I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who's that girl? Interview - Vanessa Barneveld

Today, our guest in the hot seat comes from the Giant Coathanger city!

Name? Vanessa Barneveld.

Where are you? Sydney, NSW.

How many years have you been a member of RWOz? About 13 years.

What genre do you write? Young Adult.

Who are your favourite authors? I'm one of those people who has way too many favourites. I love Meg Cabot, Tina Ferraro, Anna Godbersen, Linda Howard, Julia Quinn...the rest of my list could fill cyberspace.

What inspired you to write romance? I grew up reading romances, from Sweet Valley High to Harlequins to sagas. In high school, I had good teachers who encouraged me to write, and I began by writing about what I knew best--romance. (Or the lack thereof at the time...)

Who's your dream agent and/or dream publisher? My dream agent is my own--Robin Rue of Writers House. She has a dream assistant, too, who's excellent to work with.

What's the best thing about going to conference? The energy! It's wonderful to catch up with friends and be inspired by speakers and Call stories. I usually come home feeling like I could write a bestseller!

And lastly, finish these statements...
My greatest strength as a writer is...
new ideas come to me all the time. I'm not saying any of them are good ideas, though.
A sexy heroine needs...guts. Which sounds soooo not sexy, but I mean I like a courageous heroine.
My latest WIP (work in progress) is about...superhero cheerleaders from outerspace who "borrow" a ship and crash-land on Earth. I've tossed this idea around in my head for the past year. By the time you read this, if I've been a good NaNoWriMo participant, it should be complete. Fingers crossed!
When I write I like to...be pushed around by my characters. If I feel like they're calling the shots, then the story comes alive for me and it's not so much of a hard slog.
My best writing milestone to date is...finishing my first book in 2004 will always be the most memorable milestone. It was a terrible first book, but the act of completing it meant I could truly call myself a real writer. And also being a finalist in the Golden Heart® two years in a row was pretty special, too!

Thanks for taking the chair, Vanessa!
Interested in knowing more about her, then check out her website. Vanessa also contributes posts to the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog (the Golden Heart® finalists of 2009).


  1. Ha! I'm the first! Yay, Miss Kylie! Yay, Miss Vanessa! Lovely to see you here. Vanessa, congratulations on your Golden Heart success, that's fantastic. I love reading about your writing process. Adore the sound of the cheerleaders.

  2. Ah, Anna, the early bird...and all that, eh? Thanks for dropping in.

    The interview series is proving popular - lots of good page views, sometimes well past the post day. Great to see our members are getting such great exposure!

  3. Actually you were a REALLY early bird this morning! I think it's fabulous you're doing this interview series. I'm really looking forward to my visit when I launch Midnight's Wild Passion.

  4. Hello, Early Anna! Fabulous of you to drop by and say lovely things! I'm having a ball writing this cheerleader story. I'll be rather sad when I finish the book.

    Thanks for interviewing me, Kylie!

  5. Great interview, ladies!

  6. Hey, Amanda, my fellow 2-time Golden Heart finalist! Thanks for coming all this way to say hi. :)

  7. Looks like your gal got our year wrong, but that's okay. If she spotlights one of our sisters, we'll like her anyway. ;-)

    Great interview, Vanessa. Super Cheerleaders from Outerspace? Now THAT'S a story I have to read.

  8. My beautiful 2009 GH sis, Gwynlyn--thanks for stopping by! I'm glad the cheerleaders caught your eye. And it's a story I HAVE to finish so you can read it some day!

  9. ach, so you didn't finish the cheerleader story during Nano? Are you doing sprints with the Ruby Sisters or are there times available where you can sprint when someone is there? I don't know much about the time differences.

    Good luck on finishing! And speaking of conferences, good luck to you and the other Rubies who will be presenting a workshop at nationals! woohoo!

  10. Hi, Ruby Diana!

    I got the bulk of the book down during NaNo. I figure there's at least 10 to 15k to go. I really do have to join you in the sprints!!! I'm a bit clueless on the time differences between here and the US.

    Thanks for the good wishes on the New York conference! I hope there's still a chance you'll join us. X

  11. G'day Vanessa !!

    I LOVE the sound of the cheerleader book!! Can't wait to see you in New York! And those two finals are a testament to your TALENT !! Lovely interview!

  12. Hi Vanessa and Kylie
    Your blog is really firing Kylie--I'm looking forward to my visit!
    Vanessa, great interview, your new story sounds amazing and imaginative like all your stories.
    I've had the privilege of reading some of Vanessa's work and she is a fabulous writer--a real star in the making.

  13. Hey, Vanessa and Kylie!
    Excellent interview!
    Good luck with your "joy-riding" cheerleaders from outerspace! It sounds like a great premise for a cracking story!

    Vanessa, being a Golden Heart finalist two years in a row is AWESOME!

    Looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne in August for an infusion of conference energy!

  14. Hi, Vanessa! Hi, Kylie! Fun interview!!

    (I love the idea of superhero alien cheerleaders, BTW!)

    But somebody needs to explain to me why Sydney is the Giant Coathanger?

  15. Vanessa, I'm hanging out for this book. I love your writing and the thought of reckless joyriders from outer space becoming cheerleaders on earth is just terrific. I hope the polishing of the ms is going well because I want to read it!

  16. Howdy, Louisa! *You*, my dear, with your string of contest triumphs and golden voice, are the talented one! Thanks so much for popping down under. I can't wait to see you in NYC!

  17. Hello, Kandy!

    Kylie's blog is one of my must-visit places. I'm looking forward to your post here.

    I'm blushing over your lovely comments. They mean so much coming from you! You've helped me more than you know!

  18. Sharon A, thanks for the good wishes on the cheerleader book! The punishment for grand-theft spaceship is severe. ;)

    It's possible I might not be in Melbourne this time. We'll see how things pan out. Any chance you can come to the New York conference for an energy injection?

  19. Always fabulous to see you in the blogsphere, Elisa! Thanks for zipping down here to visit.

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge is nicknamed the Coathanger because it looks like...well, a coathanger! I would love you to come here and see it for yourself. Maybe climb it if you're game.


  20. Hi, Annie! It was so good to see you talking about the power of romance novels in Sydney last week.

    I'm hanging out for this cheerleader book, too! I've taken the unusual (for me) step of lightly editing the 60-thousand-odd words I have so far before I write the final act.

  21. Hey, I know that lovely Sharon Lynn Fisher! Mega talented two-time Golden Heart finalist! I see a big future ahead of you, my friend. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  22. Wow, great to see everyone here chatting with Vanessa! Thanks for dropping by - sorry I haven't been here through the day - been busy synopsis writing and polishing!

    My apologies, Rubies, for the GH year mistake - d'oh! (Covers eyes and shakes head) Sigh.

    Sounds like the RWA National conference is going to be a hoot again this year in NY. Vanessa, you're teaming up with Anne Gracie(?) for a workshop, yes? Or did I imagine that's who you're with? Have a great time anyway!

    Kandy, looking forward to your first visit here - can't wait!

    Hey, Sharon (fellow SFRB'er)!

    Thanks for calling in everyone! Great to have you here!

  23. Hey, Vanessa!!!!!! Ooooh, sounds like you're so close to the end of your manuscript - phew, because I really don't want to get that fluffy whip out!!!!

  24. Hi, Kylie! Glad to hear you've been working hard on your fabulous stories. Synopses--ugh!

    I'm actually going to be in the company of some 2009 Ruby sisters when we present our workshop in New York. Diana Layne and Gwynlyn Mackenzie are contributors. I hope you'll be there too, Kylie!

    Thanks again for interviewing me and thanks to all who've commented. It's been a fun day!

  25. Amanda! You've threatened me with the fluffy whip before--I'm scared! I'll finish this book soon, I swear! Thanks so much for joining me here today. I can't wait to read your Fairy Bad Day! x

  26. Vanessa, I won't be headed over to NY this year, I'm afraid. Need to save up. San Fran. sounds like a plan for next year though.

    OK, my imagination with your workshop.

    Hey Amanda! Good to see you here, with your fluffy whip hidden behind your back! LOL

  27. Hey another Sweet Valley High reader!!! :D

    Great interview Vanessa and Kylie. Good luck in finishing your latest book! :)

  28. I'm coming late to the party but this was a great interview. Had never heard the coat hanger thing. learn something new everyday. Can't wait to see you both in NYC

  29. Oh my gosh, your book idea ROCKS, Ruby Sis!!!! I love it. I've always said you chose the wrong profession. You should be a supermodel, but we'll keep you!!!! The world of modeling will just have to carry on without you.

    Big hugs, beautiful girl!

  30. Aw, you're a sweetheart!

    I'm excited about those cheerleaders too, and am quite pleased to have you on the skiffy side. :)

  31. Hi Vanessa!

    What a wonderful interview!! And I LOVE the idea of cheerleaders from outerspace! :-)


  32. Whoa... 'superhero cheerleaders from outerspace who "borrow" a ship and crash-land on Earth?' What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to read this book. And to see the movie version as well :-)

  33. Hi, Eleni!

    I'm sooooo looking forward to the release of SVH: 10 Years Later. Now if someone could just produce Sixteen Candle: 30 Years On, my life would be complete!

  34. Thanks for joining me at Kylie's soiree, Rita--my day just got brighter!

    Actually, there's a bridge in NY State that looks very much like our Coathanger. I'm not sure which bridge was built first. Speaking of NY, I can't wait to see you there this (northern) summer!

  35. Wow, Darynda, you really know how to make a girl feel faaaabulous at 5:53 in the morning! Thank you. :)

    Your fame has really spread down here, Ms. D. My sister tells me she read about the release of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT in her local newspaper. I am *dying* (no pun intended) to read the book!!!! Thanks for being here!

  36. Sharon, I didn't think I had skiffy in me! My book actually trades on universal themes that human/oids across the galaxies share--love, loss, and making life an adventure. (All part of my imagination, of course!) Thanks for making a return visit!

  37. Waving madly to you, Addison! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm glad you love the cheerleader idea. This book is so much fun to write. I don't want it to end! See you in NYC. Yay!!!

  38. Hi, Jacqui! Another Golden Heart winner in our midst, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    I have to give credit to our Unsinkable Katrina Snow, who helped me brainstorm this idea. She's the one who suggested I make the cheerleaders steal the ship. Before, the cheerleaders were very obedient and, shall I say, boring! My story really took off after that. I'd LOVE to see this book made into a movie. One thing I haven't mentioned before is that the cheerleaders are identical (though they're not related). I think this would make casting a cinch!

  39. Vanessa, lots of support here for your new book! And so many RWA friends! Looks like conference time WILL be a hoot for you!

    Thanks for calling in and saying hi, everyone!

  40. Thank *you*, Kylie! This has been a fun experience. Sending a massive thanks to all for the support!

  41. hope i'm not too late to wave hi from the USA! good luck with your cheerleaders.


  42. Hi Beth,

    No, no one's ever too late to say hi to my guests! :-)

  43. Hi Vanessa,
    Loved reading about you - LOVE LOVE LOVE the superhero alien cheerleaders premise. Oh that just has to sell!

    Great interview, Kylie!

  44. Hi, Beth! Nooo, not too late! Thanks so much for coming by to wish me luck!

    Serena, I'm glad you feel that way about my cheerleaders! You've given me hope. Have a good weekend!

  45. Hello cool friend who is famous for picking up and dancing with Nora Roberts at National. I can't wait until you sell everything. Should be soon.

  46. Hi, cool Cathleen! I hope you're right about selling everything. :) Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm sure Nora doesn't remember that night as vividly as you and I do--lol!