book 3 (Awake in Elysian Fields) on hold for 6 years, and in that time, got remarried and had twins, so life took precedence. Only with freedom from other employment and COVID was I able to allow myself to really focus on it, and then I wrote it in about 4 months. I’m a completely different person now than when I wrote the first two, and I don’t think writing it sooner would have worked.

Who inspired the character of talented artist Brianna Wylder in In Death We Part and Running in the Mists?

I don’t know if there is anyone really. Aspects of her are inspired. At one time in my life I trained for and ran a marathon, so the fact that she runs comes from that. I’ve always admired artists, and I am not one myself. I find what artists do absolutely fascinating, so I made her into one.

What is your experience of working as a freelance editor?

I have been doing freelance editing for as long as I can remember. I’ve done everything from playbills to menus to dissertations to book manuscripts and screenplays to website content to resumes. Basically, if it has words, I can make it better. I don’t really think of that as my main career though. It just kind of supports what I really want to do. I have around 15 years of professional editing experience, so I know what I’m doing, and do it quickly and at a reasonable rate.

What goes into writing a successful Romantic Suspense book?

I don’t technically write in that genre, but Awake in Elysian Fields (my Book 3) harkens to that a little because some of the stressful action in the latter part of the book. I have had several people say they were so anxious for my Elyse character with what she goes through and simply couldn’t put it down since it was so “gripping.” I guess to do that successfully you really have to get into the emotions of your characters. I cry when they are sad or hurt. I laugh when they find happiness. My heart races when they’re scared or feeling the pull of love. If you as a writer feel it, your readers will feel it, too. I did write my first ever caper scene in this book, and that was a satisfying challenge. I wrote what I thought would work then researched the typical elements of such a scene and made the few tweaks that were necessary to bring it all to fruition.

What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?

My favorite part is seeing my work physically realized and having people read it and enjoy the stories that came from my head and my experience. There’s nothing like seeing the smile on someone’s face when they have enjoyed what I have written. My least favorite part is promotion and marketing. I’m good at writing and crafting a story. I am not good at selling. I feel that the work should speak for itself, and I find it challenging to put it into the right streams all the time to get the most notoriety. It’s a constant battle, but I’m starting to see results, and I’ve yet to have a bad review.

Most writers have some other thing they’re passionate about, what’s yours?

Theatre. I just adore live theatre and musicals with the raw emotions, the drama of it, and the storytelling. There is nothing quite like it. I have directed several shows at several levels (middle school, high school, college, and community) and acted or otherwise participated in many others. I really love the energy that surrounds the process and the environment and the satisfaction of helping all the many moving parts come together. I love watching it, and I love organizing it. It’s something I’d like to get back to someday when time and life permits.

How has been your experience to work with AllAuthor? What are some of the things you like about the site?

I have enjoyed AllAuthor because of all of the resources it provides to authors. The Magic Tool is an amazing marketing tool, and the book banners and features go a long way. I enjoy the opportunity of the book cover contest as well. It is a great platform for authors, but as a reader I never knew about it. Now I promote it to avid readers as well.

Ask Victoria J. Hyla a Question

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      • Victoria J. Hyla Victoria J. Hyla 10 months ago
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      • Of course. In my published books so far, maybe it's a minor character here or there or a phrase or situation I've been in. Like the Paris store merchant scene in Awake in Elysian Fields really happened to me. And the twins in that book are based on my own. All the little kids (except Elyse) are based on kids I've actually known in my life. My next book goes a bit more close to home in the setup situation for the book. Actual life experiences, but that's a major jump for me.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 10 months ago
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    • Have you ever experienced "Writer's Block"? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
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      • Victoria J. Hyla Victoria J. Hyla 10 months ago
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      • Who doesn't? For me, I get up, walk around, and go about menial tasks while I keep thinking through the block, the issue or the scene that is troubling me. I always keep my phone close at hand so if and when the inspiration strikes or I get through the block, I can jot down ideas (sometimes vague, sometimes full scenes) and then transfer them to my manuscript the next time I can sit down. Just keep writing, just keep writing.
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      • Victoria J. Hyla Victoria J. Hyla 10 months ago
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      • Joss Whedon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and James Marsters (Joss and Lin because they are brilliant writers and I can't get enough of their work and I'd just like to soak in the amazingness of their wordsmithing; James because he's hands downs my favorite actor. I would just love to talk to him.)
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