Friday, April 19, 2024

Guest Author Day with Vijaya Schartz


Welcome author Vijaya Schartz to the Reading Nook as we talk about their latest book, Angel Guardian, and a few other fun things.

Interview with Vijaya Schartz 

Tell us about your latest book, who are the main character(s) and what can we expect when we pick it up?

ANGEL GUARDIAN, Book 2 of the Blue Phantom series, features a newly trained female angel, crew member of the angel ship, and a hero whose memory was wiped, who finds himself doing hard labor on a frozen mining planet. There is also a strange telepathic feline with an important role.

Like with all my books, you can expect action, adventure, and strong romantic elements. In the Azura universe, featuring a group of angels protecting the balance of good and evil in the galaxy, you can also expect epic space battles between angels and demons.


Do you come up with the hook first, or do you create characters first and then dig through until you find a hook?

The characters and the hook are usually linked. In Angel Guardian, the memory wipe was the first hook. Who is this hero? Why is he doing hard labor? What has he done? What is his destiny? Even he doesn’t know, and the reader discovers it with him.


Which of your characters would you want to share a campfire with, and why? 

If I shared a campfire, it would be with the handsome Dragomir, hero of BLACK DRAGON, Book 1 of the Byzantium series. One of my first loves, a man of many talents, a rebel, a smuggler, a gambler, a spy, a telepath with fascinating peridot green eyes. Need I say more?


Tell us about what you are reading at the moment or anticipate reading in the future? Any favorite authors you enjoy to read in your spare time?

I read in a wide spectrum but I prefer historical fiction and sci-fi romance. My current author of choice is Rosemary Morris, historical author. Her novels are so well researched, I learn something new each time I pick up one of her books. As for sci-fi romance, Linnea Sinclair, who pioneered the genre, is still my favorite.


Are there any specific themes or messages that you strive to convey through your writing? What impact do you hope your books have on readers?

I may be old-fashioned in my taste for heroes. I like the good guys. Captain America comes to mind. Good and evil are always in the mix. Angels and demons, sacrificing for the greater good, saving the galaxy, and even the universe. Whatever our problems are, the heroes and heroines in my books are facing far worse. And if they can overcome their hurdles, we can certainly deal with the difficulties of our daily lives.


What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as an author, and how have you overcome them?

Challenges? I’ve met them all. The blank page, public speaking, the negativity, the challenges of author promotion. Especially in this age of Social-Media, you have to follow your heart, do what you must, consider the negative critiques and improve as you go, ignore the jealous barbs, and listen to the professional people who support and appreciate your work: editors, publishers, fellow writers in the same stable.


How do you approach character development in your stories? Do you have any specific techniques or methods that you find particularly effective?

There are many “techniques” to develop characters, but they only go so far, and half-way through writing the book, I completely forgot my character interview sheet, because my characters grow organically as I write. Of course, I often have to go back to the beginning to implement the character traits that came to me later in the book. Interestingly, they are the details readers love and remember.

But I do have a trick, gleaned from a conference long ago, for when I get stuck. It works for me, and I’m willing to share. Here goes: WHEN YOU ARE STUCK, IMAGINE THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN AT THIS POINT IN THE STORY… MAKE IT HAPPEN… THEN WATCH YOUR CHARACTERS GET OUT OF THAT STICKY WICKET.

What do you believe sets your writing apart from others in your genre, and why should readers choose to read your books?

I mix genres. I write science fiction adventure with romance. In other words, science fiction women can enjoy. It’s not technical, it’s not just romance in a sci-fi setting, it’s what I enjoy reading. “Never a dull moment” a reviewer once said, then compared my books to Indiana Jones, and I agree. Also, very important, even though I put them through the wringer, the good guys always win in the end and get their just reward.


Can you talk about the marketing and promotion strategies you employ to reach and connect with your target audience? How do you utilize social media and other channels to build your author brand?

I have a publisher, who does some marketing for me. I’m not good at soliciting reviews. I have a website, a professional facebook page, a twitter and an Instagram account. I belong to many groups and post on them at least once a week. I post on my blog, on my publisher’s blog, and on other blogs, like that of the Arizona Authors Association. I do interviews on blogs like this one. Still, this is a tough market, especially since I do not conform to a specific genre.


How do you handle feedback and criticism from readers and reviewers?

Don’t let the turkeys get you down. It’s a saying that applies. In all cases, consider the source. Maybe you presented your book as a mystery but it’s more of a romance, and the mystery reviewer didn’t like it. Live and learn. Sometimes Science Fiction reviewers don’t like the romance element in my books. Sometimes, the romance reviewers think my books are not hot enough. Nothing you can do about it. People have very specific tastes. Just try to find the right audience.


Can you discuss any upcoming projects or books that you're currently working on? What can readers expect from your future works?

I’m currently writing Book 3 in the Blue Phantom series. Angel Revenge, to be published in October 2024. The heroine is a Valkyrie, and I’m having lots of fun pitting her against a stiff but very handsome general. It will be the last angel book.

I’m already thinking about the next series that will introduce peaceful martial arts in a science fiction setting. No title or series name yet. Book 1 will be published in November 2025 and will feature a Tai-Chi practitioner. To be clear, I’m a Martial artist, black belt in Aikido, practiced Judo and Karate since childhood, and I practiced Tai-Chi for many years. I am presently a Tai-Chi instructor.


Thank you for this opportunity to share.

Wishing everyone a great reminder of the year.

Blue Phantom Book One
Science Fiction with Romantic Elements

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Desperate to save her people from the Marauders swarming her space freighter, Kefira prays for a miracle. Blake Volkov, legendary captain of the Blue Phantom hears her plea and deems her and her refugees worthy of his help. Grateful for the rescue, Kefira finds his price shocking. But despite his glowing wings, handsome looks and impressive abilities, Blake admits he is no angel… although Kefira’s feline bodyguard strongly disagrees.

Meanwhile, an old enemy bent on revenge unleashed an unspeakable evil on the galaxy. Time to face past mistakes… time for innocent blood to flow. Nothing prepared Kefira for the upheaval ahead.

Can Blake find redemption? Can Kefira save her people? Can she ever trust and love again?


Byzantium Book One
Romantic Science Fiction
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A gambler is cheating in a den of the Byzantium space station, and Lieutenant Zara Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle.
Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Byzantium space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of Zara, the lovely straight arrow GTA enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been duped by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.

"I love this one by Vijaya Schartz. As always, her action-packed, well-plotted out prose kept me glued to the pages of Black Dragon from start to finish." TwoLips Reviews 5-kisses and a RECOMMENDED READ

"I like the balance of humor and danger in this story, and the action kept me glued to the pages... I enjoyed watching as suspicion turned to admiration, and admiration became the first flickers of love between Czerno and Zara... Pick up a copy of Black Dragon, by Vijaya Schartz, and enter a world of adventure, romance, and a spoiled cat named Marshmallow." 4½ stars sensual, Long And Short Reviews

"Vijaya Schartz is known for her strong female characters and Zara is no exception... gives the reader lots of action and a sweet love story." Single Titles Review 4½ stars


Azura Chronicles Book One
Romantic Science Fiction
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What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.

Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement.

Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.



About the author

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She writes strong heroines, brave heroes, and cats. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page, and is a Martial Artist. She traveled the world and claims she must be a time traveler, since she writes with the same ease about the far past and the far future. With over thirty-five novels published, Vijaya Schartz writes action adventure laced with sensuality and suspense, in exotic, medieval, or futuristic settings. Her books collected many five- star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. "Phenomenal world building, characters the readers care about, and an intriguing mystery... all the elements one expects from a Vijaya Schartz story! Easily recommended!" Debbie - CK2sKwipsandKritique. Find out more at:

1 comment:

Vijaya Schartz said...

Thank you so much for the interview, Dawn. It forced me to think about my writing, and it's always a positive thing. Great question. I enjoyed answering them. Wishing you the very best. Vijaya.

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