In today's guest author interview we meet Victoria Pearson, you can read what she has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Victoria Pearson, and I am an incessant scribbler! I live in rural Bedfordshire in the UK with my husband and three children, and our dog and cat. As you can imagine life is pretty hectic, but whenever I am not cleaning up after someone, feeding things or washing people I can be found behind a pad of paper, a laptop screen or a book.
I have been working on my novel for a while now, but every now and then I get an urge to stop and write something I can actually finish a draft of this month, so I also write short stories and flash fiction. I popped a few up on the blog and they were quite popular, so I decided to dig through years of pieces of paper and polish up the best ones for my debut short story collection Strange Love –Short Stories and Twisted Tales . I have since written another short story collection, but that won’t be available until early next year.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, diaries, short stories, terrible poetry, everything. Writing is the perfect escapism, you can paint a world with words, the way it should be, or the way it is going, or the way it already is. I am a nosey, people watching type, and that comes in handy as a writer. I am a good listener, so I understand the way the world looks to lots of different types of people, so creating characters was probably the next logical step. But mostly I write ideas down to stop them buzzing around my brain when I am trying to sleep at night.
If you could write anyone's biography, whose would it be?
I think every life is a rich tapestry of stories, worthy of being told. Once you sit down with a person and listen, and I mean really listen, not just be quiet when they are talking while you think of what to say next, it’s hard not be fascinated by the way they see the world. That is, really, what inspired me to write my second (upcoming) collection. We are each our own Strange World.
Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to dive straight in?
I am not much of a planner, although I do have rough notes and, in longer pieces, a flowchart of what has to happen when. But I do like to leave lots of room for flexibility, and if the characters want to take the story somewhere I hadn’t planned, nine out of ten times I’ll go with them.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
You can ask a person anything you like, or be as strange as you like if people know that you are a writer. It is almost expected, in fact and therefore totally socially acceptable.
Seriously though, I love it when the words seem to write themselves, and I lose hours at a time furiously scribbling or typing (depending on what I am working on) and it all seems to flow. Those times are amazing.
I still can’t get used to hearing people praise my writing, and the soaring, flying feeling I get when I read another review by someone who has really loved and connected with my stories is second to nothing.
I really think, to quote Terry Pratchett, “writing is the most fun anyone can have by themselves”.
And the least?
I find it very difficult to judge my own work, and it rarely quite feels good enough. I get too attached to a piece occasionally, and when I know it is not quite right, I can spend months glaring at it.
It is awful when the right words won’t come, because you get locked into a worrying cycle of “will the words ever come back?” which of course, makes it even harder for the words to come back.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
First write it all out. Don’t worry about the order, the structure, anything, just write it. Then go back and edit like mad. Do this until you feel you could recite every word, and you feel sick of it. Then put it away for six months. Come back to it with fresh eyes. Ask yourself, “is this saying what I want it to say? Is it making me feel the way I want it to make my reader feel? Do I tell the reader something I have just shown them?” Edit madly again. Squint at it until it is right. Then send it out to as many beta readers as you can. Not your Nan, your next door neighbour and your partner; people who can be objective, tell you what didn’t sit right, what questions they felt were unresolved. Edit again.
Ignore all of that (except the bit about beta readers) and do it Your way. However you choose to do it, have confidence in yourself and your writing.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am pulling all of the final things together for my next short story collection; Strange Worlds – Surreal Stories and Tainted Tales.
Another dark fantasy/scifi fairytale collection (including vampire slobs, slightly sexy zombies, aliens, a modern day sleeping beauty/frog prince story and a night in the mind of a would be murderer), but this one a lot longer than my first, with more stories and more detail.
I feel much more confident about the processes involved, and have learned so much since bringing out my debut. I am really excited to be bringing it out early next year, whereas I was terrified during the pre-release tweaks of Strange Love. It took a lot of courage and encouragement for me to gain the confidence to publish the first time, but I can’t wait to get stuck in again. I have a feeling this could get addictive…
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Strange Love – Short Stories and Twisted Tales is a collection of 10 short stories and flash fiction pieces sharing the theme of love, at its most beautiful and its most twisted. It includes chilling take on Snow White, non-human viewpoints, a brutal mutation of love and a heartfelt depiction of it.
It has had some lovely reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and various blogs, all of which can be found on my website http://victoria-pearson.webs.com one reviewer said that she’d “recommend this collection to anyone who has ever loved anyone, human or animal or anything” and said it should be “required reading” whilst another compared it to a box of chocolates and called it a “treasure chest of literary gems”. You can find out all of the information on Strange Love and Strange Worlds, as well as any future releases on the above website.
I also post some of my short stories, flash fiction and verse on my bog: http://victoria-pearson.blogspot.com/
And connect with me on Twitter, https://twitter.com/vspearson
and Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6457491.Victoria_Pearson
Or head straight on over to my Amazon author Central page: http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Pearson/e/B008J4NU92/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1352666747&sr=1-2-ent
Thanks to Victoria for sharing her thoughts with us, on Friday we welcome Jason Reeser to the hot seat.