Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Talia Vance Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Talia Vance is a practicing litigation attorney living in Northern California with her real life love interest, two-point-five kids, and a needy Saint Bernard named Huckleberry. Talia has been writing since she could talk, making up stories for every doll, stuffed animal and action figure she could get her hands on. She grew up hoping to write the great American novel, but her life ran more along the lines of tortured romance and fast paced thrillers, so that's what she writes.
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What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I was used to show horses and worked as a horse trainer for more than a decade. Dart, Brianna’s horse, is based on my own project horse, Heart, that I trained and sold to help pay for college.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

That I didn’t need a classroom or even a teacher to learn. There is a book out there on just about any subject you can think of. Since that realization, I’ve educated myself about all kinds of things that interest me: publishing, writing craft, art history and Celtic mythology to name a few.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always more to learn. I’m constantly seeking out advice and I love those moments when I feel like I really understand something about plot or structure for the first time. But the best piece of advice I ever got was the simplest: finish the book. It was so hard for me to finish that first novel. Hard to believe that I’m working on number four now, but I always have this panicky feeling in my stomach until I get through the first draft. I just keep that refrain in my head: Finish. The. Book.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?

There are so many challenges that I didn’t expect when I first set out to write a novel. I think when most writers dream of having a published book someday, we have no concept of the amount of time and work that goes into the book after it’s sold to a publisher. We have no idea about print runs or sales numbers or marketing budgets. We don’t know that we’ll have very little say on the cover design. We don’t know that only a tiny fraction of published books will get media attention or even make it to the shelves of Barnes and Noble. A lot of these things are out of the writer’s control. The advice I have for overcoming them is this: write the best book you can. Work with your editor to make it even better. Then write another one. Repeat.

Seriously, don’t let the business end of writing distract you from the writing itself. So much of this business is out of the author’s control. The writing is yours.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Silver, how would you introduce it?

Based on a Celtic myth, it’s the story of a girl who accidently binds her soul to her mortal enemy.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Brianna?

Brianna was a lot darker than I expected her to be. When I first started writing her, I wasn’t even aware of the dark side of being a bandia, but Brianna was living it, and she helped me understand what she was dealing with.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

So much of this story is personal to me. I felt invisible until I met a boy at a party who made me feel beautiful. But he ended up dating my best friend. Then I dated a boy who could only break my heart. I could completely relate to the themes of jealousy and the complicated nature of friendship, and the way sex can give both sides power in relationships. And I absolutely believe in true love. That boy who “saw” me at that party? He’s my husband now.

For those who are unfamiliar with Blake, how would you introduce him?

Blake is that boy a girl always thinks she wants to date until she does. He’s beautiful and charming, but he’s also conflicted and complicated, and a little bit dangerous. He has secrets, but he would share them all if he could. Deep down, he wants to do the right thing. It’s just hard to know what that is sometimes.

Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?

I do. “When in doubt, simplify.” It works for writing. It works for life. I love it.

If you could introduce Brianna to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Sophie from Hex Hall. I love her and I know that Brianna would too. She needs a friend with a little snark in her life. And together, they could kick some serious paranormal ass.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

My second book, Spies and Prejudice, a YA spy thriller with a nod to Jane Austen, comes out in June 2013 from Egmont USA. There is also a sequel to Silver, called Gold, coming from Flux in fall 2013. I can’t talk about the plot yet, but it is the continuation of Brianna’s story, and most of it takes place in Ireland, which was awesome to write. I can’t wait until I can talk about it!

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

We all have unique experiences, and the key is to bring your own experience, your own world view, and thus your own voice, to what you write.

Read. A lot. Try to understand why you like certain books or authors. While you don’t’ want to imitate, you do want to understand what works for you as a reader in terms of story structure or writing style. Just as important, you need to know what doesn’t work for you as a reader. Then experiment. There is lots of trial an error in finding your own voice and personal style.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

Disneyland. I’ve lived in Southern California, so I’ve been there a lot, but I love it every single time.

What book are you reading now?

I just read Easy by Tammara Webber. I’m done now though, devoured it in one sitting.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

How much do you weigh? I once was asked this before a scuba dive and ended up with a weight belt that was so light, I kept floating away from the scuba instructor. Still, it was a small price to pay for vanity.

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?

Working for my dad’s private investigation firm. I got sent out on these surveillances where I basically had to sit in a parked car in the hot sun for hours at a time, waiting for someone who never came, all while trying not to look like a complete creeper who was spying on the neighbors. Good times.

When was the last time you cried?

A few weeks ago, when I read Stealing Parker by Miranda Keanneally. That book broker my heart. In the best possible way.

Where can readers stalk you?

I am @TaliaVance on Twitter. I blog on Wednesdays about writing at YA Muses. I also blog at Sleuths Spies and Alibis, a YA and MG writer mystery blog. And then I have my own blog, taliavance.blogspot.com, where I blog more sporadically about my personal writing journey and upcoming events.

"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Talia Vance’s highly captivating Silver tells the story of Brianna Paxton, a girl who always felt unnoticed. To most guys, she is invisible. However, it conveniently helped her hide her dark past that she never wants anyone to know. But setting her eyes on Blake Williams, she would do anything for him to notice her. One night it came true. Blake notices Brianna but also sees what she’s been hiding. Soon Brianna questions who she really is and discovers that Blake has his own secrets.

The one thing readers will enjoy is how Talia manages to take a Celtic folklore and interweaves it into modern times. There is so much mystery behind the Sons of Killian and the Daughters of Danu, readers will find themselves engrossed by its magical tale. It goes through a series of twists and turns as the plot thickens and it becomes difficult to guess what will happen next.

The mythology within this book is fresh. With Greek as the dominant mythology in books, it is a treat to read a YA novel that utilizes Celtic folklore. The story of an ancient feud that has traveled through generations of two families is truly intriguing. Complimented with Talia’s stunning writing style, Silver is a highly engrossing Celtic folklore that will have readers turning the pages.

You can purchase Silver at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Talia for making this giveaway possible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The book sounds like a great read, thank you for doing this giveaway!

  2. I'm a real sucker for anything mythological, and one of my pet mythologies is Celtic, so I'm really excited about this book now! Thank you so much for the giveaway and making it available international!

  3. This story sounds incredible! Can't wait to read it!!!

  4. Thanks so much for being a tour stop Jean! Awesome interview :)


  5. This is now a definite on my to-be-read list. Sounds great!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  6. This book looks awesome, thanks for the giveaway!