Today it’s my pleasure to have with me Joselyn Vaughn, an amazing young woman who manages to write with three young children, and two of them twins. Wow! And a Romance Author who believes in happy endings. I have to admit there are times I love happy endings too.
LP: Good morning, Joselyn, and thank you for being with us today. Tell us a little about yourself. Where you live now and where you grew up?
JV: I’m a stay at home mom with three children three and under. Two girls and a boy and they keep me hopping. Most days revolve around trying to get the twins to use the potty and keeping the little one out of it.
I grew up in West Michigan and have lived there most of my life. My husband and I spent a year and a half in the Seattle area which was interesting. It makes us appreciate his one mile/five minute commute to work so much more.
LP: I can’t imagine trying to write with three young children, and I can so empathize with getting the twins to use the bathroom while keeping the little one out of it. My own boys were 15 months apart and drove me crazy with that. I now have three grandchildren and when they’re all three here it’s like a zoo.
Do you feel that the environment you were raised in has any effect on your choice of genre?
JV: I think it definitely does. I don’t know if affects which genre I’ve chosen, but it affects how I write about that genre. The whole ‘would you let your mother read this’ thing. That’s one of the reasons I write sweet romances. Although that isn’t what she comments on when she tells me what she thought of the book.
I grew up with very supportive parents who encouraged me to try things that I might like such as a children’s writing class, and not like, such as choir. I still don’t like choir, so it didn’t change anything there, unless it’s an appreciation that other people probably don’t want to hear me sing. J I want to pass that encouragement on to my readers through my characters.
LP: Is there a specific message in your novels that you’d like the reader to grasp?
JV: I want to write about people you could imagine as your neighbors in a place where happy endings are possible.
LP: How much of your book is realistic or based on real life issues?
LP: Do you have a specific writing style? And do you feel you will stick with your current genre, or do you think you’ll branch out into other genres?
JV: I think eventually I may branch into something different where the story isn’t as focused on the romance. I don’t know. I can’t see myself straying too far from the romance genre though.
LP: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
JV: Probably W.S. Gager, author of the Mitch Malone Mysteries. She is in my critique group and one of the main reasons I finished my first book and sent it out. She really helps me develop the stories and fill in the blanks. I’ve started to hear her voice in my head as I write. “How would she react to that?” “She’s got to burst into tears here.” It’s been a wonderful partnership.
LP: What book are you reading now?
JV: I am reading Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage by Tanya Eby. It is a mystery/comedy. I just finished Sunshine Boulevard by JQ Rose which is a mystery/horror/comedy novella set is a retirement community in Florida. It’s a really fun story. I also recently read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I thought was fantastic. I emailed my librarian, telling her she had to read it and she told me she did – two years ago. The kids haven’t allowed me to read as many of my books as I used to. I’m trying to rectify that now. Reading for me is important too.
LP: Are you currently working on a new book, and if so, can you share some of it with us? And what is the most challenging part of writing your current work in progress?
JV: I am. It involves the bed and breakfast owner, Minnie, from my first book, CEOs Don’t Cry. The bed and breakfast is running into some plumbing issues and Minnie’s old boyfriend shows up. Minnie is 74 years old. She has 7 decades of experiences shaping who she is. And Gordon, her ex-boyfriend, too. It’s a lot of information to keep straight, especially since the events most pertinent to the story happened fifty years ago. I’m also tackling a lot more emotion-filled experiences than I have in other stories. Handling them so they carry the weight and power that they need to has been hard work.
LP: Who are your favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
JV: Julia Quinn is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are so fun and she draws them so well. I also like that she inserts seemingly random things that are so memorable. I laugh every time I think about the squirrel drawing and the croquet scene. Priceless.
LP: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
JV: It depends on the book. With the first one, it was making sure the plot was believable and that there was enough conflict. With the second one, it was developing the emotional tension between the characters. With Sucker for a Hot Rod, it was figuring out how the story should develop. I rearranged the chapters and changed the dates at least a dozen times to the point where I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. I blame this on trying to write it while pregnant. I finally thought it was done and put it away until after she was born. When I pulled it out for the final read through, I realized I had so much more work to do. It was very frustrating.
LP: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
JV: That sometimes you need to take a lot of time away. Usually I’ve only taken a week or two away. With Sucker for a Hot Rod, I needed months. But it really helped me look at it with fresh eyes and see its problems.
LP: Do you have any advice for other writers?
JV: If you want to write, get in your chair and write. Get words on the paper and start learning from them. That’s the best way to develop your style and craft.
LP: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
JV: Thank you so much for sharing your time with me today. And thanks to Linda for hosting me. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
Thank you, Joselyn, for being with us today. If you’d like more information about Joselyn and her books visit: