I was thrilled to chat with her about her latest book Psalms for the Common Man
Melanie Rockett: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Vickie Phelps: I’m a native born Texan, the oldest of five children. My dad was a hard working man who provided for his family and made sure we went to church every sunday. My grandfather lived with us so my mom cooked and cleaned for eight people for many years. Laugh if you want to, but I totally relate to the television program, “The Waltons.” There was a crowd around our table for meals and like John Boy, I had a desire to write. I have always loved books. I grew up in a small town that didn’t have a library except for the school library. When I was in the middle grades, I would check out a book at school, take it home, stay up that night until I finished reading it, then return it the next day to check out another one. In high school, I participated in a school work program and was given a job working before and after school in the library. Books have been a big part of my life.
Melanie Rockett: You have been writing for over 25 years and published your first book in 1999. Tell us about how you started writing and publishing books.
Vickie Phelps: My first book was an ebook before they became a big thing. I coauthored it with another writer I met at a writers conference. We became good friends and decided to work together. How to Write for the Christian Marketplace was published by booklocker.com in 1999 and remained available as an ebook until 2011 when we published it in paperback. That same year, I submitted an idea for a gift book to Barbour Publishing and they published 101 Keys for Life in 2000. That was the first of five gift books I wrote for that publisher.
Melanie Rockett: Your latest book is Psalms for the Common Man, can you tell us what sparked the idea for the book and how you got the ideas for the stories IN the book?
Vickie Phelps: Several years ago I began reading the book of Psalms in the mornings and then journaling in a spiral notebook. I would read a psalm and then jot down any events happening in my life or my thoughts about what I’d read. One day it occurred to me that it could become a book so I began writing the entries as devotions. I showed them to my critique group who encouraged me and gave me suggestions for improving the idea. Every story in the book is true. The events really happened to me or someone I know personally.
Melanie Rockett: Now that you have retired from the bookstore business and are writing full-time, how do you schedule your days? Do you write for a certain number of hours daily, or work by word counts, or do you write sporadically, waiting for inspiration?
Vickie Phelps: I start work over breakfast every morning or immediately following breakfast. Many mornings, I take my bagel or cereal to my office and log onto the computer and eat while I check email. Then after a devotional time, I begin working on whatever project I have going at the moment and work anywhere from three to five hours depending on what else might be on my calendar for the day. I don’t work by word count, but I do write as I feel inspired. Actually, I feel writing is more of a calling for me than a job/career. It’s a desire that comes from deep inside to create and share words with others. Not just any words, but those that encourage, influence and inspire.
Melanie Rockett: What’s next? I’m sure you have at least one project on the go, maybe more. Can you share with us what to watch for next?
Vickie Phelps: I have a novel coming out in the fall so I’ve been working with my editor to get everything ready for that launch. The title is Postmark From the Past. I have another novel I’m revising and polishing for possible submission in the future.
Psalms for the Common Man is a beautifully inspirational book. I look forward to reading Vickie’s upcoming fiction works.
To keep in touch with Vickie Phelps: you can:
Visit her website at VickiePhelps.com
Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @VickieSPhelps