Vivi Dumas is an emerging author in the paranormal romance genre. Her first full length novel, Soul Catcher, was first released in 2010 by a small press. She re-released this title in June of 2012 in both e-book and paperback. Ms. Dumas is currently working on the second book in the Dueling with the Devil series entitled, Sweet Revenge, for release later this year. She also has published works with Decadent Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and an upcoming release with Breathless Press.
Although Vivi grew up an Army brat, she calls Louisiana home, but has endured the hot summers and cold winters of Maryland for the last 16 years. She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. Her analytical side has honed a career in the financial industry for almost twenty years. To balance her logical, numerical day job, she unleashes her creativity in her writing.
Vivi’s titles include:
Soul Catcher - Paranormal Romance
Salvation - Paranormal Romance (short story)
Red in the Hood - Paranormal Romance (short story part of Rumpled Silk Sheets anthology)
Her Black Knight - Time Travel Romance - upcoming release from Breathless Press
About “Soul Catcher”
Top supermodel, Angel Dias, lives the life of the rich and fabulous, until a heinous car accident mars her face. After thirteen surgeries and losing everything she deemed important, she seeks out the dark forces to salvage her life and decides to conjure the Devil for help, making a deal to recover her beauty. In exchange for his help, Lucifer forces her to hunt supernatural renegades, which have eluded the pits of Hell. In her quest to find beauty and get out of her contract with Lucifer, Angel stumbles upon love in the arms of a demon.
Commander of the Legions and an Underworld Demon, Jacque Toussant, takes a field commission to escape the madness of a failed relationship and prove himself worthy of his demon heritage. Jacque is content with his existence as a field soldier until Lucifer gives him a special assignment to oversee a new trainee, a supermodel nonetheless. Humans hold low appeal for Jacque, especially the females. That is until he meets Angel. Jacque risks everything, including his life, to find a way to break Angel’s deal with Lucifer.
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Vivi: I always had a love for writing, but stopped after high school, at least the fun type of writing. About two years ago, I was discussing books with my kids and they said I bet you could write a book. Why not, right? I started my first novel, a paranormal YA book, a couple of weeks later. That book sadly has not seen the light of day after I realized I didn't know what the heck I was doing. But I didn't give up.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
ViVi: I know most people hear authors say their characters are voices in their heads. Well, it's true. My first published novel, Soul Catcher, are grown up versions of characters that have been with me for a very long time.
I've always been fascinated by the paranormal. I'm from Louisiana so Voodoo, vampires, and demons make sense to me. I always loved the artistic twist Anne Rice's concept of Heaven and Hell in her book Memnoch the Devil. All those things come to play in Soul Catcher. It's about how our view of ourselves reflect how others see and treat us. It's about being redeemable no matter if you're born into what you think is evil. And most of all, it talks about how finding someone who truly loves you and loving yourself can break the confines of what we think holds true in life.
That's sounds really deep. But it also fun fashion, killer fight scenes, and hot steamy sex for those who don't want their romance all serious. lol
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
ViVi: My first book that never saw the light of day took about two months to write. My second book, which is a project I started in my first creative writing class, took about four or five months with editing.
I have a busy life so I write when I can. The writing part wasn't difficult for that book. The editing was a whole different story. Even now when I go back to it, I find things I wish I would've changed.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
ViVi: I love bringing my characters to life. It’s a creative relief from the more serious side of my world. I enjoy the fact I get to share my strange thoughts with others and am excited when readers fall in love with my characters.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
ViVi: Um...every other day. Ha! Writing is a double edged sword. It is fun and great during the process of getting thoughts on paper, but unless you just write for yourself, there comes a time when you must reveal yourself to the world.
This industry can be cruel. You have to have thick skin. Not everyone is going to love your work and many of those people have no problems telling you just how much they hate it. I'm a perfectionist. Not a good thing to be in a world that has no black and white. Everything is subjective. Every work you put out lives in the grey. Although I've gotten better with the criticism, it still stings. And with the craziness in my life, some days I ask myself why the hell do I bother? Then someone writes a review about how they stayed up all night reading my book and I'm sucked back in. Or a character keeps nagging me until I tell their story.
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
ViVi: There is so much more to being an author than putting pen to paper. Like I said earlier, that's the easy part. It's the business part of writing, which is difficult. All authors must promote and market their books, even those with the big NY publishers.
Many of us still work our day jobs. (unless you have a wealthy benefactor DO NOT quit your day job) You hustle both until you write like Toni Morrison and can afford to quit. For me, this means a lot of late, late nights. My typical day runs from 6:00 AM to around 2:00 AM. On top of that, you plan in book signings, conferences, and other things that take you away from home. I work most of the time 7 days a week. You have to be in this because you love to write, not because you want an easy way to make money and stay at home.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
ViVi: All professional authors should have an editor. If you have a publisher, they should assign you an editor to work with. You will most likely work with more than one, a content editor, a line editor, and a copy editor.
On my self-published books, I have my critique partners who take the first look. They also do it for my work which goes through my publishers. Then I have an editor I hired to work on content editing with me. And finally, it will go to a proofreader. I do this because I want my self-published work to be able to stand along any work that a publishing house puts out. This has MY name on it. I want to put out a quality product.
Please don't edit your own book. You're too close to it to see the holes.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
ViVi: My current self-published series covers are designed by Hot Damn Designs. They have done all my graphic art and also my website. They are a fantastic company to work with.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
ViVi: Yes. Simple answer is keep writing. Eventually, it comes to you. Or another great thing is to brainstorm with other writers. That's why it's great to be a part of a critique group or writers association. Sometime, you can just build a support network online. I've "met" so many wonderful authors through social media.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
ViVi: Honestly, probably three to four good nights a week. Some days I get caught up in the business of writing. Other days the story just won't come out.
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
ViVi: My last book signing was at the Barnes & Noble in Frederick, MD. It was nice to get into a big retail store. It took months of talking with them and their corporate offices, but I can say my book is on the shelf at B&N, even if it’s just one. And for my first self-published book, I think that's pretty good. It's wonderful to meet the readers.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
ViVi: I try to check out businesses that link to my books. I write paranormal. In the Dueling with the Devil series, there is a lot of mystical elements. I partnered with a store specializing in mystical healing and readings to carry my book. I also go to reader and writer conferences to promote my writing. I guest blog or do blog hops. I hand out book marks and other promotional items when I'm out and leave them in bookstores.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
ViVi: My children inspire me. I want them to see that they can do whatever they want as long as they are willing to work hard at it. When someone tells them they can't do something because of their color or where they come from, I want them to be able to say, "Yes I can. Because my Momma did it."
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
ViVi: My influences vary. The classic African American female authors, like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, have always broadened my mind and opened me up to the possibility of writing. When I think about my genre, there are very few women or men for that matter, who write paranormal romance or paranormal in general. L.A. Banks, who recently passed last year, was one of the only main stream African American women writing paranormal romance. She helped to show me I don't have to deny the genre I love even though it might be harder to break into.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
ViVi: I can’t say there is anything I regret. Namely because my past has made me the woman I am today. If I look back, I could have made some better decisions. I might have focus more on my studies. I had my daughter at 19. I wouldn't want that for my child, but if I changed it, I would have the beautiful child who is grown into a wonderful woman. I think we get through things by learning from the choices we make. We grow by not continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again. You believe in yourself when others give up on you and keep pushing forward.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
ViVi: You have faith that there is something better on the other side of the hardship. I remember I have people depending on me. We as women tend to be the strength of our families. We hold things together. And remember, you're human. It's okay to breakdown sometimes. You just need to make sure to get back up to fight again.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
ViVi: My goal for 2013 is to complete 3 books this year. That is a lofty goal for me with everything else I have going on.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
ViVi: I’m working on book 2 of my Dueling with the Devil series, Sweet Revenge. I have also started a new series called Gods of the Nile.
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
ViVi: I can be found in many places. The easiest place to find me is on my website at www.vividumas.com. I am also on Facebook and Twitter. Just search for Vivi Dumas.