Vanessa Wester is bilingual in English and Spanish, since she was born and raised in Gibraltar. She first moved to England to further her education, and obtained 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 organizations. She still teaches maths 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.
Her debut novel, HYBRID (The Evolution Trilogy) was released in March 2012 via Smashwords and May 2012 on Amazon. Since then she has published COMPLICATIONS, the second book in the Trilogy, and has also released another short story called FIRST DATE, which is based on her true story.
In addition, she co-founded the SHORT STORIES GROUP (www.shortstoriesgroup.blogspot.com), and publishes adult anthologies to raise funds for a range of charities. She has also compiled two children’s anthologies,(www.kids4books.blogspot.com), again in aid of good causes.
She now lives on the Isle of Wight, UK.
What inspires you to write?
I started writing to release all the ideas floating around in my head. I put my teaching career on hold whilst I had children and needed to find something I could do at home that allowed me to use my brain…
Tell us about your writing process.
At first, writing was obsessive. I would write at any moment I found, sometimes even 10 minutes. For the last year, I have worked hard to complete my Trilogy and it had been really difficult at times to stay committed to the one story. My family had to come first. I have written all the other ideas down and hope to continue them in time.
I have gained huge respect for writers as a whole and admire the work that goes into producing a book a lot more now that I actually try to do it myself… Now that my youngest has started school I am going to try to dedicate more time to writing, but if you are finalizing a book a lot of time goes towards the edits.
I think there is a process in writing a book… writing it is hard, but being happy with what you have written is near enough impossible (for me anyway).
My advice would be to write the story first. Brainstorm the characters and setting as you go, or if a series think about the end point. Although sometimes the story tells itself as you write it, let this happen. If you try to keep a tight reign on your initial idea you might be there for a long time if it does not work. Don’t be scared of ditching 10,000… it’s a lot of words, but if they don’t add anything they have to go.
I find that writing is when I have fun… and that is why you write fiction.
For non-fiction, its a different game. I wrote one piece of non-fiction, but since it was based on my experience no research was needed! Phew… I have huge respect for non-fiction writers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I visualize my characters, I watch them have conversations in my head… like watching a movie.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write to explore ideas and be creative, not for personal gain.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I would recommend you try the traditional route first, and then if you become disheartened explore self-publishing. I tried to get an agent, but gave up too quickly. I had an agent later ask me “why did you self-publish?” months later… sometimes I wonder. From what I know, unless you sell thousands of books no publisher will touch your book once it has been self-published.
The reason for publishing was my iPad! I had downloaded loads of free books and realized a lot of them had been published via smashwords, so I investigated. After publishing there, I realized Amazon was the Godzilla of ebook selling… so made way over there…
I use both, but have gone exclusive with amazon for a few months to enable me to make use of the free promo’s via KDP – they do have limited success. Some authors have thrived on them, I am currently, unfortunately, not one of them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I hope that in time authors who do not bother to give much thought to cover design, description, formatting and editing will have their books rejected for publishing by Amazon. Smashwords has a stricter policy on formatting in particular.
If all authors are acknowledged as having achieved a minimum standard, those of us that do bother to put the work in might get rewarded for our efforts and be on a par with traditional authors. Until then, self published (SP) books will never be the same.
I currently prefer reading traditionally published (TP) books to SP, although I am lucky enough to have found some real gems along the way. And at times, TP books are so long and tedious you wonder where the editor was?
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
paranormal, romance, thrillers, suspense, young adult, horror
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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