'Always the cause of shenanigans, Vanessa is a heavily tattooed, sarcastic motorcycle enthusiast who started her career as a Jeep tech at the age of sixteen. The happily married mother of three little monsters—oops, children—lives in Kentucky by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Once her life took a different direction—sidelined by Heart Disease at 26 and becoming a pacemaker recipient—she decided to write as a creative outlet, and Heartless was born. She realizes life can be dark clouds and acid rain at times, but her outlook on life puts a positive and sarcastic spin on it all.' - information belongs to the author's website.
Q & A
Why and when did you start writing?
I've always written. My sister and I used to make up stories and pass a spiral notebook back and forth to each other when we were younger. However, I got serious about it when I had to have my pacemaker put in and needed an outlet.
What or who inspired you to write?Books have been such an important part of my life. I've lived and traveled to so many places through reading. This creative spark has always lived inside of me. No matter what I was doing I would make up stories and decided I needed to start writing them down.
What is the hardest part of writing a book? The structure and following the rules. Knowing which rules you can ignore, which ones you have to follow to the letter and which ones you can bend for your voice to come through. Writing means rewriting and then rewriting some more. I've learned so much from my first book to this one and I think it's important for future writers to know you're always learning and honing your craft.
Can you describe a typical work day?My life is a little different from a lot of writers. I have a chronic illness and it rules my everyday tasks. Some days I can work for an hour or two, some I can't work at all. My body has the final say on what it will allow and what it won't. I tend to write a lot slower than most because of this, but I also make sure I use the time I do have productively. I refuse to let an illness I can't control dictate ever facet of my life, especially my creativity.
What would you like to accomplish in the next 5 years?To hone my craft more and continue to grow as a writer. I want to push the boundaries of topics and subject matter that need to be talked about. I love flawed characters that are true to life. Those are the kinds of stories I want to write over the next five years.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?That's like asking me which of my kids is my favorite! I can't answer than question. I've been influenced by so many authors from Penny Reid, Jenni Moen and Colleen Hoover to Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. They've all shown me having a unique style and voice is what will help you stand apart from the rest.
Do you have any advice for other writers?Become a sponge. Learn everything you can. Network with other authors. Make friends with bloggers and build relationships. Check your ego at the door during the critique progress and when someone offers you advice on your work, even though it will sting at first (because we want everyone to love it) take a step back and look at it objectively. Do their comments have merit and will it make your story better?! Writing means rewriting. You will probably have 10+ drafts before it's ready for an editor. Yes, you need an editor. I don't care if you're the best self proclaimed grammar nazi there is, you cannot see the things in your own work someone else can. Most importantly, so it because you love it. Because without it you wouldn't know what to do with yourself. Never lose that passion.
What are your current projects?I have a few projects in the fire. I need to finish thehird book in my series but those characters aren't currently talking to me. I have a couple of stand alone's that have popped up and are demanding attention. Whoever speaks the loudest will be the next story out.
I want to thank Vanessa for participating in this Q & A. I've just read her book Fostered and it is amazing! My review of Fostered will be up soon.
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Have a great day!