I’m so pleased to interview Victoria Smith today, not only because she’s a great author, but also because she’s a fellow member of Central PA Romance Writers and a fellow Soul Mate Publishing author.
Victoria recently released her new novel, INTO THE FIRE, a dystopian romance in which Olivia Sanders is thrown into a world where her healing gifts make her a target.
Welcome, Vicki. Tell my readers a bit about yourself.
Vicki: Thanks so much for having me, Julie! I live in Central PA with my high school sweetheart. We have way too many animals and people living in this house, even though our youngest is almost 18. I write paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian novels—all with romance, because who doesn’t love a happy ending? I blog at https://vickismith.blogspot.com
In INTO THE FIRE, your heroine, Olivia Sanders, is a healer and a firestarter in a world where such gifts are not tolerated. If you woke up in a dystopian world, would you choose to be gifted? If so, what two gifts would you choose, and why?
Vicki: I think I would like to be gifted. Maybe a healer of not just physical wounds, but emotional ones, too. That would come in handy for obvious reasons.
The second one – hmmm – the ability to talk to and understand animals. How cool would it be to know what your cat is thinking? Or ask him why he peed on the floor instead of in the litter box?
Olivia joins the Resistance in the unforgiving world you created for INTO THE FIRE, where she labors with others to bring safety to the people in her sector. Because I’m currently researching two historical novels set prior to our Revolution, I spend a fair amount of time reading old documents and firsthand accounts from the mid to late 18th century. I’m forever amazed by the courage of our forefathers. I suppose their experience wasn’t altogether different from Olivia’s in that circumstances forced them into a foreign and deadly world. In both cases, hope and freedom kept them plodding onward.
Our forefathers looked to their faith for strength. What gives Olivia the courage to keep trying?
Vicki: Olivia expects people to do the right thing – to be accepting and hopefully recognize the injustice. When innocent people are hurt or wrongfully accused, she has no choice but to stand up for them. Her courage initially comes from believing her uncle will do the right thing, but when he doesn’t and hurts her family, she loses herself for a bit. Eventually, she regains her courage through her gifts and Luke.
With a history of personal betrayal by both friend and family, it must be especially difficult for Olivia to trust Luke Jamison, the leader of the Resistance. Can we safely assume sparks fly when they meet?
Vicki: Absolutely – Not only is Olivia close to sparking out after being poisoned, but Luke’s touch speaks of something she doesn’t believe she deserves and has never really had. He despises her firestarting and all that represents.
I hear a lot of people talking about “when the shit goes down.” Having written a dystopian novel, I suppose you spent a fair amount of time thinking about a world turned on its head. If such a thing were to happen, what items would you personally deem necessary for survival (other than the obvious, like people you love)?
Vicki: I think about when the shit goes down all the time, though I’m totally not prepared for any such event to happen. But besides the obvious food and water (and people I love), toilet paper – can be used for trade, booze – can be used medicinally and for trade, a well-stocked sewing kit and first aid kit, tools, matches, candles. I guess that’s all obvious stuff though, and I could go on and on.
Personally, as long as I have the people I love, a safe place to sleep, a little bit of security (as in, not fearing for my life constantly), food, blankets for when I’m cold, and a sense of purpose, I’m good.
What would you like readers to take away from this story?
Vicki: That hope and love really can conquer all. Fighting for something important to you is always worth it, despite the pain that sometimes comes along with it. Accept yourself for who you are and believe in yourself.
Where can people buy INTO THE FIRE?
Vicki: At Amazon by using the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Fire-Victoria-Smith-ebook/dp/B073DL5NBM