Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Victoria! It’s wonderful to have you here! And CONGRATULATIONS on your recent release!! 😉
On your website you mention how much you related to Kate in Until I Found You. Can you name something you share in common with Nick as well?
Victoria: Definitely! We’re both writers. You know the scenes where he’s coping with all those rejections for his second book? I had that experience when I was looking for an agent after selling my first western to Harlequin back in 2002. Every day brought another kind of rejection. Some were encouraging and asked to see something other than a western, but a few were pretty biting. Those “Dear Author” form letters are definitely humbling!
The other thing I have in common with Nick is a knack for encouraging other people. He wants Kate to be happy and at peace, and he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to support her. I feel that way when it comes to my husband and kids.
Savanna: You’ve had several of your books final in various contests. What’s been one of your favorite lessons learned from your contest experiences?
Victoria: I’ve judged contests too, so that factors into what I’ve learned. The main thing is this: All books have merit and they all have an audience, but there are some that rise to the top and speak to a broader audience. They cut across the ordinary and capture something universal. I strive to write that kind of book. The other thing I’ve learned from contests is that reading is highly subjective, and that’s okay. It’s a great big world with room for different opinions and experiences.
Victoria: The hero that came most naturally was J.T. Quinn in An Outlaw’s Return. I love that book. It’s a romance, but it’s also about a man finding God. In a roundabout way, this is the book that opened doors at Bethany House, so I’m particularly fond of J.T.!
Savanna: With your recent release of Until I Found You, was there a review that really resonated with you? If so, would you like to share a piece of it with us and how it impacted you?
Victoria: I admit it. I’m a review junkie. I read each and every one, and those first few weeks, when I’m hoping the book will resonate with readers, are nerve wracking. I’m happy to say that there are a lot of great reviews up on Amazon. One quote that particularly resonated with me was from Kav in Canada: “Probably the most authentic fictional ‘coming to Christ story’ I’ve ever read. These are real people with messy lives and conflicting desires.”
That’s exactly what Until I Found You is about–real people with messy lives struggling with spiritual questions. Carole Jarvis, another reviewer, said it this way: “But most of all, Until I Found You is a story of spiritual transformation and growth.”
Savanna: Those are great! What blessings each of those reviews must be to you. So what’s next for you now that your latest book has just released? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Victoria: Right now, I’m working on revisions for Together With You. It’s set in California and is about a man who made a bad mistake and is trying to restore his relationship with his sons and his daughter, a victim of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Enter the heroine–a grad student with special training in FASD and a Kentucky girl who can stand up for herself. The pub date is April 2015. I’ve seen a mock-up of the cover and can’t wait to share it. It’s gorgeous!
Savanna: Ahhh, I can’t wait to see – and read – it! 😉 Thanks for joining us today, Vicki. How can readers connect with you further?
Victoria have graciously offered one copy of UNTIL I FOUND YOU to lucky winner.
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