Meet Victoria Michaels

I had the pleasure of working with Victoria Michaels to edit her second novel, Trust in Advertising, just released at the end of July.  It follows (but is not a sequel to) the publication of her debut novel, Boycotts and Barflies.

Everything about Victoria is delightful, including her stories. She has a talent for pulling readers in to the hearts and minds of her characters, and her sense of humor and fun personality shine throughout each of her novels.  Here's a peek into Trust in Advertising: 

I asked Victoria about some of my favorite aspects of Trust in Advertising:

1. Trust in Advertising is an engaging tale of love, but it's also a story of personal development.  More than one character experiences an awakening of sorts and is a changed person by the end of the story.  Which of the characters to do you think experienced the greatest amount of change in terms of personal growth and self awareness from the story's beginning to its end?

Great question and a tough one to answer! I would have to say that Vincent is the one who grows the most throughout the course of the story. He not only learns things about himself from Lexi, but he also has to overcome some personal demons and let go of painful things from his past to become the man Lexi needs and deserves in the end. Tearing down the walls Vincent had built over the years was no easy task, but he had to find it in himself to trust Lexi, and trust she wouldn't be like all the other people in his past who had let him down.

In the beginning of the story, I would say there were two sides to Vincent, the loving man he only shared with his family and the tough, distant man he appeared to be to the rest of world. With Lexi's help, he managed to find a way to not merge the two but become whole again. Plus, he finally came to his senses - thank God- and pulled the plug on dearest Jade and sent her and her fake nails packing!

2. You have an amazing knack for getting inside of each of your characters and exploring their many sides.  As a reader, I became attached not only to the main characters, Lexi and Vincent, but also to their friends and family.  And yes, I'll admit it, there's a  soft spot in my heart for David Reid, Tango King. 

I read in one of your other interviews that the vindictive Jade was your favorite character to write, so instead of asking that question again, I'll ask you this---if you had to choose one of your characters to go out to lunch with, who would you choose and why?    

Vincent - hands down. I'd love to see him confidently stride across the room as every head turns to watch him pass. I find the creative process of advertising interesting so I'd love to hear about what he's working on, where his ideas come from - oh who am I kidding? He could recite the dictionary, give a lecture on cellular biology or try and discuss the merits of selling ice cubes to penguins in Antartica and I'd still find it interesting. *smirk* I'd love to hear all the juicy details about his past assistants- they sounded like a pretty wild bunch before Lexi walked through the door.

What I would really love to do with characters from this book would be to go to one of Madison's tea parties and watch the tiny girl run the show with her hats and games and antics. Madison finagling Sean into a turban? Now that would be something to experience!

3. Having the story set in San Francisco was another fun element in the book, with the architecture, Fisherman's Wharf, and the bay all playing a role in the story.  Did you consider any other settings for Trust in Advertising, and how did you arrive at San Francisco as the final destination?  

I knew water was going to play a part in the story, being a place where Lexi went to get away from it all and find peace amongst the chaos. My husband grew up in San Francisco and when we went out there for a visit, I fell in love with Fisherman's Wharf and knew that would be the perfect setting for the story. It had the big city for Hunter Advertising to flourish and would be a city with a million options for someone like Lexi who was finding herself again.

Even with all the hustle and bustle of the city behind me, somehow, looking out over the bay, there was a peacefulness that made me feel like I was the only person for miles. That was what I wanted for Lexi. Sprinkle in a little Ghirardelli chocolate (Because come on, who doesn't love chocolate?), and ta-da... the setting for Trust in Advertising was born!   

4. What do you see as perks of going with a small, independent publisher like Omnific Publishing versus either a big, traditional publisher or self publishing?   

Working with a small publisher like Omnific was a great experience. I feel that they were more open in terms of the stories they accepted for publication, because often bigger publishing houses are looking for a very specific genre, or style of story, and as an author you have no way of knowing what that is. It's less intimidating to submit to a smaller publisher, I think, and during the submission process, I felt like they took the time to read my story and got to know my characters before making a decision. The editing staff was AMAZING to work with (bows to her brilliant editor), and I really learned so much through the process- ways to make my writing stronger, in fewer words.

The biggest 'perk' of going with a smaller publisher I have to say is the family feeling at Omnific. The staff, the other authors, everyone is so incredibly supportive and understanding. People share ideas, network and genuinely care about one another. And that is something I'd say you can't get anywhere else.

5. I know you have a playlist for Trust in Advertising, but if you had to choose only one song that captures the essence of the story, what would it be?

Playlists are so much fun, aren't they? The song that I really had playing in the back of my head as I wrote this was "If I Never Knew You" from the Disney movie Pocahontas. It's a beautiful song that I think captures the essence of  Trust in Advertising, which is two people who are so much better together than they ever could be apart. Vincent and Lexi would have gone through their lives if they never met, a part of them always missing and never realizing just how wonderful life could be. But once they crossed paths, their lives would never be the same, each becoming more than they ever thought possible...together.  Wow that was uber girlie of me...

Okay to balance that, what the snarky side of me loved listening to as I wrote was "Hate that I Love You" by Rhianna and Ne-Yo. It fits so well because they both aren't happy about the feelings they have for one another in the beginning. Vincent resents the way she makes him lighten up and smile. And the last thing Lexi wants is to dredge up her feelings for her old crush.

Thanks Victoria!  
Trust in Advertising is available at Omnific Publishing and Amazon.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nice trailer!

Nicki Elson said...

Glad you like the trailer, Alex. Omnific Publishing does a fabulous job with them.