Vicki Hinze

Goodreads Author

in The United States
March 09




Member Since
March 2010


Vicki is the USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author of nearly 40 novels, 4 nonfiction books and hundreds of articles. She's recognized as an author and as an educator by Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. For seven years, she was a columnist for Social-In Global Network; before then, a radio-talk show host for Everyday Woman.

The former VP for International Thriller Writers, consultant to the RWA Board of Directors, and a consultant to multiple other writing organizations. She's a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., ALLi, and Southern Independent Booksellers Assn.

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Popular Answered Questions

Vicki Hinze There are perks and drawbacks to everything, and writing is no exception. Early on few care whether or not you write, which means all that discipline …moreThere are perks and drawbacks to everything, and writing is no exception. Early on few care whether or not you write, which means all that discipline has to come from within. That's fine because writing is so demanding and consumptive, if you don't have the kind of drive required to do it, it's best to learn it early.

The best thing about being a writer is that you can be everything you ever wanted to be when growing up!

I'll never forget the day John Glenn took off in Gemini 1. I was so thrilled. I went home walking on clouds and told my dad I wanted to be an astronaut. He said, "Tiger, I'm sorry. Only men and monkeys get to go to space."

I was devastated--and furious. That's changed, of course, but then, I definitely felt the fury of gender-bias.

Later, I wanted to be an ambassador, a doctor, a lawyer, a social worker, a teacher--my challenge wasn't that I wasn't interested in anything, it was that I was deeply interested in everything.

Finally, I found a career where I can be anything for the space of a book or a series of books. For me, that is the best thing about being a writer.

Well, that and the feedback from readers who say a book made a difference to them. That's the ultimate high for me. For someone who felt lost in a challenge to read something I wrote and see a character facing a similar challenge and find a constructive solution… Then the reader knows a constructive solution exists and if the character found it, the reader can, too.

Well, the writing life just doesn't get better than that!(less)
Vicki Hinze Over the past three decades, I've worked with thousands of aspiring authors, both individually and through organizations like Romance Writers of Ameri…moreOver the past three decades, I've worked with thousands of aspiring authors, both individually and through organizations like Romance Writers of America's PRO program, where I acted as its mentor. You learn a lot doing this, mainly that authors are different, what they write is different, and the way they approach writing is different. No two are exactly the same.

This makes it important for aspiring writers to remember that while they are competing against other writers, they're also uniquely themselves and can't be replicated. In other words, keep your competitive edge in check and don't let it drive you to write things that aren't natural to you.

Three most important tips:

1. Author Theme. Every author has a theme. It shines through in all their works, regardless of genre, point of view type, subject matter. It is how an author perceives things. It is what s/he deems important and influences everything due to the author's perceptions. Even what details the author notices and incorporates is influenced by what s/he deems important.

When you write within your personal, highly individual author theme, you're writing naturally. This is where your AUTHOR VOICE is strongest because your passions and interests, your enthusiasm are all engaged at maximum level. When you write outside your personal author theme, you'll run into more challenges. Your voice will be weaker, less effective, and you'll be internally conflicted about the work.

If you don't know much about Author Theme, there are articles on it on my website in the On Writing Library ( Then just run a search). They're free and you need to fully understand author theme because it drives success as an author and balance as a human being.

When you write to sell, your greatest commodity to share is your voice. It is unique to you, unique to the stories you tell and to the way you tell them. Don't underestimate this element.

2. Discipline (which includes persistence). You write a book and are celebrating because it's done. You've had the "backside to leather" discipline, but don't stop there. That's only the first half of it. Now you have to let the work rest and then go for Round 2 of Backside to Leather for the editing process--and you have to lock your creative muse in the closet while your editing muse has its time in the sun.

Being creative first is as it should be. A writer enters the zone and gets lost in the story and characters. That's awesome, and generally while writing the writer gets mental images during the writing. That is a blessing but it is also the exact reason to let the work rest after finishing it and then bringing out the editor and reading what's actually on the page.

The images in the mind are often very different from what is translated onto the page. The one thing a writer must never sacrifice is clarity. So lock up the creative muse and release the editorial muse. Edit the work thoroughly, then have it professionally edited by a trusted editor. A trusted editor will offer suggestions to strengthen and enhance your story. S/he will not rewrite your story and make it his/her story. This is no place to be undisciplined and is incredibly important to the success of your stories.

3. Read. Writers get so excited and enthused about writing that they forget to read. That's essential research for the author who wants to sell what s/he writes. It's essential to the writer to study how other authors handle structure and plotting and characterization and any of the thousand other things writers study.

Remember, from the first word, you have to make choice after choice after choice about everything in your story world. Technique and method are tools you need to do so effectively.

When you're in create-mode, you want to read works and articles not related to the work you're writing. Read other things. Why? Because if you don't, odds are really good that you'll suffer subliminal transference. What's that? It's where the writer starts to mimic the voice, the style, the cadence of the work s/he is reading rather than to stay true to the one s/he is writing.

Too many stop reading. That leaves you at a real disadvantage at knowing reader preferences. Let me share an example.

When I decided to blend romance and thrillers, I'd read tons of romance novels but not tons of thrillers. I read 302 and then I had a firm grip on that market. I better knew what readers liked and didn't, the books they supported and ones they didn't. Blending the genres was much easier to do successfully then because I had a grip on both markets.

This kind of insight can't be had from reading what others say to the extent it can be by reading the books.

For the same reason, if you have a dream publisher, read the books that publisher publishes that fit within your author theme. Not one or two, but all you can find.

And the most important tip I can share is this:

Write only books you love. Love shows in thousands of ways. So does not loving a work. Definitely opt for writing only books that speak and sing to you. Because--and this is beyond important--you aren't just building a career. You're building a life.


Vicki Hinze(less)
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Burned by Her Dev...
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Quotes by Vicki Hinze  (?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)

“To Have a Friend You Must Be a Friend.”
Vicki Hinze, Not This Time

“Our decisions define our lives. We are the people we choose to be in the ways that most matter. Choose wisely. You will live with the choices you make.

The choices you make define your character. And your character defines how you feel about yourself. That image of you is projected in hundreds of ways to others.”
Vicki Hinze

“I haven’t made time for pity or blame or even resentment. All of those things take too much energy. I just don’t have it to spare.”
Vicki Hinze, Down and Dead in Dixie

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“These are the divine days of divine miracles.”
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“To Have a Friend You Must Be a Friend.”
Vicki Hinze, Not This Time

204287 Gab Book Club — 19 members — last activity Jan 13, 2017 06:10AM
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message 4: by Beth

Beth Hi Vicki,
Thanks for sending a friend request to this fellow mystery author on Goodreads!
- Beth

Savannah Hi Vicki, thank you for the friendship. It is lovely to connect with you here.

message 2: by Vicki

Vicki Hinze Same to you, Gwendolyn. :)

Gwendolyn Gage Hi Vicki! Thanks for being my Goodreads friend! :-)

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