Saturday, February 21, 2015

Victoria A. Fletcher, Author & Poet

From Damascus, Virginia, USA, Victoria A. Fletcher is an award-winning author. A graduate of Virginia Intermont College and Tusculum College, she holds a Masters Degree in Education and is a retired school teacher. Currently, she is the church secretary for First Baptist Church in Damascus. Victoria began writing when she was 13 years old and has been active with children’s ministry for many years.

Welcome Victoria!

When did you pen your first story? 
My first book came out in 2011.  I began working on it when I retired from teaching in 2008.  I was looking at the options for publishing my work and found Xulon Press, a Christian author publishing company.  I contracted with them for 2 books (both The Bible Tells Me So books). I began writing poetry when I was about 12.

What motivates your creativity?
I have worked with children for over 40 years.  They are my inspiration.  I think the Bible story books were a natural fit for me.

Being a church secretary, I am sure you have a lot of anecdotes.  Can you share one?
I shared several in my book Daily Dose of Encouragement.  My favorite verse to share is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This became my life verse when I was 12. My favorite saying about writing is Fill your writings with the breathings of your heart by William Wordsworth.

Do you include storylines and characters from your own personal experience?
Yes.  I think all authors do this to a point.  My memoir certainly used characters and events from my childhood.

Of all your books, which one is your favorite?
I love the Bible stories but I think that Blessings in Bible Times is actually my favorite.  It is Bible stories but with time travel involved.  I love the watch that the Lord helped me create.

Can you share an excerpt? 
“The three kids climbed down from the loft.  They went looking around the barn.  In the back corner of the barn they saw a small mound of dirt.  They decided to take a closer look.  They grabbed some sticks and started digging.  It wasn’t long until they saw something shiny. Excitedly, they continued digging.  Suddenly, they stopped, looked at each other, and looked back at the ground.” 

What is the premise for Fletcher's Fables?
I decided to do stories with animal characters that learned lessons much like the Aesop Fables of old. I love writing stories for children.  Children love animals so it was just a good fit.  I tried to make the lessons things that were relevant today like bullying, smoking, peer pressure, etc.

As a poet, what style of poetry is your favorite?
I like to read many types of poetry but when I write poems, they are in rhyming stanza or rhyming couplets.  I tried to do free verse once and it was so funny because I still rhymed.

Who is your favorite author?
I think I must mention 3 that have had an impact on my reading and writing.  They are C.S. Lewis (whose Chronicles of Narnia series I have read many, many times), E.B. White (Charlotte's Web remains my favorite children's story), and Avi (I read many of his books when I taught 4th grade.  I read them to the students but began to read all his work.  He writes in many genres and many topics.  He is one of those writers that grab you in the first page and you can't put his book down).

What are you currently reading?
I read my Bible daily using a chronological version.  I enjoy Karen Kingsbury and her Christian novels.  I also enjoy David Platt.  I am getting ready to ready his new book Counter Culture. I also love to read other indie authors.  I have found some of them to be excellent authors.

What are you currently writing? 
I normally have two, three, or four books going on at the same time. When ideas come, I work on the one the ideas are for.  I am working on a devotional about grace, a children's book about my Basset Hound Cocoa, a book about my experiences in teaching, and hopefully even a sequel to Fletcher's Fables.  I already have the characters names for that one but am still trying to see what lessons must be learned for this book.

Your books are awesome! You have won an award and have poems in several anthologies. Details, please…
Xulon Press Winner of Children's Bible Story Books in 2011 for The Bible Tells Me So: Old Testament Stories for Children.  I have had three of my poems placed in anthologies: The Rewarding Search, Don't Pass It By, and Man vs Nature. I have just actually begun to submit stories and poems to local literary magazines and contests but haven't won any awards yet.  I look forward to improving my short story writing and win some of these in the future.

Living in Appalachia, horses seem to be everywhere. Do you have a horse anecdote to share?
My horse anecdote would have to be one that I used when I taught 4th grade.  It was our Number 1 rule in class: If you can't neigh nuttin' nice, don't neigh nuttin' at all. (This was a take-off on Thumper's famous saying in Bambi). 

List 10 things your fans may not know about you... 
I am a computer guru. 

I play piano and flute. 

My favorite color is orange.  

My favorite food is raspberries. 

My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz but the book is even better. 

My favorite song is Somewhere over the Rainbow

I LOVE baseball.  My teams are the Cardinals and Orioles.  I coached, yes, coached Senior League, Little League, and Minor League for our local Little League program when I was in college and first began teaching. 

I love puzzle books.  I like them a little hard to challenge me.  That's how I relax.

I am an only child.  

I like to feed backyard birds and the ducks that live at the mill dam in Damascus. 

Connect with Victoria…

Victoria’s Books…
2011 The Bible Tells Me So: Old Testament Stories for Children, published by Xulon Press. This book won the children's Bible story Xulon Press award in 2011. 

2012 Victoria published two books through Create Space which were Pastor's Pocket PAL and Daily Dose of Encouragement as well as the sequel to my Bible stories, The Bible Tells Me So: New Testament Stories for Children published by Xulon.

2013 Victoria published three books with Create Space which were My Life and Times in Rhyme, Mischief & Mayhem, and.  She also published Fletcher's Fables with Jan-Carol Publishing of Johnson City, Tennessee.

2014 Victoria published three books with Create Space which were Getting Back on Track, Blessings in Bible Times: Back in Time, and The Life of Rylie.  

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