VL Towler is a local author from Dover with an award-winning mystery debut.
Tell me a little bit about who you are and where you live.
I live in Dover, NH. I am an attorney who for the past 15 years has focused on being a caregiver for my mother, doing legal consulting, and writing my first novel. I lived in D.C. and in England (1 yr.), prior to coming here.
Are there any favorite local spots you like to visit, ones that inspire your creativity?
Not particularly. I live in my mind. I have lived a very interesting life that will give me at least 3 novels. My reminiscences become my novel plots.
Wow us with shock value. Is there anything about you that would surprise readers?
I speak five languages conversationally (Spanish, Cebuano, Cambodian, French, English) and pretend to know Italian and Portuguese. I’m learning German (very poorly) and Arabic (I can almost read the alphabet). I worked in Indochinese refugee camps in the Philippines during the 1980s. My language skills pose a challenge to me as a writer because some of my English is a translation of what I’m thinking in another language.
What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as neurosurgeon?
I needed to publish my own work rather than give it to others to steal, which has happened over 35 times (film, television, and 1 Broadway play, and even the novel I’ve written). Even after winning a Fellowship with the Screenwriter’s Guild, East Foundation, I wasn’t good enough to represent, but was good enough to steal from. I’m so proud of my work and recently received a Finalist in First Fiction nod at the Harlem Book Fair, juried by NY librarians. Although I wasn’t the winner, just being feted by librarians is one of my biggest accomplishments as a writer.
If you could spend a day with any author, living or dead – who would it be and why?
Wow. Maybe Daphne Du Maurier … I just remember consuming her mystery novels while growing up. I also like Iain Pears, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost. I like British writers as they have such a flair for the language they invented.
Does the area in which you live provide influence in your writing? How so?
New England is writing. And I love the tall trees outside my second story office window.
What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to new authors?
Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean it’s finished. Get a good editor. And self-publish. Join the Independent Publishers of New England (www.ipne.org) They will embrace your publishing endeavor with open arms. They have a conference on October 21, and 22nd at the Portsmouth Sheraton this year.
Coming up with a title can be difficult. Tell me how you came up with yours.
My mother thought of it. I couldn’t do it. I had three different titles. I did come up with my sequel title, however.
Are there more books coming from you in the future? Do tell!
This one took 15 years. I hope I can do the sequel in three. I’m slowly doing my research for it. Alas, making a living takes precedence over everything else.
Where can people find more information on you and your projects?