Saturday, February 28, 2009

Interview of Vivian Zabel by Pam Devor


Welcome to my blog Vivian Zabel. It is a great pleasure to interview an author of such diverse talent.
Vivian, I see that you are a very busy lady, involved in lots of different groups.  You are even president of the group
"PEN AND KEYBOARD WRITERS'. What are some of the normal activities this group does?


Pen and Keyboard Writers meets the second Saturday of each month in the Edmond, Oklahoma library. The group is an OWFI (Oklahoma Writers' Federation Inc) affiliate: 


We critique each other's writings, provide suggestions and support for improvement, encourage each other to enter writing contests or to publish. We have workshops and speakers to help with our writing endeavors. For instance, best selling author Jordan Dane visited us in February and will return in May.


Several of our group entered the OWFI writing competition (33 different categories available to enter), and we'll find out at the conference the first of May if any of us were successful. Last year my mystery/suspense manuscript took second, and it is now published as Midnight Hours.

I have been looking on the 4RV publishing site. As publisher at 4RV Publishing, do you pay each author a set royalty % of book sales?  Are the books available to be purchased online at Barnes & Noble &  How many books are printed on each run. Do the authors get a discount on their own books?  Is the price of the book set by how many pages are in the book?


All 4RV authors receive royalties on the sales of their books. Authors and illustrators of children's books share a higher royalty than an author of a book without illustrations receives.


Our books are distributed through Ingrams, the largest book distributor in the world, I think. Therefore books can be purchased through all bookstores or online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the 4RV bookstore.


The number of books in each print run depends on the type of book and the possibilities in the market for that book.


Yes, authors can buy their books at a discount.


The price of a book is set by the type of book, how much it costs us to get it printed.  We are charged a base amount and then per page above a certain number.


How many titles have been published at 4RV publishing?


So far fourteen books have been published by 4RV in the past sixteen months. We have at least two more ready to send to the printer this month. 


Vivian, How many books have you written?  Could you list them here?  Which book is your most recent?  Are there any books currently in the works?


I have written or am a major contributor to six books:


Hidden Lies and Other Stories with short stories by Holly Jahangiri and me;

Walking the Earth: Life's Perspectives in Poetry with poems from eight of us.

The Base Stealers Club, a juvenile mystery/ baseball book;

Case of the Missing Coach, a sequel to The Base Stealers Club;

Midnight Hours, a mystery/suspense novel;

and  Prairie Dog Cowboy, a juvenile historical novel


I use the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel for adult level books and V. Gilbert Zabel for books for younger readers.


Prairie Dog Cowboy is the most recent release, with Midnight Hours coming out just a few months before.  At present, I'm working on a sequel to both books: Prairie Winds and Darkest before Dawn.


My juvenile books all have illustrations of some kind so that reluctant readers won't be afraid of nothing but words.


Do you do speaking engagements and school visits?


I speak at schools, libraries, and writing groups. I've had book signings. I'm looking for more appearances all the time.


Last summer I was a presenter at the Decatur Book Festival, and last spring at the North Texas Book Festival. Two months ago, I spoke at the local Pen Women's meeting.


What do your children and grandchildren think of your writing?  


Mostly, my children are rather quiet about what they think, but they haven't turned down copies of any of my books (of course I don't know if they hide them or throw them away, either). *laugh* My grandchildren seem to enjoy the books, especially the ones written for their ages.


My great-grandchildren, the two old enough to read, like my books and want to be in them.


Prairie Dog Cowboy sounds like a very interesting book.  What age is this geared towards? 


My husband grew up on a farm and worked for neighboring ranchers. He shared many of his experiences as a cowboy and as a horse breaker. I wanted to put some of those in a book. Prairie Dog Cowboy became that book, although the setting is fictional and is set long before he was born.


I wanted to show that children of all eras face hardships such as bullying and having a dysfunctional family and that people can help make a child's life better.


The reading level is about sixth to eighth grade, but the book has appealed to children as young as six or seven and to adults.


What would you most like your readers to feel while reading your books?


I want readers to feel they are observers of the interactions and actions of the characters, as if they are there, that a movie is running in their heads.



Vivian's blog: Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap 

Vivian's web site Vivian Gilbert Zabel 


Thanks so much Vivian for allowing me to interview you.  It was very interesting.



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