Saturday, September 13, 2014

Veronica Bartles- Interview & Giveaway

So, I had the pleasure of interviewing  author Veronica Bartles for the 2014 Debut Authors Bash! Stick around for the giveaway at the end of this post :)

1. How long have you been a writer?

I've been writing since second grade, but I didn't write my first novel until 2008, when I finally decided that it was time to turn my dream of "being a writer someday" into reality.
2. Who/What made you begin writing in the first place?

Well, when I was in second grade, I won the Wyoming State Young Author's contest (it was a school assignment - everyone in my class was required to enter, and I never expected to win). I had so much fun writing the story, and I loved being in the spotlight for my win. I decided I was going to be a writer one day and started a collection of special pencils that I wouldn't sharpen or use until I was ready to write my first published book.
 (Incidentally I got my first taste of working with an editor while writing my entry for that contest. My mom marked up my first draft and encouraged me to rewrite it over and over again until the story actually made sense. She's probably the reason I won, come to think of it.) 
           I wasted a lot of years when I didn't write at all after graduating from college, because I was afraid of discovering that I wasn't good enough. I'd probably still be floundering in a sea of self-doubt today if I hadn't met Jason F. Wright (bestselling author of THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS) at a Time Out for Women event in 2008. He encouraged me to follow my dream, and I sharpened my story pencils as soon as I got home, to write my first novel.

3. Would you be anything else, besides an author?

When I was very young, I decided that I wanted to be an author and a mom when I grew up. And I'm totally living the dream. I have four great kids who are mostly supportive of my writing, and a husband who absolutely believes that being a mom is just as much a real job as being an author. I couldn't imagine any other life.

4. Did you like to read when you were younger?
I was constantly reading when I was a kid. I carried a book with me everywhere I went. I sat in 
my bedroom with a pile of books more often than not. I would sneak books into my desk so I 
could read at school while the teacher was talking. I read on the playground. And when we went 
on vacation, I brought my books along with me. The beach, restaurants, Disneyland ... I read so
much that, whenever I got in trouble, my parents used to punish me by making me watch TV – 
without being able to read a book while I watched! (I still read all the time, by the way. And yes, 
I always have a book to read while I’m watching TV.)

5. If you could sit on a bench with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d love to go back in time and meet Mark Twain. He had a snarky, quick wit, and a unique way 
of looking at the world, and I think we really would have gotten along well. (And I’d get him to 
sign all of my Mark Twain books, so they’d be worth a lot of money!)

6. If there was a movie for your book, what would your ideal cast be?

This is always the hardest question for me to answer, because my characters are so specific to me 
that it’s difficult to match them to real-life celebrities. Hmmm... Maybe ...

• Andi: Liana Liberato might actually be perfect.

• Jarod: Theo James, wearing green contacts (It’s possible I just want to meet him, and 
I’m looking for an excuse.)

• Laina: I would pick an unknown actress. I’m thinking a cross between Marilyn Monroe 
and Doris Day, but with long, curly blonde hair.

• Dave: I think Jake T. Austin could probably pull off Dave’s combination of cockiness 
and adorkable moments.

• Nick: I know he’s not really a main character in TWELVE STEPS, but he’s actually a 
very important character in my mind. He would have to be just right. And I can’t find a 
single actor who fits, so there would definitely have to be a casting call for him. Maybe 
someone with Will Smith’s body, Bruno Mars’ smile, & Nathan Owens’ eyes. 

7. How do you overcome writers block?

I always have at least two or three different writing projects going on at any given time. Partly, 
this is because I’m fickle and flighty, and I can’t commit to just one idea. But mostly, it’s 
because when I hit writer’s block on one project, I can skip over to another one with fresh eyes 
and excitement for the new ideas there. The project that has me stuck can percolate in the back 
of my mind while I work on the one that’s flowing easily. And when I get stuck again, I can hop 
back to the first manuscript. This means it usually takes me quite a while to finish a manuscript, 
but when I do, I usually have one or two others that are pretty close to being finished at the same 
time, so it works for me.

8. Did you listen to any music when you were writing your debut novel? If so, what songs 
did you listen to?

I always have to have a writing soundtrack for every manuscript I write. Generally, the 
soundtrack for each project is guided by the musical tastes of my main character, which really 
helps me to get into my character’s mindset when I sit down to write. For TWELVE STEPS, 
I had a super-long playlist that I listened to exclusively whenever I was writing. Andi’s tastes 
are probably the most eclectic of any character I’ve ever written, so her playlist was the most 
varied I’ve ever put together. After the book was finished, I narrowed the list down to my top 12 
favorite songs, that really help tell Andi’s story:

1. “Sisters” – Rosemary & Betty Clooney

2. “Stepsisters’ Lament” – Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella 

3. “Who I Am” – Nick Jonas

4. “Still into You” – Paramore

5. “Cover Girl” – Big Time Rush

6. “Take a Hint” – Victorious cast

7. “Everything Has Changed” – Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

8. “Help Me, Rhonda” – The Beach Boys

9. “The Prince You Charmed” – Youngstown

10. “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)” – Susan Egan

11. “Falling for You” – R5

12. “You Snuck Your Way Right into My Heart” – Love Handel

9. What's your favorite quote?

Oh, I love so many quotes! (Seriously, I used to fill whole notebooks with quotes when I was 
in high school, and I still have a ton of quotes posted up around my house.) It’s hard to pick 
a favorite. But there is one that I read every single day, to keep me going when I’m feeling 
discouraged. In a writing workshop I attended years ago, publicist Matt Birch said, “No matter 
how hard it gets, don’t give up. Someone will care.” This came at a moment when I was 
particularly discouraged, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. And I still need to hear it 

10. Which author amazes you most with their writing?

Oh, I have so many authors I love and admire. I’ve always adored Mark Twain’s wit and humor, 
and I love C.S. Lewis’ ability to build fantastic worlds, and to point out universal truths in our 
own world so clearly. 
But there are so many recent and upcoming authors that I also love to pieces. I could never pick 
only one! It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Rachel Harris. (I was so excited when she agreed to 
write the cover blurb for TWELVE STEPS!) I’ve read every single one of her books, and I’m 
really looking forward to her next YA contemporary novel, THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING, 
which releases September 30, 2014. Rachel writes the most amazing characters, and I just want 
to be friends with every single one of them in real life! We’ve actually decided that Andi, my 
main character in TWELVE STEPS, would be best friends with Aly, the main character of THE 
FINE ART OF PRETENDING, if they ever met in real life.
And I recently had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Kelsey Macke’s debut novel, 
DAMSEL DISTRESSED, which comes out October 14, 2014. This book has such a beautiful,
lyrical quality to it, and it touches on some very important topics, in a gorgeous, yet totally-
accessible way.

11. Where can we get ahold of you?

Twitter: @vbartles

Great interview, huh?  If this doesn't make you want to learn more about her and pick up her book, I don't know what will. Speaking of her book... 

Displaying FINAL Twelve Steps 1800 x 2700.jpgTWELVE STEPS by Veronica Bartles

Release Date: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Format: eBook

Price: $2.99

About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. The only 
thing Andi’s sure she has going for her is her awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina's 
perfect everything else.

When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough, 
and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina and get the guy. 
Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really 

Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities. She MUST have more than just great hair, right?

Step 7: Demand attention for more than just the way she screws things up. 

When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her twelve-step program 
isn’t working. Her prince isn’t as charming as she'd hoped, and the spotlight she’s been trying to 
steal isn’t the one she wants.
As Laina’s flawless façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big 
enough for both to shine.




Displaying Veronica_cropped.jpgVeronica Bartles grew up in Wyoming and currently lives in New Mexico with her husband 
and four children. As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is
no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. She uses this insight to write stories 
about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy. When 
Veronica’s not writing or lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, she enjoys creating 
delicious desserts, exploring new places, and knitting with recycled materials. 

TWELVE STEPS is Veronica’s first novel.