Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference Speaker Interview Series: Virginia Kantra

I’m so excited to be returning to one of my favorite events this March: the Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference in New Jersey.  It’s a wonderful event that I enjoy each year and highly recommend attending.  I am honored this year to be hosting an interview each week with the attending speakers!  It begins today and will continue each week leading up to the conference. I hope you enjoy! ~Jillian

Today the Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference Speaker Interview Series continues with author Virginia Kantra:

  1. What made you want to become a writer? How early in life did you start writing?


I’ve been making up stories all my life. I wrote fairytales for my younger cousins to bribe them to go to bed and plays that I performed with my sister on our neighbors’ porch. The idea that I could get paid to write always thrilled me. But it wasn’t until my youngest child started kindergarten that I began to write seriously for a particular market.


  1. Is there one piece of advice you would give an aspiring writer?


Not to accept too much advice. There’s no “right” and “wrong” in writing fiction; there’s only “works” and “does not work,” and each writer has to discover what works for her.


  1. Who is on your bookshelf?


Oh, wow. So many books. My reading – and my writing – has spanned a lot of genres. Right now, in contemporary romance and women’s fiction, my go-to authors are Robyn Carr, Jennifer Crusie, Kristan Higgins, JoAnn Ross. I started reading Jojo Moyes last year. Love her. And Laura Florand’s really good.


  1. Can you tell us about one of the most memorable moments in your writing career thus far?


Well, the RITA Awards stick out. Bounding onstage to wrest my gold statuette from Toni Blake was a big moment.

But I think over the course of a career you recognize it’s the little moments that matter most. When a writer you’ve idolized forever says something that makes you realize she’s actually read your work. When a reader tells you that your story helped her get through her kid being bullied in school or her mother’s illness. There’s no substitute for that.


  1. Tell us about your newest release/current work in progress.


I’m delighted that Bookpage recently named Carolina Dreaming as one of their Top Ten Romances of 2016, and I do plan at least one more book in the Dare Island series. But I’m taking some time now to write a new project—my “sisters” books. They have a lot of the same elements I love: strong family ties, small North Carolina community, romance. But the focus is more mother/daughter, sister/sister, women’s journey stuff. I’m very excited.


  1. Tell us a little about your workshop at the Create Something Magical Conference.


I’m doing a master class on emotion. Because it’s our emotional identification with a story that hooks us. The heart of emotional writing isn’t about adjectives and introspection. It’s the author’s ability to make us care about her characters and what happens to them that keeps us reading. So I’m talking about creating compelling characters through the use of deep point of view, choosing scenes and situations that develop conflict and raise the emotional stakes, and evoking reactions through the use of significant, specific detail.

As writers, we need to make ourselves vulnerable. We need to be emotionally honest.


Photo (attached)



New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra is the author of more than twenty-five books of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. Her stories have earned numerous awards including Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, eight RITA nominations, and two National Readers’ Choice Awards. Carolina Dreaming was recently named by Bookpage as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2016.

Virginia lives in North Carolina with her husband, Italian Guy. She is a firm believer in the strength of family, the importance of storytelling, and the power of love. Her favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations.




Website http://www.virginiakantra.com/

Newsletter http://eepurl.com/vMykD


Social Media links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaKantraBooks

Twitter @VirginiaKantra





  1. Kathy Valentine says:

    Shared on all my socials!!

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