Wednesday, April 11, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, VICTORIA WATSON

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "LETTING GO", VICTORIA WATSON

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Hello Victoria, thank you for allowing us this interview. Tell us about your current novel "Letting Go".

“Letting Go” is a collection of eight short stories, all with a twist in the tale. The common theme in each of these stories is how one split second can change your life. Most of them are quite dark tales but I like to think they reflect real life. The eight stories have a range of characters and voices in lots of different situations. So far, I’ve had some really positive feedback from readers which is great!

Now you are a very well-educated young lady. Tell us how this has helped you in your writing ability.

I went to university as a “mature student” – I was 21 when I started my undergraduate degree. While I was at uni, I only allowed myself to read for pleasure during the holidays but towards the end of that degree, I started to get bored with the novels I was reading – I thought I could do better.

So, after graduating, I decided to enrol on a Masters in Creative Writing. I was writing reviews of concerts and plays for my local newspaper so I was becoming very confident in my factual writing but I wanted to know more about the mechanics of fiction writing.
I did the course over two years as, by that point, I was working full-time too and the course was absolutely invaluable to me. I made some amazing friends who understand what I’m going through as a writer. It’s great to have supportive family and friends but you need a group of writer friends who really understand what you mean when you say “writer’s block”.

You've done some writing for quite a few magazines and papers: tell us about some of the articles you've done.

In 2009, I was awarded the title of “Young Reviewer of the Year” by Evening Chronicle which is the main newspaper here in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK). I was chosen out of 10 young writers who, for 12 months, got sent – free of charge – to various gigs and shows and had to write reviews which were then subsequently published. Some weeks I did three or four things and I have seen some wonderful bands and artists. I saw Yoko Ono’s sold-out show at Gateshead’s Baltic and I even managed to review Russell Brand’s stand-up show even though he’d banned press! What a rebel, eh?!
Now I write reviews for Waterstones online and have had the privilege of being in Closer magazine for one of my book reviews. I also post reviews on my blog and at Goodreads.com

Tell us more about your "Home Tomorrow" Anthology.

“Home Tomorrow” was published by 6th Element publishing after Writer’s Block North-East ran a competition looking for stories on the theme of ‘home tomorrow’. I was lucky enough to be picked with several other great writers. “Home Tomorrow” is available in print and for download.

What other genres have you ever thought about writing in?

When I started my Masters I never dreamed that I’d be writing the kind of stories I write now. I was so used to reading chick lit and I felt that I had an original idea for a romance novel but, as I progressed through the course, I became more confident and experimented with lots of different genres. Generally, I’d say my stories are noir or crime, maybe psychological thrillers. But I wouldn’t rule out the idea of writing a chick lit book. I have so many ideas in my head. I think it’s a shame when writers are pigeon-holed. Look at Roald Dahl – he wrote stories for adults and children successfully and now JK Rowling is branching out too. I think that’s great for writers like me – it opens publisher’s minds.

Who are some of your favourite literary inspirations?

Roald Dahl is my favourite all-time author. I have loved his stories since I was very young. As an adult, I love books that not only entertain but teach you about parts of the world that I don’t know a lot about so I adored Khaled Hosseini’s two books: ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ because they taught me about a culture I didn’t know a lot about. I really like Tony Parsons’ books because he sets a lot of his stories in the Far East. One of the finest books I’ve ever read – for originality – is ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver.

What can we expect from you next?

I’m working on some more short stories. I’d like to write a collection about modern life in the Middle East as I have spent a little bit of time there and the differences in certain places are astounding. I do have a novel that I’m about a third of the way through; I’d really like to get that off the ground as I had some great feedback when I first started writing it during my Masters.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a little girl, I used to fold pieces of paper up and make books. I’ve gone on from there really!

Give us an idea of an ordinary day in the life of Victoria.

I still work as well as writing so it’s pretty busy! I usually work 10-3 and I like to write on an evening although I’m easily distracted! I’m addicted to Twitter and post a lot of Tweets through the day. I’m lost when I can’t get on Twitter. I like Facebook too and use it to speak to writer buddies. I love springtime when the sun emerges and the rabbits start hopping about in the garden: when it’s spring, I sit in the conservatory and look at the garden while writing. In spring and summer, I like to go out into the countryside as I find being somewhere I love really fuels my imagination. Other days, I sit in bed and write without ever getting dressed.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

I have lots of advice for aspiring writers. Keep writing, even if you’re writing drivel at least you’re writing! You need to find a rhythm to your writing. Find a time that works for you – some people get up at 5am and write before work. I’m a nightowl and write into the night, it depends on the individual. Develop a thick skin – you will get rejection and you will get negative reviews. You can’t please everyone all of the time. Get involved with other writers – find a writing group either locally or online – there are people similar to you who will share their experiences with you.

If you live in the UK, you can download ‘Letting Go’ at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-Go-ebook/dp/B007A6VAVA/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

For US readers, ‘Letting Go’ is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-ebook/d....31245891&sr=8-1

You can read my blog at: http://elementaryvwatson.wordpress.com
I’m available on Goodreads as Victoria Watson and on Twitter as @vpeanuts

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