Finalist Spotlight

Victorine Lieske

Victorine self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Bestselling books list in January 2015. Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska with their four children and two cats. She loves all things romance and watches While You Were Sleeping about once every six months. When she’s not writing, she’s designing book covers for authors or making something with her extensive yarn collection.

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Victorine Lieske on her Whitney Awards Finalist novel,

A Marriage of Anyhing But Convenience

What was the inspiration for your Whitney Awards finalist novel?

I love the marriage of convenience trope, and I wanted the challenge of how to make it work in a contemporary setting. It was fun to think of reasons why a couple would agree to a marriage of convenience, and how to introduce conflict in that situation.

What was the tipping point that turned this novel from “just an idea” to a project you HAD to complete?

I grew passionate about the book when I was able to uncover the personalities of the two main characters. I adored Nara’s sarcasm that really was a cover up for the hurt in her life. And Derek melted my heart with his loyalty and dependability.

 How did this book evolve into the final story? Did it end up the way you thought it would, or did the plot or characters change along the way?

For the most part, it evolved how I envisioned, although there were surprises along the way. I am a discovery writer for the most part, so I get to be surprised when some things happen or evolve as I write. But I also write romance, so I know how every book will end.

Who is your favorite secondary character, and why?

I loved Nara’s father in this story, even though he was rough around the edges, and didn’t always do the right thing, I knew he was soft-hearted deep down. I loved seeing him evolve.

If your book was made into a movie, which scene would you want to be a background extra in?

I would want to be one of the people who work at the Accelerated Marriage Chapel. I love the awkwardness of the marriage ceremony, with Nara in her stained t-shirt and too-big yoga pants.