Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New map of the RED QUEEN WORLD!

Hello! Some info about the newly expanded map of the Red Queen world can be found here on the Epic Reads website! Here's a bit of a breakdown on how this new map came to be. 
I started with this smaller and very simple map to give the Harper artist the nitty gritty to work with. 

After the artist took a crack at expanding the map to include Montfort, and beautified the map (LOOK AT THOSE GORGEOUS MOUNTAINS), I had some notes. It can be tricky communicating map stuff and our biggest issue came when we realized the new map had been translated to Robinson projection, which was throwing off some rivers and locations in a big way. 
Now that we decided to expand the map to include Montfort, I expanded the original map underlay I was working with. I decided to go with Google Maps/original Mercator projection for ease of use to match up with the old geographic locations already established in Mercator. This helped immensely when planning out where old (and new) cities would be. 
Here's an idea of the overlay, and how much this part of North America has changed several thousand years in the future. Most rivers follow similar courses to their paths today, although they have been renamed.
With the new map underlay, it was easy to build out Montfort and the western reaches of Prairie and Tiraxes. I loved the style the artist developed for this map, so all I had to do at this point was get rivers, cities, and new borders in order. I included a key to the numbers naming new cities and rivers in an email.
Maps are my favorite, and working on this one was a dream come true. I'm so excited to keep growing the Red Queen world and can't wait for this map to be included in King's Cage!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016


We’ve done merchandise in the past, but nothing like this….

Introducing Litographs T-Shirts, Posters and Tote Bags! You can play an integral part in these new products coming out soon from


A Litograph is art created from the text of a book. Litographs then takes this art and prints it on t-shirts, tote bags, and posters, meaning you can now wear your favorite book! Check out to see examples of their work.

I’m excited to announce that I’m working with Litographs on an original line of merchandise inspired by Red Queen, and YOU can be the designer!

YOUR MISSION: Create a design to be used as the base for posters, t-shirts, and tote bags for the original Red Queen Litographs line of merchandise.


- The winning design will be used as the main art for the release of Red Queen t-shirts, tote bags, and posters.

- Your design should be inspired by Red Queen and/or speak to a key theme, or plot point, in the book. In other words, we want to be able to recall the book from your design (that doesn’t mean spoilers!). Your design must fit some general size and style qualifications as in the Litographs style guide. That said, please do be creative!

- Your design should include graphics only. No text please (as the background will consist entirely of text!).

- Please do not use copyrighted images. All artwork should be your own creation.

- Open internationally.


- Please submit ONLY ONE DESIGN. If you submit more than one design, your work will be disqualified.

- Once your design is finished, use the below typeform link to submit your design and contact information. Your design will later be posted to my Pinterest page for voting.

- Important: By submitting an entry to this contest you grant rights to use this design in forthcoming merchandise, and in display and promotional materials. Please read the terms of service within the typeform for more information.

- All entries must be received no later than midnight PST on Wednesday, October 27, 2016.


5 FINALISTS will each receive a $50 Litographs gift card. This can be redeemed for posters, t-shirts, tote bags, temporary tattoos, and other great literary products, including those soon-to- be available for Red Queen!

ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $500 cash prize from Litographs and have his or her design featured on Litographs’ t-shirts, tote bags, and posters to be available at, and indie bookstores around the country!!!

Good luck and get designing!! Some tips on how to design a Litograph below:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Like many of the people I grew up with, I’m the child and grandchild of immigrants. The rhetoric currently being used against Latino and Muslim immigrants to the US is the same rhetoric that was used to demonize our relatives emigrating from Italy, Ireland, Eastern Europe and so on. Our grandparents and great-grandparents and beyond were shamed for their culture, their religion, their languages, and their way of life. Defined by the worst of their countrymen and separated from the best.
This is selfish of me, but to understand pain I have to put it in context. My grandmother never taught her children Italian. She explained to me once that she wanted her children to be fully American. I mourn that loss of our heritage, and the fear she still felt as an adult American citizen. I envy the people who were able to maintain that bond.
My mother is also an immigrant to the United States, albeit under very different circumstances. While my grandmother and her family left Italy under the gathering storm clouds of World War II, my mother first came here to work, and then returned - and stayed - to get married. She is considered a “good” immigrant, not because she is educated or contributes to society through the thousands of students she’s educated over her career - but because her background is “acceptable.” She shares a language, a religion, and an ethnicity with the anti-immigrant majority of the United States. She has a culture and accent that is romanticized, imitated, marketed, accepted, and even considered “du jour” thanks to popular media like Outlander. My mother was never forced to forget or fear her background, which is why her children are able to maintain better ties to her cultural history. I'm lucky to have those bonds, and sad to know how many other bonds we've lost.
There is a middle-ground between total cultural assimilation and cultural isolation. We haven’t found it yet.
History is cyclical.

Monday, July 18, 2016

a little bit of a timeline

Crossposted from my Tumblr, where I got this anonymous question. I'm answering here and there because I see a lot of people misconstruing my path to publication, and either assuming things that are incorrect, or lying outright for whatever reason. It's especially annoying because I'm available on Tumblr to answer questions, but people would rather not simply ask.
The question:

The question this anon is referring to:
“Hey Victoria! I saw you also went to USC and I’m curious if having Trojan connections helped you at all in the way of finding an agent for Red Queen? I just graduated and am about to start querying a YA fantasy, looking for any and all things that might grab someone’s attention!”
“Nah, the USC family has been great on the film side (I got a general meeting off a pilot I wrote senior year and that got my writing career rolling), but it doesn’t hurt either!”
I believe you are misunderstanding me on several levels. 
1) The person asked about Trojan connections. They’re a fellow Trojan, part of what we call the Trojan Family or USC Mafia. It’s a very big network within Los Angeles and the film industry. I have not really met anyone in publishing from within the Trojan Family, but I can’t tell you how many film general meetings* I’ve walked into and known or known of someone from their USC connections.
2) I clearly stated the general meeting I got off a pilot I wrote at USC got my writing career rolling. That’s the meeting where I vaguely pitched RQ and was told to pursue it with no guarantees of anything
3) “Bypassing all the gatekeeping/submissions rules other writers have to follow” - do you know how many people have different paths to publishing? You understand that you don’t have to query either, but you do have to find another way in, right? You don’t have to do things that way, but you have to find a way. Trust me, if I had known querying agents was so open (in film, it’s such a closed system), I would have looked into it much, much sooner. Agents just list their emails and what they’re looking for! That sounds crazy!
*General meeting: (since you don’t seem to understand what that is) extremely common thing, going on generals is known as the “couch-and-water-bottle-tour” where your reps set you up meeting with executives at different production companies and studios. You go in, chat for a half hour, they get a feel for you and whether or not they’d like to work with you on something. 9 times out of 10, these result in nothing. It’s part of the job, and the majority of my general meetings have been acquired to further the screenwriting/film side of my writing career.
I’m also going to say my publishing path, yet again, because it’s clearly outlined elsewhere, but people seem to have trouble making this connection:
April/May 2012: 
-USC First Pitch, a speed-date situation where you pitch your film/tv projects to executives, managers, agents
-I submit my portfolio to about 20 different representatives or companies that requested it
-I get one general meeting request from Benderspink. This is where my USC “connections” end. I got a meeting through their pitchfest. From here on out, it is entirely on me and the skills I’ve picked up through four years of a fantastic BFA and two internships.
-At the Benderspink meeting, I pitch a tv show, a movie, and a vague idea of Red Queen. I said “I want to write the next big YA novel, here’s what I think it is.” I’ve explained in previous posts why I phrased it this way (summary: because pitching is a big picture game), because people have decided to hate me for voicing it.
-they said “sure, do it” and connected me with my first manager at Benderspink. I was not officially signed with them, but hip-pocketed, which has way less stability and no guarantee of representation. 
July 2012:
-I realize if I want to pursue writing the Red Queen idea, I have to move home to do it. I have no money, no job, and no strong support system in LA. Luckily my parents were all for it.
January 2012:
-I finish the first draft of Red Queen. I sent it to my manager, who has just quit to write full time. I panic.
-I expect notes back from him. Maybe. He doesn’t owe me anything and could easily say, too bad, I’m done! Really I didn’t know what to expect. Instead he tells me he forwarded the draft to Pouya Shahbazian at New Leaf Literary, who he recently worked with while optioning the rights for another project. I do some research (Googling) and realize NL is awesome. I am terrified. 
-Pouya reads the summary of Red Queen and forwards it to Suzie Townsend.
-Suzie reads Red Queen. She calls to chat with me and wants me to do a round of edits. I obviously agree.
February 2012:
-I submit my edited draft of Red Queen to Suzie.
-I sign with Suzie and New Leaf. We do another round of edits.
-At this point, I have cut about 40k words from the original draft of RQ.
March 2012:
-More edits.
April 2012:
-We go on submission with a draft of RQ.
-We sell to HarperTeen two weeks into submission.
Now to say “film connections” landed me my publishing agent. Absolutely I would not have hooked up with Suzie if my film manager hadn’t forwarded the draft. Absolutely. But that is how the industry works. There are authors who wouldn’t be working in film/tv if their agents hadn’t secured them a meeting. Our representatives get us jobs and create windows of opportunities. But we still have to be good enough to rise to the occasion. If my manuscript was garbage, Suzie would not have wasted her time. If I was bad at pitching, my film management wouldn’t have encouraged me to pursue writing. If I hadn’t written a good pilot my senior year, I would never have landed that management meeting. If I wasn’t a good, hungry, dedicated storyteller, I would not have been accepted to USC’s screenwriting program. That’s how it works. 
I’ll leave you with some very wise advice from a professor of mine. 
“Good luck is an opportunity you are prepared for. Bad luck is an opportunity you aren’t.” 
I have had extremely good luck. 
*what does DTE mean?*

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What I'm Up To

(format stolen from EMMA THERIAULT, find her here)


-WRITING- I finished the first draft of Novella #1, am currently working on Novella #2, and fleshing out RED QUEEN BOOK 3. Also tinkering with other shiny ideas when I have time. 

-TRAVELING- I head to MONTANA at the end of the month to celebrate the 4th of July in truly American style. I'll be roadtripping from California with friends, then spending a week fishing, hiking, horseback riding, relaxing, eating, deck living, and exploring. I absolutely adore the Mountain West and can't wait to be back in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Jackson Hole, and Big Sky. Afterwards, I fly straight from MT to SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON. I've always wanted to attend, but now I'm going as a panelist and I get to call it work. I'm honestly freaking out. If you see a girl latching onto Storm Troopers, don't worry, it's just me. Then it's back to the grind for the rest of July, before hopping the pond to SCOTLAND. I'll be staying in the motherland for two weeks, mostly in Edinburgh, Fife, and Skye. Stay tuned for events we might have in store for UK readers....


A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas - Team Tamlin. I will be begging across the stars for Book 2 ARCs.

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh - I've screeched about this enough to fill everyone's 
Twitter feeds. Obviously I love it. 

WINTER OF THE WORLD by Ken Follett - A GoT approach to WWII? Hell yeah.

*THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker
*SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
*EDGE OF ETERNITY by Ken Follett


Fanfiction. Not for RQ, but continuing to read my favorites.
I also keep up with Deadline/Variety/Hollywood Reporter for work. And pretty much everything that crosses the front page of Reddit.


Game of Thrones - we all know my feelings about this. I'm a kicked puppy continuing to return for more. Just don't....don't ask.


Veep - Dan x Amy 4ever.

The Jinx - finally started this.

Hannibal - IT'S BACK.


Mad Max: Fury Road x2 - *sprays chrome on teeth, drives War Rig down the center of the highway*
San Andreas - *never returns to California*
Pitch Perfect 2 - "The pride of Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers!"
Avengers 2 - Very meh for such a blockbuster.
The Longest Ride - the worst movie I've ever had a great time in.
Furious 7 - *returns to War Rig, drifts through downtown LA whilst evading a drone*

and...seeing JURASSIC WORLD tomorrow!!! I go to the movies a fair bit.


The MAD MAX: FURY ROAD soundtrack and What Kind of Man by Florence + The Machine. Readers know why. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


This will be the first installment in a 'Currently' series that I may or may not continue. Onwards!

Currently I'm watching/have been watching over the past year:

Agent Carter
Fresh Off The Boat**
How To Get Away With Murder**
The 100**
The Flash**
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
New Girl
The Mindy Project (thank Jesus for Hulu)
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Sons of Anarchy (goodnight sweet prince)
The Americans
The Strain
Game of Thrones
True Detective
House of Cards
Orange Is The New Black
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt**
Halt and Catch Fire**
Black Sails
The Royals
Real Housewives
Southern Charm
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Shark Tank

**behind but slowly catching up

Now that it's in list form, I realize I watch a lot of television. Yikes.

Monday, May 18, 2015


I'll be at the Pasadena Loves YA book festival THIS SATURDAY, May 23rd. More info here: There will be panels and signings!





And I personally think *that scene* from last night's Game of Thrones was kind of garbage. I was willing to roll with the Sansa in Winterfell story change, and thought it was going well. And yes, there were so many other avenues the writers could have pursued in the Winterfell arcs, so many I can't even list them. First off, Sansa's rape did not happen and, based on GRRM's "if you want to see where Sansa's story is going in the books, check out the new chapter" response, she probably won't end up spending her wedding night with the absolute worst character in a pantheon of sociopaths.

But we knew a bedding would happen as soon as they married. We knew it would not be pretty. I was ready for another not-great stop on the Sansa Train to Queen in the North Station. But reducing the scene to Theon's pain and Theon's character shift was downright bullshit. Westeros is a brutal, cruel place, and nothing is sunshine and roses. But would it kill us to show a little agency on Sansa's part? The show seemed to be setting up her shift from pawn to player, and last night was so many steps back, in my opinion. As evidenced by the Cersei/Jaime debacle, the show is developing a serious problem with women and sexual agency. I'm not advocating for Sansa to go full on seductress, because she's not there yet (in the show, at least. Her new TWOW chapter is another story). But come on. One shot of determination, resolve. One shot of her drawing strength from the stones of Winterfell like Daenerys drew strength from her dragon eggs.

Instead we get Reek crying, beginning his shift back to Theon, because a woman was brutalized in front of him. I don't doubt this moment is also a catalyst for Sansa's character, and will be part of her arc later on, but the scene didn't play that way. It was Theon's scene. Somehow the show managed to take Sansa's rape away from her and it's very, very off-putting. And we're starting to see the seams in Game of Thrones. Setpieces are choreographed poorly. Storylines are getting shaky. The train is rattling on its rails. I'm hoping as things tighten up and characters find their way back together, things will improve. Or, we might be going the way of Sons of Anarchy, a terrific show that ended not well. It developed a reputation for violence and brutality, like Game of Thrones, and in an attempt to improve, I think, it leaned too far into its wheelhouse, giving us a mess in an attempt to be a bloodbath. Here's hoping Game of Thrones won't become the same bloated caricature of itself.

It's an odd day when Reign handles a storyline better than Game of Thrones, but here we are.

All hail Stannis Baratheon, the One True King of Westeros.