Before being marooned on a small Caribbean island, she graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in print journalism and worked as a broadcast reporter / television producer (among other, much more eclectic things). Now she writes YA and NA contemporary fiction, which—much like her WOW! Contest entry—has a pinch of romance and a dash of gratuitous swearing thrown in to give it that unique ‘sweet and salty’ taste. She is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency.
For more information on Veronica’s current projects and upcoming publications, please visit her website http://veronicaparkauthor.com and/or follow her on Twitter @VeroniKaboom.
WOW: Hi Veronica, congratulations on your flash fiction win! What was the inspiration for You, I Could’ve Loved?
Veronica: Wow. Starting right off with the tough questions, eh? *Cracks knuckles* Well, see the thing is, once upon a time there was this boy. And I’m afraid we’re going to have to leave it at that, because god forbid this boy from high school follows me on Twitter or something, and he reads this story and thinks I’m still in love with him. And then he drives (flies) to my house in Grenada to profess his reciprocal and undying love, and my poor husband is forced to challenge him to a duel…with pistols, or maybe swords. Really I don’t see any scenario that doesn’t end in bloodshed. …So I guess I’ll back up and say, this story was inspired by love letters from high school.
WOW: LOL--Fair enough. What did you learn while working on your flash fiction entry?
Veronica: Every choice you make matters. People will tell you that only the big ones matter, but it’s the small ones that really impact your life. That’s what I enjoy writing about the most, the little things. The quirks and daily decisions that make us who we are. And like, no pressure or anything, but I truly believe that having a tuna fish sandwich instead of a PBJ for lunch can seriously alter the course of your future. Forever.
WOW: Especially if you’re caught without breath mints (smile)
In regards to switching over to fiction, in what ways has your background in journalism helped or hindered?
Veronica: Also a great question. (As a former journalist, I salute your awesome question-asking skills.) I think my journalism education and background definitely gave me a leg-up when it comes to self-editing, and not just in terms of the nitty gritty, like grammar and all that noise. These things are important, don't get me wrong. But seriously, if you’ve ever had an editor hand back your story three times in a row with ZERO notes other than “This sucks, write it again,” you’ll either become adept at locating your own issues, or you’ll suffer a complete and total nervous breakdown. (Two guesses which one I chose. Though, they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, I suppose.)
In some ways, I do wish that I was less nit-picky when it comes to the mechanics of writing, though. I know a lot of writers who plow through their first draft without even a thought towards formatting or sentence structure. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot—literally can NOT—stop myself from editing as I write. And I guess a lot of people would say that’s a downside of my background. Then again, there are worse issues to have, so...meh.
WOW: What are you working on now? Will you give us a sneak peek?
Veronica: I’m currently working on a number of YA and NA contemporary fiction projects. (I’m one of those people who likes to pit my story ideas against each other in a sort of WIP Hunger Games to see which brain child proves itself weak…and which one comes out on top. Harsh, but fair, I like to say.) I’m extremely excited about all of my favorites at the moment. There are three major ones, and I can’t wait to see which one wins the race to publication.
This one is called SWEET CHILD OF MINE, and it’s a YA story about a girl named Ames Barclay who’s the daughter and protégé of a notorious con artist. In this scene, Ames is trying to insert herself into the mark’s life, but she encounters an obstacle. A very sexy, overly suspicious obstacle in the form of the mark’s undercover bodyguard, Nick DiMaggio. Enjoy!
SWEET CHILD OF MINE by Veronica Park (Sneak Peek)
Nick closed the door behind her, pausing very briefly when his gaze fell on the fake bruise marks on Ames’s exposed skin. For a second, he seemed like he was about to comment. But then he turned and led her toward the right side of a huge double-staircase.
“Robbie’s upstairs doing his homework,” he said. “I’m sorry if I gave you a hard time.”
Judging from the way his jaw twitched slightly as he said it, Ames doubted that was true.
As she followed him up the stairs, Ames found herself staring at the back of his head, trying to imagine what he was really thinking. Whether his suspicion of her was as a result of her sneaky entrance or a deeper, more problematic instinct, she didn’t know. But she needed to find out, soon.
“So,” she asked. “How often do you come here to tutor Robbie?”
“Oh, I pretty much live here,” Nick said. “Rob is a minor,” he stressed the word, ever so slightly, “so he still needs adult supervision when his dad’s out of town on business—which is pretty often. Can’t have him throwing any wild parties in the house, now can we?”
Ames stopped on the landing at the top of the stairs. Was that supposed to be a veiled warning of some kind? “Wow, I didn’t realize tutors did that.”
But her comment was basically for show. Because at that point, Ames was two-hundred percent sure that Mr. Plaid Button Up with the Dreamy Eyes wasn’t any kind of tutor. He was more like a bodyguard, or in con artist terms, a “wrench.”
Contrary to popular belief, there was no getting around a wrench in the works. All you could do was go through it. Biting her lip, Ames gave Nick her most innocent look.
Get ready to have your heart broken, she thought.
WOW: Okay, I’m hooked! Be sure to give us a heads up when you finish this one.
In addition to writing, you’re judging a pitch contest in July. Do you want to share?
Veronica: Absolutely, I do! I am thrilled and flattered to have been invited to judge the Like a Virgin pitch contest, which will cater exclusively to writers who have not entered their manuscript in a contest of this kind before. (If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of pitch contests, they’re kind of like, well…WIP Hunger Games, where finalists get a chance to pitch to at least half a dozen agents.) It’s hosted by two fabulous writer friends, Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. You can read all about the contest at http://likeavirgin.kristinaperez.com. Keep in mind that all entrants must be pitch contest “virgins,” but anyone is welcome to follow along and stalk our twitter feed. Follow me @Veronikaboom and search the hashtag #LV13 for updates.
Also, a brief PSA, if I may… If you’re an aspiring writer, please feel free to join our weekly blog hop, Thursday’s Children. You can find the weekly links on my website, http://veronicaparkauthor.com, and the description of what TC entails here: http://rhiannwynnnolet.com/where-to-find-me/thursdays-children/
WOW: These opportunities are good examples of those small yet potentially powerful decisions you mentioned earlier. Thank you for the invitations and for spending time with us today.