Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Victoria J. Hyla (Victoria Hyla Maldonado) and the author of the Hearts Drawn Wyld trilogy (In Death We Part, Running in the Mists, Awake in Elysian Fields) as well as several anthology short stories, and the children’s books (Bartleby the Brave, Mieodsin el Valiente) and the upcoming Tears for the Butterfly. I also am the editor of The Evidence I Have Lived. I have been writing my entire life and, when not authoring, I work as a freelance writer and editor in the western suburbs of Chicago with my husband and children.
I first published under my maiden name (Victoria J. Hyla), which is still my romance publishing name. I grew up, and have mostly lived, in the Chicago suburbs. I now live in the far western suburbs of Chicago with my husband, five-year-old twins, and sometimes my 15-year-old stepson. I’ve been blessed to make this author thing work full time, but I’ve had careers as a writer and editor and a teacher of English, English as a Second Language, and French at the middle school and high school levels.
Why do you write?
I write because it’s what I love to do, and I’m fantastic at it. I feel it deep inside me and have always known that it is what I want to be doing with my life. It’s also really fun.
What genre do you write? Why did you pick this genre?
I write adult women’s fiction (romance) as well as children’s books. I’ve just always loved the romance genre, but I rarely find the book I really want to read, so I write my own the way I want them to be. I love the emotions and delving into the lives of my characters, their traumas, their loves, their hopes, and their dreams. That’s the stuff that makes the soul churn. As for children’s books, it began as a lark. Another author suggested I try it, and wow, I can now say that I’m addicted to it. It’s so fun to do, and I love collaborating with illustrators. They are so talented, and we work to bring the visions to life!
Tell us about your books.
My romance trilogy (the Hearts Drawn Wyld trilogy) is a substantive journey into the lives of Brianna Wylder and Elyse Brennan Wylder. Both women deal with extremely painful losses in their lives and grow and change because of those events and situations. Books 1 and 2 (In Death We Part and Running in the Mists) follow Brianna (a young artist) as she deals with the sudden death of her parents and finds out who she really is as she navigates that tragedy and discovers love and belonging with her male heroes (Matt Brennan, a broody cowboy; or Ben Davis, a stable cop). Book 3 (Awake in Elysian Fields) follows Elyse as she heads to Paris for a study abroad photography opportunity, hoping to learn more about her murdered mother with only an old photograph to guide her. She meets and falls in love with intriguing artist Jerome Sauveterre, and together they discover more about her family and her mother’s past and her own future.
With my children’s books, Bartleby the Brave (and its Spanish Miedosin el Valiente) is an adventure tale about a tiny sparrow who demonstrates the ultimate in kindness and bravery when he risks his life to save another bird who hasn’t been the nicest to him. Tears for the Butterfly (and its Spanish Lagrimas para la mariposa) is a story about how the love, compassion, and acceptance we put out into the world ripples out to affect others. It is also a beautiful tale that presents death as a natural part of life. I’m also working on a new romance trilogy (Hotel Brisas) set in Mexico, and I currently have another children’s book being illustrated (a monstery twist on Hickory Dickory Dock).
How much time do you dedicate to your author career?
I dedicate as much time as I can. Being a mom and sometimes schooling guide (online) and wife and active member in programs at church, it’s hard to find all the time I need, but it’s my career when I’m not otherwise doing freelance editing to bring in some money. It’s where my heart is dedicated, and it’s in my blood.
How long on average does it take you to write your books?
It truly depends on the type of book I’m writing. Children’s books might take me 2-5 days once the inspiration comes flowing (illustrations of course take much longer). For novels, good solid, dedicated work is perhaps 5-7 months (but that could be spread out over a year).
What is the best money you have ever spent on your author career?
My website. Having a single portal that holds everything I’m doing and accomplishing and promoting is a great asset.
What is the toughest part of being an author?
The writing part is easy and fun. I have no shortage of ideas, but I do have a shortage of time. Marketing and making money doing it is the challenge. It takes an entirely different mindset, but I’m learning that collaboration and networking are key.
What is the best piece of advice you have for other authors?
Just keep writing and write what makes you happy and what you want to read. There’s no sense in writing something that doesn’t sing a beautiful tune in your soul. If it resonates with you, you will find someone else that feels that resonance as well.
What is your favorite book?
I’m not sure I have a favorite book. I love so many for different reasons. I do always go back to Shakespeare, so maybe his Folio. I have a special place in my heart for the Wizard of Oz and Anne of Green Gables though.
Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/victoriajhyla
Editing website: http://www.victoriajhyla.com/editing-services
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/victoriajhyla/
Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/victoriahyla
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/379850352994352/?ref=share
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/victoriajhyla