Yes, Vivian Vande Velde is my real name.
To hear me pronounce it, you can go to the Author Name Pronunciation Guide at TeachingBooks.net by clicking here.
I became a writer because I love stories--all kinds of stories, but especially fantasy.
I can't remember a time before I wanted to be a writer.
My parents did a great job of convincing me I could do whatever I set my mind to.
I was born in 1951 and have lived almost my entire life in Rochester, New York.
I married Jim Vande Velde. (So, yes, Vivian Vande Velde is my real name.) When our daughter Beth was born, I quit my job as a secretary. Since I was home all day, I had to either take housework more seriously or come up with a good excuse why I couldn't. So this was the point where I had to stop saying "Someday I'm going to be a writer," and do something about it.
The first book I wrote was A Hidden Magic.
Writing turned out to be harder work than I thought it would be. (To read more about writing, go to the WRITING ADVICE page.)
But, once I finished writing the book, getting it published was even harder. I sent it out to 32 different publishers over a two-year period, before number 33 said yes.
So, if you're interested in seeing your stories become books, keep in mind that lots of people heard "no" from publishers before they heard "yes"--including:
Edgar Allen Poe
Vivian, Jim, son-in-law Chris, daughter Beth on a cruise vacation
Writing can be easier if you have the support of other writers. Luckily for me, there are a lot of children's writers in the Rochester area. I belong to two groups, each with wonderful people who help each other by asking gentle questions (What is it, exactly, dear, that you're trying to say here?) and who offer encouragement and advice to each other. And besides that, they're a lot of fun.
The Rochester Area Children's Writers & Illustrators (RACWI) group is also very important to me–but there are almost 100 of them, way too many to include all their pictures!
from left to right:
Ellen Stoll Walsh, Robin Pulver, Kathy Coville, Bruce Coville, Cynthia DeFelice, Tedd Arnold, Patience Brewster, VVV, MJ Auch
from left to right:
Marsha Hayles, Judy Bradbury, VVV, Alice DeLaCroix