Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Interview With In The Beginning Author, Abby L. Vandiver
Please tell us about your debut novel, In the Beginning. What exactly makes it "quasi" sci-fi? Could you explain that, please?
My book is fact mixed with fiction, so I think it’s quasi sci-fi because some things I write about are true. Additionally, it doesn’t get sci-fi-ish until the last chapters of the book and I don’t want sci-fi fans to get disappointed when they read the first two-thirds of the book and it’s a mystery.
Fair enough. I'm glad you make that distinction. Where did you get the ideas for this book?
Well, to be honest, I can’t remember where I got the idea. I wrote the book back in 1997. I’ve been trying to remember. All I remember is that I lost my job, was feeling kind of low and decided, “I’ll write a book?” Instead of, “Let me find a job.” But, however I came up with the idea I’m glad I did because at the time I published I don’t think there are any other books that has my idea.
It's interesting that you say that, because I haven't heard of many mystery/sci-fi novels of note. But could you explain that a bit more? When you say your book mixes "fact with fiction", what do you mean? What is the actual fact aspect of your book?
Good question. In my book I talk about historical events, the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls and them being withheld from public view and the controversy over some of our ancient mysteries. And to explain those things I’ve taken factual information from scientists, NASA and other scholars.
Fascinating stuff. You were once an attorney and a college professor. Why did you decide to take up writing full time?
I got sick back in 2011 and didn’t want the stress from working to interfere with my recovery, yet I knew I needed to make a living. I have three degrees, a bachelor’s in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration and a JD and I thought, surely I can figure out something to do from home. Of course, I didn’t utilize any of those degrees as I ended up starting an e-magazine, and a publishing company and that led to me writing. I loved it so much and it was so relaxing, I thought maybe I could make a go of it.
It's good that you did! And what did you happen to teach as a college professor. Did it impact your book?
I taught Macro and Micro Economics and Comparative Economics. But it’s funny, none of my educational background was incorporated into my book. You’d think I’d at least write a courtroom drama. But I didn’t. And the next two books I’m working on have nothing to do with my training either
That's so interesting. In my first book, I definitely put some of my profession as a teacher in there. I don't see how I couldn't. But tell us more about these next two books of yours. I see that you're developing a series loosely based on your family. Can you tell us what makes your family interesting?
My mother was born in Jim Crow south in 1914 (She had me at 45). Her mother died when she was two and her father took all six children and split them up between his sisters. Each sibling had a different history, suffered through different things, but my mother, after they became adults, tried to keep them all together. Tried to keep Family. And during the time she came up there was so much going on - Civil rights, blacks migrating to the north, two world wars, and technology bursting out at the seams from the television to the atomic bomb. I just think it’s a good time period for a book. Plus, she told me a million stories, probably half of them not true, but I want to weave them into a fictional book.
I'll look for that when you're done with it. Can you please tell us about the sequel to In the Beginning that you're currently working on?
Sure. The name of the sequel is The Westbury End Book Club. It tells the story of how the manuscripts that turn up in In the Beginning got into the caves at Qumran, who put them there and all the things that are in them. This one I may make a little more exciting, but it’ll still be about family and perseverance. It’ll be out at the end of this year.
Cool. That's good. Can you tell us why you decided to sell your book independently, and where can people pick it up?
I have this thing in my head, which people get on me about, that I can do anything if I try. So, I decided instead of searching for someone to publish my book, I would do it myself. I set out to learn everything I could and I did it. It made me feel even happier about my book. I wrote it, I designed the cover and I published it. Plus, my mother always told me that if you want something done right, do it yourself. You can pick up a copy of my book on Amazon, Smashwords and on goodreads.
Sounds good. Is there anything else that you would like to discuss or plug?
No, nothing else other than I want to say thank you for interviewing me about my book. I need all the publicity I can get. So, “thank you,” and I hope your readers will pick up a copy of my book.
Oh wait, I guess I should plug my other book, the one based on my family. It is titled “1203” set in Birmingham, Alabama and Cleveland, Ohio during 1947-1977. It’s not only about family, but the interracial marriage, discrimination, murder, the number’s racket and a lot more. Look for it the early part of 2014.
Excellent, looking forward to it, and thanks again.