Verlene Landon Interview Published on: 22, Nov 2018

Where have you spent most of your childhood? As a child, who was your role model?

I was raised in south-east corner of Alabama. A community called Bellwood, in Geneva County. I guess I would have to say my oldest sister.

In the US, which is your favorite place to be? What is the most beautiful thing about Sin City?

It depends, but I guess home. The mountains.

What makes you call yourself a self-proclaimed zombie apocalypse enthusiast? Why are you obsessed with all things Lemmy?

I have a full on plan of what to do and am stocked and ready to go. If you want to survive it from the jump, you better find me or someone like me. LOL. Lemmy was a legend. There was no one else like him and probably never will be. He was living, breathing, growling proof that you didn't have to fit in anyone else's mold to follow your dream and succeed Plus, he was just badass AF.

Having thrown live grenades, survived the tear gas chamber and forced road marches, what still makes you think that writing and publishing are more brutal? How do you deal with it?

Those things had an undeniable conclusion, you either did it correctly or incorrectly. You didn't deal with ongoing critique or personal judgments, you either succeeded or failed and that was the end. Success and failure in writing is so varied, not just from person to person but from hour to hour, minute to minute. There is no typical conclusion, and no guaranteed result or time of conclusion once you put a book out there.
1) I have to set silent goals for myself that are unrelated to the "end result".
2) I evaluate my writing all the time and as long as I am on the path I set and getting better, I am marking it success.
3) Self-forgiveness has become a major part of life because forgiveness from others isn't common.
4) I am learning that if comments do not offer me anything constructive or aide with any of the above, they are background noise, and I don't let it into my heart, mind, or soul.

What is your daily schedule? Why did you choose to write Contemporary Romance?

I would love to say I have a timeline or schedule like a typical job, but my schedule looks more like a ball of multicolor yarn after 12 cats have batted it around for amusement for about a week. I didn't choose the contemporary romance life, the contemporary romance life chose me. LOL, just kidding, but not as much as you think. The stories come as they come, the ones I've chosen to publish so far have been contemporary, but not all that come are.

Branches of Healing is a compilation of stories by eight authors. How was your experience of writing this book? Which is your personal favorite story in the compilation?

It was a very positive experience. I loved seeing how different authors took one event and chose different ways to showcase how it impacted their characters and shaped their stories. Mine, of course. OSCAR MIKE. It turned into so much more than just a novella for this project. It starts off typical and readers expected it to take one turn but takes another instead. It shows there is no right or wrong way to grieve or love. I can't wait to write the expansion book.

“Vegas Strong” contains fiction and non-fiction stories of authors who live in Las Vegas, or grew up here. Is your story in the book a work of fiction or is it inspired from real life experiences? How much did you research to write this story?

My story in the book is non-fiction. It's the account of how I was ready to give up trying to reach my goals when Vegas herself sent me a sign in the form of "Demon". No research needed, I lived it.

“Imagine Ink” is a complete tale of a couple. Who designed the covers of the books in the series? How was your experience working with your editor, Jennifer Severino?

That is not really a question, Imagine Ink is the series title and each book within the series is a complete tale of a couple but not considered stand-alone books. Copy pasted questions taken from bios and blurbs could use a little human touch.
Blue Sky.

What or who inspired the character of Augusta? Would you ever date someone like John?

The characters speak to me and tell me who they are, they do the inspiring. (Her first name did come from a friend though because I loved it.) In a heartbeat.

Which book in the “Imagine Ink” series took the longest to write? If you could bring one of the male characters in the series to life, who would it be?

Each one came with its own challenges and setbacks so it's hard to say which took the actual longest. I could never choose just one character over another, but I can say I would love to sit down and just talk to the father figure, Frank, when shit in my life gets rocky.

From where do you get inspiration for your characters? Have you ever modeled your characters after your best friends?

Inspiration is a 24/7 thing called living. Nothing and everything is inspiration. I say no, but I have friends who swear a character is them. I've never done this on purpose, but if life is inspiration, how could people around me not have an impact? I would love to take credit for creating people from thin air, but it is more a case of the characters creating me as a writer.

What is the one thing that has changed after becoming an author? Do you miss anything?

I am more broke than I have ever been. Yes, my money, and sometimes my sanity.

How do you add life to your characters? What would be your advice to someone who is writing his/her first contemporary romance novel?

I don't, they add life to me. Don't write for sells or lists, write because you have characters begging you to tell their stories. Then don't shape those stories to suit an audience or goal but let the characters shape it themselves and take you where they will.

Apart from publishing your contemporary romance series, what are some other exciting writing projects on the horizon? Do you wish to write in any other genre than romance?

I have so many projects, I could live ten lifetimes and still never write all the characters demanding space in my head. I have and I will.

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