We recently released the fantastic Like China by Vanessa Streete. And it’s been taken to like a duck to water! Earlier this month, we thought it would be a lovely idea to chat to Vanessa now she’s a published author, and get a little insight into the world of writing!
What genre is your book? And what drew you to that genre?
I love writing fiction, modern fiction with punch, with a touch of the realistic to it also. I really am just a romantic at heart, but I have a lot of life experience so in with the punches and the bad-boys.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would love to be able to write full time and would like to think that Like China is just the first of many books for the future, with the possibility of screen too. I have twenty-one started, and three of these could be ready to submit during 2018. When I write I tend to write in scenes, not chapters so that’s how I guess I see the future.
Were you good at English when you were at school?
I was, but I absolutely hated school and couldn’t wait to escape. English was the only class I actually really took any interest in if I’m honest.
Do you ever have to do a lot of research before writing?
I do strangely. I people watch a lot, and find myself being that person in the bar alone, or drinking coffee somewhere. I stand in loud night clubs to get a feel for the place, and take a lot of my writing from my past as a Bouncer, as well as other paths in my past careers.
What made you sit down and put pen to paper?
I knew I could do it. My English Teacher ‘Mr Maddocks’ once said I should extend on a scene I wrote for GCSE English, so one day I did. For me writing is an escape, a time-out from reality. Its where I rationalise the world around me, where I spit out all the chaos, and it ends up on paper in some semblance of order.
Do you have a writing schedule?
With a full time job, a lovely husband, crazy eight year old son and two dogs in the house, I grab time where I can. Usually when everyone else is in front of the TV or on the x-box. I write in the car, in the school car park on the daily run, and I do love a scribble when we’re on holiday too. I write snippets on the i-phone notepad and somehow find time to get them onto the lap-top.
How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or did you have a certain reason?
Everyone has a dream, a goal. Mine has always been to be an Author. I never once thought to start a career in journalism or anything, I just kinda always knew I would write a novel or two, and hoped that people would like them enough for me to continue (fingers crossed).
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
No! You have to feel to write. I get right into the characters I build, good and bad, their inner psyches, how they think, what they are, the whole thing. You have to be able to know how something would feel, to love, to lose someone close, to hate, to be angry, to want to survive to be able to describe it with any sort of enthusiasm or passion.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
It’s a scale – If people love the characters and their personalities they’ll like any plot you put before them on paper within reason. Everyone wants the hero to win, the girl to find love and the baddies to get it, right? Though I must confess I do like a good ‘build-up’.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I dislike anything too factual – I like my writing to have a bit of ‘give’ to it, like your favourite jeans. I used to struggle writing about sex, or writing sexy scenes, but age seems to have fixed that, and people can make of these bits what they will. Everyone does it. It’s just how they like it that’s the key to a good readership or following.
Does writing keep you awake or make you tired?
Wide awake – I have literally lost whole days or nights writing, haven’t eaten and used to smoke like a chimney – Quitting was a winner for me.
If you could review Olympia publishers in a few words, what would they be:
They’ve helped make my writing and publishing dream come true, so I’m an Olympia Fan! Exceptionally professional and exceptional for the ‘first time writer’. There really is nothing to be scared of – We all have to start somewhere and I am glad they chose me!
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