Interview with Australian Author – Vicki Wilson
“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Vicki – Some of my favourite memories growing up are me telling stories to my younger brothers. They would always beg for a tale, and giggle as I told them some wild and relentlessly tall yarn. They were my first audience (other than my mum and dad) who seemed to truly adore my vivid imagination and sense of humour.
“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?
Vicki – I have always written, for as long as I can remember. I still have copies of all of my earliest drafts complete with my mum’s red pen editing spelling and punctuation. Treasured possessions! I have always adored language; how I can write a word (apple) or a whole string of them (a rotten green apple complete with a twisted, but satisfyingly fat, worm) and suddenly the picture in my head is now in yours, all without saying a thing. It is the best, and most dangerous, kind of magic.
“Australian Authors” – What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Vicki – Without wanting to appear boring; life. Or at least my take on it. Everything I write about is an experience I have lived through, coloured in romanticism and abstraction and sometimes years of thought.
“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?
Vicki – Yes! Currently I am in the midst of editing my manuscript of a twisted fable. I have always adored fairy tales and fables, especially the darker versions. They are so universal and resonate, even in today’s fast paced lifestyle. It was my grandiose intent to craft my own, inspired by those that have come before, as a nod to storytellers everywhere. You can follow that stop-start journey by way of my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dragonflypublishing.au/
“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?
Vicki – Genre isn’t something I think about. It is merely something that comes afterwards when everything is finished and it requires categorisation. I have an illustrated children’s book, poetry, short stories, mysteries and ‘urban noir’. If I were to categorise it, I would say my writing is always a little dark, a little twisted, and a lot romantic (in an ‘mind’ as opposed to ‘heart’ kind of way).
“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?
Vicki – I applaud it’s versatility, the ease of access, the opening up of the market to authors who would not have had the opportunity otherwise. Technology now allows writers to truly have a voice, to tell our story, without being hampered by the restrictions of suits and “pop” culture. As with everything however, the power of eBooks is a double-edged sword. Their popularity has impacted the quality of the work that is out there. Words are driven by the need for more content as opposed to more quality/imagination. As such ebooks have disrupted the ‘art’ of writing, turning it into a way to make money as opposed to a way to be heard. My objection to this other side of ebooks is why my first book was published in paper, I wanted to create art, not only with the story and the illustrations but also with vessel. The paper choice, the cover design, the weight and feel, all come together to present a whole image to the reader, a whole experience. And that is a wonderful thing.
“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?
Vicki – I write. Life doesn’t have a plan, so nor do my stories.
“Australian Authors” – Pen or type writer or computer?
Vicki – Would you believe that I wrote my second manuscript entirely on my phone? I brainstorm and mind map on paper, write on whatever I have on hand at the time (pen, phone, computer) and redraft on my PC. For editing I need the bigger landscape in order to see everything clearly. I would write on the walls if I could.
“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?
Vicki – I am in control but my characters will tell me if I am trying to get them to do something they just wouldn’t do. I always see them standing off to the side with their arms crossed looking petulant. That is when I know I am going down the wrong path.
“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?
Vicki – A little from column A and a lot from column B. People are so complex, I spend a lot of time observing them. If I am intrigued by something, a small habit or phrase unique to someone I may create something similar. People are quirky, I think characters in stories need that quirkiness in order for them to feel real.
“Australian Authors” – Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?
Vicki – All of the time! As with most things in life, if you find the right person, the symbiotic energy created from bouncing off each other is almost explosive. It is a great driving force to meet deadlines, to challenge personal creative boundaries, and to meet a higher standard.
“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?
Vicki – Francis Hardinge – hands down, all time favourite. Brilliant author.
Patrick Rothfuss – astoundingly good.
James McGee – deceptively simple.
“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?
Vicki – I have the privilege of being absolutely no-one. I am a person with a pen and a love of words. I write what I enjoy, what I want to read, that isn’t out there. If you are an author in the same boat, then what I will say is this, trust yourself. You are your audience. Someone out there will hear what you are saying, if you write with integrity (i.e. you are being true to your story). Trust yourself, and never underestimate the universality of the human experience.