Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interview With Author/Publisher V.S. Grenier

Shari: Virginia please tell my readers about yourself.

Virginia: Hi Shari, thanks for having me on your blog. Well . . . I live in Southern Utah about 2 hours north of Las Vegas. So, if I get tired looking at all the red mountains and laid back life style, I can hop in my car and head to one of the cities that never sleep for some fun.

I have been married for almost six years and I have two wonderful children with a new baby on the way. But if that doesn’t keep me busy, our dog and cat sure do. We’re a busy family with things always going on and with grandparents, uncles, and aunts nearby as well . . . you can say life is never boring and the ideas for stories are never ending.

Shari: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to write?

Virginia: I’ve been writing for just over three years now. I never thought I would be a writer, it just sort of happened. After the birth of my second child, I decided to stay home and quit working. At first, I was okay with being home all the time, but after awhile . . . well let’s just say you can’t go from working 50-hour weeks to not working. So I decided to write for a hobby and took a course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. Of course my hobby became more than that which wasn’t surprising to my husband. I have this tendency to take anything and make it into something else. So my writing become a job and now a company.

Shari: What was the first thing you ever had published? Publisher?

Virginia: A short story about my father as a kid called “Flying Upside Down”. It was published in the Ezine Fandangle Magazine back in 2006.

Shari: What training have you had to be a writer?

Virginia: I’ve only taken the one course at The Institute of Children’s Literature and then some workshops at conferences. Both online and in person.

Shari: What is the best writing advice you ever received?

Virginia: Only you as the author know what’s best for your manuscript, and to look at critiques and criticism with a grain of salt to help you hone your skills.

Shari: What prompted you to start Stories for Children Magazine? Was it difficult to get it started?

Virginia: LOL. Again, Stories for Children Magazine was going to be a hobby of mine as I worked on my own writing. I thought it would be fun to have a free site where parents, children, teachers, libraries could come and read some stories, article, and poems. I also thought it would be a great way to get new writers started in building writing credits. Of course, like all my hobbies, Stories for Children Magazine took a life of its own and has become the Ezine everyone knows today.

As for starting the magazine, it wasn’t all that hard. I use to do copy for a fashion catalog a long time ago, so I understood how to set up a website and do formatting for printers. So I used those skills along with my marketing background to get Stories for Children Magazine off the ground. But really it was Gayle Jacobson-Huset and Kevin Scott Collier who truly helped spread the word and gave me the support I needed. After that, I made many friends and great connections with other authors. All of whom have helped to make Stories for Children Magazine what it is today.

Shari: Tell us about your new book?

Virginia: My newest book is Babysitting SugarPaw. It's a picture book about a little bear named SugarPaw who hopes to get rid of his babysitter, Bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As this loving story unfolds, SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship. Babysitting SugarPaw, with its child-centered plot on getting to know others, is the perfect book for little ones scared of being left alone with a babysitter for the first time. This book will delight three-to-eight-year-old readers, especially those who like to create mischief.

Shari: Is your family supportive of your writing?

Virginia: My kids are pretty good about my writing. My hubby is until he’s home and all he sees is the back of my head. LOL. Actually, he’s been a great sport about the time I put in to run Stories for Children Magazine and get my own writing time in as well. I think he likes the fact everyday he has daddy time with the kids while mommy writes.

Shari: Tell us about your writing space?

Virginia: I have pretty big area compared to what most of my writing friends have. I’m lucky to have a bonus room in my house where my office is. Of course that means the whole family likes to join me from time to time or I get to listen to the play by play of my son's computer games. LOL. I have an L-shaped writing desk with drawers for all the SFC files, contracts, etc. Then, to my right is another computer desk. This where my kids do their homework, play online, and well my siblings come to get their college work done as well.

Then behind me is a futon couch, the TV with the Wii, and the air hockey table. You can say this office gets a lot of action and not all of it is writing.

Shari: Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?

Virginia: I do all my writing on the computer. The only thing I don’t do on the computer is my notes. I tend to jot my ideas and lose outlines in a notebook. I have about three of them around my office and bedroom.

Shari: What would we be surprised to learn about you?

Virginia: I went to college to be a fashion buyer and did that for just over 10 years before I giving it up to stay home with my children. I’ve worked for some really interesting places like Motherhood Maternity, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Hot Topic, Inc. (I opened the first 5 Torrid stores and helped design them.), L’Occitane, and Brighten Collectibles to name a few.

Also, in high school, I took freshman English three times and my highest grade in English was a C. However, when I did take exams and my S.A.T’s, I scored in top 10 for my class. My problem was I just didn’t want to do the work or go to class. Lesson I learned . . . If you don’t do it right the first time or really hate a subject in school . . . you just might find yourself doing it for a career. LOL.

Shari: Do you have any links we would be interested in?

Virginia: Oh, I have a lot of links I think your readers would be interested in. You can visit me and Stanley Bookman, the SFC mascot in the World of Ink at

For those who love to write and want to learn they can visit our newest site Stories for Children Publishing, LLC at Stories for Children Publishing, LLC is a great place to find information on workshops the SFC Team is offering, critique groups, writing services, etc. You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter, SFC Newsletter for Writers which is sent out monthly and is full of articles on writing, markets, contest, workshops, conference, and much much more. It was voted one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2009 by Writer’s Digest.

If your readers would like to learn more about me, my writing services, school visits, and my books . . . they can visit me at

And lastly, we have the SFC: Families Matter blog. Here families can get information on just about anything. We talk about vacations on a budget to helping children in school. Visit us each weekly or bi-weekly at

Shari, it was a pleasure to chat with you. Thank you again for having me on your blog.

All the best,

VS Grenier

1 comment:

Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific interview! VS is an inspirational woman. It's amazing how she balances it all. Thanks for featuring such a dynamic woman.