What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I write mostly fantasy, with a bit of science fiction thrown in. I’ve always imagined what other worlds would be like, and writing about them is one way to explore the possibilities.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
No, I use beta readers, but they only receive the manuscript once it’s been through my editor and I feel that it’s ready to publish.
Can you remember your first reading book?
Unfortunately not, but I do remember some of the first books I enjoyed, like the Narnia books, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Nancy Drew, The Faraway Tree and so on.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
If there are any handy, definitely! It’s usually chocolate or biscuits, but can be anything that doesn’t leave crumbs or make my fingers oily.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Organised chaos. It looks like a bit of a mess, but I know where everything is and, if anyone tidied it, I wouldn’t be able to find anything. There’s a stack of two filing trays on the far right corner, with a lava lamp next to them, and a stationary holder and oil burner in front. Then my monitor and speakers, a container with note paper, with lots of the pieces strewn in front of it – taking up pretty much the rest of that space, along with my coffee mug, pens, highlighters, a lighter, hair band, cell phone, lip ice, nail file and plenty of other items.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
Self-published. My first book was published by a company that I ended up being deeply disappointed in, so I decided to self-publish all future books in order to gain full control over the process. I prefer this to being traditionally published, because, together with my ‘team’, I can ready a book for publishing much faster than if I was in a queue of authors at a publishing company.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
My favourite authors to read are Dean Koontz, John Connolly and Terry Brooks. The first two don’t write fantasy, but all three authors’ books instil a sense of wonder in me, and I strive to do the same for my readers.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Make sure there are no language errors. There’s nothing more off-putting than reading a book filled with errors, and it prevents readers from being lost in the story. Self-edit it from start to finish – repeatedly – until you no longer feel the need to change anything. Then proofread it and hire a professional editor to edit it. I usually try to find beta readers after that, and then I either make final tweaks based on their comments, if any are needed.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Brant Daugherty as Lashlor Leaflin, Michael Malarkey as King Lanaran Dragonsbane, and Jacqueline Fernandez for Queen Narraki Dragonsbane.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
I can’t think of anything, sorry.
Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’. Her passion for the written word started her career as an editor and copywriter, and she part-ran a writers’ critique group for close on seven years. She’s been writing ever since she learnt how, has always been an avid reader, and currently lives on coffee and cigarettes. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.