Interview: Venita Louise
1. Weíd like to know the
person behind the books. Who is Venita Louise, friend
regret to report that on a scale from one to ten, I
probably rate a two at being a good neighbor. It isnít
that I donít like my neighbors; I do offer a nod of
acknowledgment to the men and perhaps a smile or wave to
the ladies as I drive by, but it is hard to be sociable
when attending to a career, a relationship, friends,
performing music and writing. That is compounded by the
fact that I am 98% introvert, which means I could
probably be happy living in a cave with a dirt floor as
long as I have my computer and television. Wait a
minute! I do live in a cave with a dirt floor.
2. Youíre obviously a person who loves to laugh and
to make others laugh. Why is comedy so important to you?
believe it started when I was a very young. I enjoyed
making my family laugh with jokes or acting silly. No
matter what hardships were going on, laughing seemed to
help us through it and I appointed myself the designated
I am an anorexic cryer. When I feel the need for
release, I usually watch a movie that I know will bring
me to tears. Steel Magnolias and Pay It Forward have
been dependable for priming the pump.
Years ago, I heard a radio psychologist announce that it
is normal for a woman to cry at least once a week. I
guess that puts me in the negative percentile when it
comes to being normal. That is where laughter comes in.
Have you ever laughed till you cried? I have, more times
than I can count, which I believe makes up for the
struggle I have crying. As the old saying goes, laughter
is the best medicine.
3. How long have you been writing? What inspired you
to write your first book?
I think I have been writing in my
head all my life.
About ten years ago, I woke up one morning with the idea
of a story in my head. It was as if it said, ďOh good,
youíre awake. Listen to this.Ē I listened and then tried
to put it out of my head. After several days of this
story playing continuously like a song, I decided to sit
down at my computer and just summarize the idea into a
word document, anything to make it leave me alone. I
began to write in the morning before work, came home at
lunch to write and wrote after work, often until two in
the morning. I was driven. Nine months later, I finished
my first novel. I called it, In The Rough. It
wasnít my first to be published but it was eventually
published by Loose-Id as an e-book.
I found how cathartic writing was, I was hooked. I keep
notebooks in every room of
my house. You never know when an idea for a plot or
dialog will present itself.
4. Can you share what
youíre working on now?
death of my son four years ago sent me and my writing
into a tailspin. It was all I could do to put one foot
in front of the other, breathe in and out and get myself
to work each day. I slept on my love seat for months and
clung to a support group that I belonged to.
tragedy helped me to understand a couple of things. I
canít always choose who is going to see me through a
tough time and once a door opens, it is up to me to walk
through it (itís always nice if someone holds it for
man I had known for several years heard the song, The
Nearness of You, I recorded to promote my book, Dead
on the Money. He asked me to come to his band
rehearsal and sing a couple of songs. I did. That set me
in a whole new direction. It was through this band that
I met my fiancť and we now have a band of our own. We
spend a lot of time writing music, writing lyrics and
performing. This has been a lifelong desire and itís
never too late to work on your bucket list.
5. What do you wish
youíd known before seeking publication?
didnít really seek publication. I was a contest junkie.
I still am and I enter short story contests every chance
I get, often to Writerís Digest, The Erma Bombeck humor
contest, Glimmer Train and most recently submitted a
story based on my feelings while making arrangements for
my sonís funeral to Reed Magazine.
submitted my novella, Initials For Murder, to
Vintage Romance Publishing as a contest entry and it was
accepted for publication. I suppose entering contests is
a form of seeking publication but rejection is so much
easier to accept if you can tell yourself that you were
competing against thousands of phenomenal writers.
6. What do you find
most rewarding about being a writer? Most challenging?
is sometimes impossible to control the events of our
lives. Disappointments, obstacles and tragedy can steal
our confidence, wear us down and break our hearts, but
when I write, I can make the story go any way I want. I
can decide who will stay, who will leave, who will
change and what they will go through to secure what they
desire. Thatís powerful. The challenging part is picking
the right words to convey the plot, create the
characters and an exciting conflict that will keep the
7. Do you have a
regular writing routine, or do you leave it to
inspiration and inclination?
keep my writing routine by posting a humor blog
bi-monthly. I also like to come up with one-liner wit
that I post on Facebook.
When inspiration strikes, it is
more painful to avoid writing than it is to sit down and
do it. I always feel better after I write.
8. Whatís your favorite
book ever? What makes that title stand out to you?
was about twelve years old when I read, Call of the Wild
by Jack London. I was impressed by the protagonist,
Buck, a domesticated St. Bernard/Scotch dog who is
stolen, shipped to Alaska, made to pull a sled, taught
to survive the weather and terrain, and beaten within an
inch of his life. His journey from his comfortable life
in Santa Clara Valley to ultimately find a new life
among wolves made an indelible impression on me.
9. You were an artist before you were a writer. What
prompted the change of career?
was a portrait artist for about ten years. This is a
long time to listen to what people donít like about
their faces. I tried to accommodate, making noses
smaller, straightening teeth, adding hair and
subtracting years but it was difficult. I ended up
painting and drawing portraits of pets. They donít seem
to care what their faces look like. It wasnít as if I
made a conscious decision to change. I just began
evolving and attracting new interests.
10. You have a favorite
quote, one thatís been hanging on your fridge for a long
while. Tell us about it.
itís still there after almost 25 years. Its
author is unknown but I have found it encouraging in
every aspect of my life. It says, ĎUse the talents
that you possess; for the woods would be very silent if
no birds sang except the best.í