Interview with Victoria Hyla Maldonado

Hello and welcome back to the Relatable voice Podcast. Today we have Victoria J Hyla from Illinois. Victoria is an author of various books, a mom, wife and small business owner .  She is also launching Author Spots, a platform  dedicated to helping new and independent authors. 

Hello Victoria, tell us about yourself.

My name is Victoria Hyla Maldonado. I’m an author, a mom and wife, small business owner (Victorious Editing Services/Author Spots), nonprofit president (Human Library of the Fox Valley), and on the steering committee for my new church (A New Way). I have 6.5-year-old boy/girl twins, a teenage stepson, two cats, and a dog. I’ve spent my career as a professional editor and writer as well as several years as a teacher (English, English and a second language, and French) at the middle and high school levels. 

Where are you from?

I am from the United States. I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, but I now live in Montgomery, Illinois, a far western suburb of Chicago. I have also lived in Texas and Mexico.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

That’s hilarious. I’m not sure I have spare time, but when I do, I like to go out to eat, do fun activities with my kids, and hang out with some girlfriends.

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?

Ever since I wrote my first little “book” when I was 9, I’ve known writing just made sense and came easily to me. Words seem to speak to me, and I can use them effectively. I have done other things, but writing has always been my passion. I have published 10 books of my own, been featured in numerous anthologies, and have help several people bring their books to like, whether that’s through editing them or helping them with the self-publishing process. Because of that, I am now pursuing my writing and writing-related freelance businesses full force. This includes my exciting new platform, Author Spots. Author Spots is a nationwide (US) online marketplace specifically available to authors for selling their books for more money. Authors keep 100% of their sales, so profits are exponentially greater than selling on other online sites.

What inspires you?

That depends on the project, but everything in life can be an inspiration. For children’s books, I’m inspired by animals, my children, and conveying great lessons to kids and parents. For my novels, I’m inspired by aspects of adult life and the darkness and difficulties that we encounter but don’t let define us.

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

I am on the steering committee for an LGBTQ+ affirming church as an ally, and I am president of our local branch of the Human Library, which started in Denmark. I also love to learn languages when I travel to places and insist on using them when I am there. And I have a Fu Dog statue (named Foo) that travels around the country with me and has adventures that I photograph and add to a blog.

Can you tell us what inspired your book and what is the story behind it?

My most recent book, Tempest the Turtle, was an idea that came from my daughter Mika, who is now 6.5. She wanted a book about a turtle who was searching for friends, and it turned into a story about patience and friendship. Mika also got to make some decisions about various aspects of the artwork, she named the second turtle, and she even was illustrated into the book as the human character. It’s been a fun collaboration, and when we sell books at shows, she even gets to sign them with me.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share?

I’m working on way too much. I’m working on a new women’s fiction novel, several other children’s books, and some short stories for myself. I’m also editing several books for people at various stages. I just helped someone publish their children’s book and I’m working on facilitating another for a young author who is only 9—but she is brilliant. I’m also launching Author Spots, and that’s a lot of work but very exciting.

What are your goals and aspirations? 

At the moment, I’d like to make what I do into sustainable income, and in doing that I also get to help authors all over the country get more exposure for their books. It is satisfying helping others find success and satisfying when people enjoy what I write.

Where can our listeners connect with you online?

My website is www.victoriajhyla.com. I’m also on Facebook @victoriajhyla, Instagram @victoriaj.hyla and Author Spots www.facebook.com/groups/authorspots