Queenie’s Writer’s Week with Author Victoria Maldonado

Get to know: Author Victoria J. Hyla


Genre: Romance


Tell me more about your latest book:

My most recent book is “Awake in Elysian Fields.” The third in my Hearts Drawn Wyld trilogy, it focuses on being okay with mistakes and imperfections because those make life truly beautiful. Although a romance, it’s also a mystery and a dark window into the evils of the sex trafficking industry. It can be read as a standalone, but it’s more fulfilling if people read the first two first. The journey takes readers alongside 20-year-old Elyse to Paris, France, as she tries to find herself while she discovers and learns about her mother’s past with only a photograph to guide her. Her mother died when she was young, and learning about who she was is a huge focus for the main character. She also finds love with a truly remarkable artist who is exactly who she needs in her life. It gets incredible dark in parts, and readers most often describe it as “gripping” and that they couldn’t put it down. It’s a huge book yet people seem to read it in just a few days.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Writing is the easy part. It’s marketing and selling that is the challenge. When I’m inspired, it just flows, so I don’t stress about writer’s block. When I’m ready to write it, it gets written.


What motivated you to become an author?

I love writing and always have. I can tell a story and weave meaning throughout. It’s always been my favorite thing to do, so now I’ve made it my job.


What brought you to write this book?

This particular book was needed to round out the trilogy, but also it helped me work through some of my own sexual traumas and hang ups from earlier in life. I love France and even in the middle of writing Book 2, I knew this one would be set in Paris. I just waited until I was ready to get it written.


How many books have you written so far?

I have written 6 books (1 is coming soon). Three are adult romance. Three are children’s books. I’m also working on a new romance trilogy.


What book or books had a strong influence on you and your writing?

I was a big romance novel fan growing up, so that’s likely why it’s my chief genre, but I’d be hard pressed to come up with just one or just a few influences. I’ve decidedly deviated from the typically accepted romance style of perfectly beautiful characters. I like imperfections and characters that are real. My WIP is so close to home, it’s scary.


How hard is it to establish in fiction?

As a successful author, it’s a challenge. Writing/editing skills are not marketing/selling skills. It’s challenging to really have both.
Where do you love to write? I write wherever the mood strikes me.


Where do you get your ideas from?

I basically get my ideas from my own life (for the romance books). Lives are where the good stuff is, and it keeps everything authentic. There are always little bits of me and my experiences in everything I write.


What is your favorite fiction book?

My own 🙂 Really, I don’t know. There aren’t many I go back to reading again and again. I do love the plays and stories from Shakespeare. I really can’t get enough of that. And I have a special place in my heart for Don Quixote. He’s fascinating.



Blurb about the book:

Haunted by fractured childhood memories and trauma born from her mother’s death and her father’s abuse, Elyse Brennan Wylder journeys to Paris hoping to find answers about her mother’s past and perhaps her own future. With only an old photograph to guide her, she is thrown into a world far beyond anything she’s ever imagined-both good and evil. After meeting Jérôme Sauveterre, an intriguing and passionate Parisian artist, Elyse quickly finds her life, her world, and her heart opening wide as they delve deeper into her mother’s story and learn what love and intimacy really mean. As Elyse and Jérôme dig into the past, how far can they go before it’s too late to turn back? Will they find a light at the end of the darkness and awake in Elysian Fields?


Link to Amazon or Website:
http://www.victoriajhyla.com

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