About the Author
Phillip Vega has always been a storyteller, but he’d never put pen to paper until a few years ago. Suddenly, he had a publishing contract, and in the midst of the vortex of marketing, analytics, refining, and continuing to write, he discovered what he defines as his true calling, his passion.
He is now fully and happily immersed in the whirlwind that is the publishing industry, even as he diligently continues his work in software sales.
Phillip is a Long Islander with Hispanic roots, now living Florida, and it is from those memories of summers in Long Island that he crafted his book, Last Exit to Montauk. Now he can’t stop his brain from working through new ideas for future stories.
His hobbies, aside from enjoying his ongoing work as a published author, include many of the other art forms: singing, performing, and reading. The beach is always home to him . . . and laughter, whether his own or someone else’s, is an unsurpassed joy that he embraces whenever possible.
Phillip lives in the Tampa Bay area with his wife of twenty-three years. He has four sons and “two and a half dogs,” which actually is four dogs, but three out of the four are Chihuahuas while the fourth is a shepherd mix. So he calls it at “two and a half.”
Comfortable in a room full of people or one on one, he welcomes opportunities for guest appearances, interviews, and book signings.
What inspires you to write romance books?
Love. It's just that simple. It's the cure-all for all things that ail you. That and chocolate. Seriously though, my debut novel, Last Exit to Montauk, just came to me, one rainy August afternoon in 2015.
My wife and I came home from grocery shopping, and after putting away the groceries, she turned in for a nap with the dogs, while I plopped myself in front of the TV with my iPad.
Even though I have about a million channels, nothing struck my fancy, so I opened “Notes” in my iPad, and started typing up this story, that was playing in my mind’s eye. Fast-forward six weeks, I had close to 800 pages written, and no idea what I was going to do next.
After multiple rejection letters from Editors, Agents and Publishers, I finally connected with my editor and publisher, Janet Fix, thewordverve. Connecting with her, like the rest of my journey, was either fate or a fluke, I’ll let you decide.
She wasn’t accepting new clients at the time, but since a client recommended we connect, she decided to look at my material, merely as a courtesy. She had no intent on signing me…none!
That all changed when she read my manuscript. She fell in love with it, my writing style and potential. She changed her mind, and we’ve now been working together since December 2015. Janet has become an integral member of my “team”, which includes my wife, older and younger brother, and some close friends, who’ve been kind enough to provide me with their insights and feedback.
Tell us about how you write:
I go to my office, stream either SiriusXM or a YouTube music channel I created for myself and made available publicly on my website, get into my zone, and start writing. My dogs will sometimes join me, while I’m writing, but that’s really the only distraction I deal with, when I’m writing at home.
Once in the zone, the stories start playing out in my mind's eye, like a movie or video. I'm simply the camera lens, taking it all in, and transcribing what I'm seeing to the page. It's the strangest sensation I've ever experienced, and it continues to happen, which is why I have sixteen various stories in process.
I just let the words flow out of me. I've tried white-boarding, or outlining my stories, but that never seems to work out for me. I tend to scrap those outlines, and simply start writing. Again, this is all new to me. I didn't grow up wanting to be a novelist. It wasn't on the road map. It just happened. So now, I just follow my gut and let it flow.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, I do. Because my writing process or "zone" puts me "behind the camera", I see and hear what the characters are saying, feeling, experiencing, etc. It's an interactive process for me. Not only do I listen to the characters, but I also hear the musical score playing in the background.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you feel. Get your "Butt" in the chair and start writing, and write what you like. Write what you'd like to read. If you're into paranormal, write a paranormal love story, if you're into bondage, go for it. M/M, F/F whatever floats your boat, write about it.
Remember, it won't be for everyone. You'll experience rejection. Everyone does in every profession. Just start writing. And when you're done, find yourself a good editor who you can work with.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Again, I never expected to write a book, let alone publish one. It just sort of happened. I spent six weeks writing Last Exit to Montauk. My initial draft came in just under 800 pages. Once I finished, I put it aside, not knowing what to do next.
Over dinner with friends, we were doing the "how're your kids, how's work, what's new" thing, and I mentioned between the kids and work, that I wrote a story. My friend Carol, picked that out, made me rewind, and began to grill me.
What were my plans? Am I going to publish it? Self-publish? She actually knew a local writer, and put me in contact with him, Russ Elliott. Russ then put me in contact with my now editor and publisher, Janet Fix, thewordverve, who told me upfront, that she wasn't taking on new clients, but as a favor to Russ, would review my manuscript.
Three days later, I received an email from Janet tell me she loved my manuscript, and actually had a visceral reaction as she read it. She said she NEVER has one, because of how many manuscripts she reads for a living. I guess she's become numb.
Anyway, she told me she laugh, cried and bragged to some of her colleagues that she's "Found One!" I signed on with her to edit my book, and eventually to publish it as well. I explored many options, and this one made the most sense for me. It's been a blessing!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Like all industries, it's going to continue to evolve, and if "traditional" publishers don't evolve along with it, they will lose market-share, and fall by the wayside, the same way companies like Blockbuster and others have.
Technology will drive change and revenue, as will social media and multi-channel marketing. Again, if you don't get on board, you'll miss the boat.
What genres do you write:: Contemporary Romance, Coming-of-age romance, Interracial romance, Multicultural romance, Romantic Comedy, Love Story, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary fiction
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print