This gorgeous smile, these mischievous blue eyes, the flames in the hair belong to author Vanessa Wester.
<crowd and my monkeys cheer up as wild as they can>
Vanessa Wester is bilingual in English and Spanish, (can you imagine her saying “Te Quiero Mucho!”, WOW.) She was born and raised in Gibraltar, and has a degree in Accounting and Law from the University of Southampton, UK. Initially, she embarked on a career in Chartered Accountancy. After a couple of years it became obvious she was not cut out to work in an office.
A change in vocation led her to become a Secondary School Mathematics Teacher, which she loved. For many years, she has been a stay at home mum and gives up a lot of her time towards voluntary organisations. She still teaches mathematics as a private tutor and has many hobbies which include swimming, walking and reading. She is also a qualified A.S.A. Swimming Teacher and volunteers on weekends at her local swimming club.
Writing is her passion. The day she decided to start writing was the day she found an outlet for her imagination. It is the best way she can think of to express herself and escape from everyday life.
So, ladies and gentlemen, Monkeys alike, here I serve you on a platter…. Vanessa Wester!!!!!!!
<the stage risks to collapse under the raucous roaring from the crow>
Hello, Vanessa, thanks for joining us today. To make you comfortable, an easy question to start with… Why are you here?
<chuckles> For months I have been promoting my books via the Amazon Forum (with limited, if any, success) and recently found some likeminded authors in the Shameless Promotions thread in Amazon.com. I saw that one of the authors, James A. Anderson, had been interviewed by you, Massimo. I read the interview, then followed you on Twitter and literally an hour later agreed to do this interview… phew! So, here goes…
That’s true, and although I love preliminaries, after an hour on twitter we needed to Get Personal! 😉
<loud whistles from the monkeys>
Tell us, dear, what’s your drive for writing?
Pure and utter escapism… Creating my own world! I needed to find something I could do at home that allowed me to stretch my creativity, whilst enabling me to look after my family. It’s been frustrating at times since my writing has to fit around my ‘life’, but that’s just the way it is. I also tutor maths in the evenings, teach swimming during weekends, and do accounts voluntarily – I try to fit it all in! I know other authors fit writing around a day job, that’s tough too.
Great motivation. I’ve written about the need to find the time to write in these pages. There’s simply no alternatives. Since you obviously solved your formula to find time to write, what are the titles of your novels?
<images flows with grace on a giant screen>
Do you research your novels?
Yes, this is the fun part. Whenever I have an idea I like to know it has viability. I always include links at the end of my books so that readers know where I get my sources from.
Excellent, Vanessa. What can you tell us about your most recent release?
My latest novel,Complications (The Evolution Trilogy), was published last year. Details of my trilogy can be found on www.theevolutiontrilogy.blogspot.com – think paranormal romance with a scientific edge!
Wonderful, I do think about many things from a scientific edge perspective; we have things in common. Boy, this Getting Personal will go DEEP! <a ROAR from the audience covers Vanessa’s comment>
I’m sure it will be a blast, Vanessa. What else do you have coming out?
In November, I am releasing the last book in my Trilogy, Return. It has been a long journey, but I have enjoyed it and hope the readers do too. I will also (hopefully – subject to having enough submissions) be releasing two anthologies to raise money for Foodbank. Details via www.shortstoriesgroup.blogspot.com – submissions tab! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started publishing charity anthologies!
That’s great, using your art to contribute to charity. And with your already varied production, folks!: it’s not a sneaky attempt to sell books!
Now, do you have any favorite books or authors?
So, so many… these have been some of my favourites over the years…
Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, James Herbert, Stephen King, John Grisham, Leon Uris, J.K. Rowling, Cressida Cowell, Roald Dahl, Julia Donaldson, Ken Folett, Stephenie Meyer, Jeffrey Archer, Sarra Manning…
I’ve read some of them and you have a great selection. Be honest, you had a peek to my other interviews, right? I cannot believe one can name them all if not prepared in advance… and your mischievous eyes confirm my suspicion 🙂 Vanessa, what is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing novel?
Being ruthless when it comes to editing. Sometimes you get attached to a scene and you want it in, but if it does not work then there’s no point including it. You have to listen to feedback and be prepared to make changes for the good of the novel.
That’s absolutely right. With all I’ve culled I could write a novelette… uhmm interesting idea 😀
What are you planning on writing in the near future?
I am planning to write a novel, not a series or trilogy. I have several I have started, but think I want to write something that’ll make readers either cry or laugh! Not necessarily paranormal either, with a hint of romance.
I’m sure readers will be delighted. Ok, last serious question before we GET PERSONAL!
<monkeys scream in delighted expectation>
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Join an writing online community like The Word Cloud (www.thewordcloud.org) , Wattpad or Booksie, read blogs, involve yourself in social networks, see what’s out there… Don’t just expect your writing to be better than everyone else’s. There are a lot of talented writers out there all doing it for the love – join them. Don’t think it’s a way to make a quick buck! AND most important of all… READ! Learn from other writers J
That’s a great advice. I spent a year with an online peer-critique group and it was great. So, fellas, listen to Vanessa and find your virtual turf and test your prose with other eyes than mom and pop. Now, Vanessa, get ready, and don’t tell me you weren’t aware…
Do you ever write naked?
What a question! NO – my hands and feet are always frozen… My typing would be appalling! Ha ha ha
hehehe, but our imagination would be rewarded, ha ha ha 😀 By the way, if your hands and feet are always frozen, what’s the difference if you’d be wearing clothes or not?<another roar from the monkeys>Hey, just saying… 🙂
Speaking of birthday robe… Have you ever found true love?
Actually, it found me!
Tell us everything
I was 19 years old, convinced I did not want a boyfriend and was completely “off” the idea of having a boyfriend. I was ‘forced’ to go out by my friends and I reluctantly agreed. Well, as soon as I saw my now husband I was smitten! He had come over to Gibraltar to work for 3 weeks… and got a lot more than he bargained for! As soon as I saw him I thought if I ever got a guy like that to fancy me I would be the luckiest girl EVER! Guess what – I am! We have been married for over 13 years, been together for over 18 and have 3 lovely children. We have our moments (nothing is perfect), but we were definitely made for each other! Awwww…
Ohh, fantastic story. I’m glad for you, it’s always great to hear of a lovely marriage story. If it is like mine is, I know you live in a very happy family! Well done!
Ehmm, do you ever write naked? Oups, already asked… 😉 What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That I liked to work hard and I was prepared to do what I was told to do well…
You must have been to a great school 😀 How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
I grew up with a Dad who always had his nose in a book, took me to libraries and bookshops, and made me realise the wonder of books! I was also encouraged a lot at school as a child and thought writing stories was the best thing ever. I lost confidence when I was 15 and turned to the sciences. I gave up on the notion of being a writer until 2010 (nearly 20 years later…) when I watched an interview with Stephenie Meyer and challenged myself to write a novel – why not?!
Who knew that after giving us sparkling vampires Stephenie Meyer was also responsible for giving as a sparkling new author! Do you ever write na… Jeez, stop looking at me with those blue eyes, my brain resets all the time!
If you were going to commit the perfect murder (or your husband after reading this interview), how would you go about it?
<the perfect smile blossoms in Vanessa> This is a tough one since Agatha Christie covered most of these… Although, my choice would be poison. A deadly snake, or spider chucked in the victims room! (Now where to find them? Hmmmm…)
Brrr, are you jealous of other writers?
I am jealous of writers who manage to sell books against the odds, especially when the story and writing are nothing special – I always think “what am I missing?” <Chews bitter grapes and pulls a sour face>
I agree, I’d love to tell my aliens to deal with them, too. 🙂
What was the biggest challenge you faced writing your books and how did you overcome it?
My inner demons, you know, the ones that say… “No-one cares, you suck”
Luckily, I have some amazing friends/ fans (yeah, believe it – shocking I know) who constantly ask when the last book is ready… They keep me on my toes, make me look to the finish line.
It’s getting closer…
Friends and family can be a big help, but actual readers and fans are invaluable. Vanessa, it has been a pleasure to have you on stage. Folks, this was Vanessa Wester!!
<thunders, explosions, and fireworks>
Pssst, before you go… can you say “Te Quiero Mucho!” <3
Before everyone leaves, share Vanessa with the social buttons on the left, and follow this blog, too, if it pleases you. More from Vanessa online:
The Evolution Trilogy Blog
Short Stories Group
The Writer’s Workshop