Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
Hi, I’m Dr. Velma Bagby. I am a 6X award-winning author who first published in 2018, after retirement, and at age 64. I am a Certified Christian Dating-Relationship Coach, ordained minister, wife of 48 years, and mother of two adult daughters with three precious grandchildren.
What books do you have available?
Your Adam is Asleep Until God Opens His Eyes, A Place Called Down-Why Christians Suffer, Back in the Day Anthology, Kindle eBook–My 70s Love Story, A Song of Praise Anthology, Kindle eBook - Our Rainbow Baby, Two Journals, co-author with my granddaughter’s books: The Little Letter K and the Boring Alphabet Line, The Letter K and Her Alphabet Friends, The Letter K and Her Birthday Surprise
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
The CATCH No One Wants is a Christian Contemporary Fiction and The CATCH Homework Basket-study guide is my recent release.
The Fiction book follows the story of Veronica Dawson, a PK (pastor’s kid), who frantically searches for potential husbands in all the wrong places—a 32-year-old successful millennial, who is obsessed with getting married because she has already missed her original goal… to be a wife by thirty. Her father Greyson watches her wrong choices and sees the men mistreat his daughter; frustrated, he seeks God’s direction. Greyson’s answered prayers prompt him to use what he knows as an expert fisher.
He invites Veronica on a two-day fishing trip for a one-on-one intervention. She does not know that her dad is on a mission to rescue her through their Christian faith teaching about dating with an intent to marry.
As a seasoned fisher, Greyson sees the behavioral similarities between men and fish. For the intervention, he creates five metaphorical stories he shares with his daughter on their trip. Four stories represent the men she has dated: the Catfish, who loves garbage, the Salmon who avoids getting caught, the Sturgeon who likes to nibble, & the Pufferfish who is beautiful until agitated—all highlighting the dating mistakes Veronica continues making even now. The fifth story—the Goldfish—represents the man God has chosen just for her. He is the CATCH No One Wants, and the husband she deserves was standing right in front of her the entire time.
The CATCH Homework Basket-study guide captures all the tools Veronica’s father provided her during and after his intervention. He asked Veronica to complete every task to help her apply the intentional dating principles he taught—to discover the husband she deserves.
Dating for marriage changes the strategies, the goal, the questions, and the approach to dating. The principles of a date with intent focus are explained in more detail through the lives of the book characters and even more in the Homework It includes: Your Value & Worth-Far Above Rubies, You Are the Prize!, The Essence of a Good H.E.A.R.T., The W.A.I.T. - Let Him Find You, Assess Yourself Before You Date - Use the S.W.O.T. and S.M.A.R.T. tools., The 40-Day Rule, The Parade Around Principle & the Wise Counsel, The Husband You Deserve Prayer List - Conditions vs Qualities, Intentional Dating Questions, What Can You Learn About a FOOL?
This is perfect for your Christian book club, ministry group, or for your personal study.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
I’ve written both Christian nonfiction and fiction, addressing topics that relate to Christian living, love, marriage, dating, women’s issues, and difficult life experiences. The toughest experience I’ve had sticking with the book’s genre has been when I veer towards nonfiction writing when the book is fiction. Otherwise, I stay within my genre.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I am a panster, and I hate outlines. When I began my writing journey, someone suggested that I create an outline, then write based on the outline. It drove me crazy. Then one day, as I researched different writing methods, I discovered why I hated outlines. I use the Jigsaw Method of writing. This method’s description explained my style. Once I determine the topic, I write whatever segment I am inspired to write at that moment. The next time I sit to write, I may work on a different portion of the book, and it continues this way for a while. Once I have several pieces, I can then put them together like taking pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and connecting them.
What is your writing routine like?
My favorite time is early morning, around 4:30 a.m. when the world is quiet and so is my house. Peace and quiet with no music provide the best writing atmosphere for me. After prayer, it’s a hot cup of citrus mint tea, with my writing buddy next to me—my German Shepherd, Gracie.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
I like the fish characters. Each fish character is unique and enjoyable to create. It was easy to envision the personalities of the fish and match them with men. Then, as the stories developed, it was exciting to see each one manifest. My tough character was the Pufferfish as it deals with an abusive/toxic relationship, while the most enjoyable was the Goldfish.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
Having coached singles and couples for 30+ years, life has given me plenty of ideas to write about.
Do you add romance to your writing?
Yes. Love is the focus throughout the book.
What was your favorite scene to create?
My favorite scene was the Epilogue. The reader can see how Veronica’s life turned out after the fishing trip with her father and after she prepared herself for love.
Where do you get character inspiration?
Everywhere: from family, people I’ve met, life experiences, or stories I’ve been told or heard.
What genre do you prefer to read?
I do not have a preference and choose to support my fellow authors.
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
Not really. I have a small tribe of fellow authors who support me and I try to support them.
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
The message–date with the intent to marry.
What does your editing process look like?
I run my editing through several programs I use, as well as have the manuscript read out loud using Microsoft’s “Read Aloud” program. It’s a perfect way to hear things I missed from my online review. Then it’s off to the editor.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
My citrus mint tea and a protein bar.
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
Early morning because of the peace and quiet.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I don’t have a favorite, but I'm looking forward to joining my daughter on a trip to Belize.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
Marvel - Black Panther, others are the Falcon, Shang-Chi, Loki, Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor, and Buckie - can’t recall his character
What hobbies do you have?
Writing is one hobby; the other is enjoying my grandchildren—taking walks near the water together.
What is something your readers don’t know about you or something unique about yourself?
I grew up in a singing family. I enjoy hanging out with my family. We could sing at any moment during our gatherings–and for no reason, other than the joy of singing. We always sound as if we had rehearsed all month. It is such a joy. Now, my grandchildren are singing too.
What defines success for you as an author?
Success for me is watching others talk about my books, write positive reviews, and share something they gained—that’s a success to me, or as I say, a mission accomplished. Of course, I also want a publishing contract and would love to see my books soar as a number-one-best-seller and more. But for now, I am grateful for the first reward—readers expressing their appreciation for what I’ve written.
What is your work space like?
I transformed the dining room space into my office space, with an L-shaped desk and two cherry cabinets for books. I enjoy the natural sunlight which comes from my nearby window.
Do you have a selfcare routine that you follow?
Sometimes self-care involves no writing at all. I remember my initial deadline was fast approaching in March 2022, but I was recovering from the death of 4 family members: one of my close cousins and my stepmother, and two of my husband’s cousins. I thought I moved through the grieving period okay and continued pressing to finish editing my book. Soon, I found myself unable to sleep through the night. One morning, after sharing this with my daughter, she prayed with me. Afterward, I realized the book deadline was the least of my worries. I was overdue for some self-care after the deaths. As a result, I pushed the book release date to April and took a break to give myself time to grieve.
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors?
It is never too late to realize your dream. If I can begin my journey at age 64, you are not too late. Read as many “how-to books” as you can to understand what’s required for the genre you plan to write. Read books of others within the genre you are interested in so that you can learn from published authors.
Where can our readers find you?
Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, giveaways, and to follow my calendar. I am also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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