Q1. Why do you write?
Answer: For the joy of making things up. I've always lived in books - I was reading from ridiculously young age, and my mother signed the whole family up to three public libraries just to get enough borrowing tokens to feed my habit. But sometimes, the story you most want to read just isn't there in any book you've ever found. So you have to write it yourself!
Q2. What books do you wish you could have written?
Answer: I feel about this the way I feel about that old chestnut "Whose life would you most want to swap yours with?" - and the answer is the same: in truth, none (and no-one). I am just happy to have written my own book, and to be proud of it.
Q3. Where do you get your inspiration?
Answer: All writers are magpies. Inspiration can be a place, a smell, a memory; an article in the newspaper; a line in a book or a play or a film; a painting or photo. Or more properly, these are all little clues, and the inspiration is the way several of them come together!
For SLAVEDAYS, the inspiration was a vast wall deep in some idyllic English countryside, around a massive aristocratic estate, that made me think "I wonder why they had to build that?" And that question meshed with research I was doing at the time for work about the 1% and the 99% and widening social inequality. I was thinking about the nature of power, and of elites, and of the seeming impossibility of making a difference - or even just making a tolerable life for yourself - in a world where everything seems stacked against you. And Luke (my protagonist), Silyen (my antagonist) plus Abi and Daisy (Luke's sisters) simply walked out of the story they'd been in and into this world and told me "This is where we belong".
Q4. What is the hardest part of writing, for you?
Answer: Cutting and rewriting. I write very carefully, and revise each previous day's work at the start of every session. Each draft is itself the product of a painstaking process. So to then accept that it could be - needs to be - better, and to tear things up and rewrite (or even discard) is something I find hard.
Q5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
A: Write. Everyone says read, and of course you must. This is the First Great Thing. But to write, you must also ... write. This is the Second and Greatest Thing.
And specifically to Wattpad writers, I would say: write seriously. Respect your readers' time, and your own talent and ambition. Don't dash off rubbish and stick up any old thing. If it's worth two hours of your time to write to write a short chapter, it's worth another hour of your time to read, edit, and revise it. Your readers will thank you, and your own skill and confidence will increase.
Q6. Do you have any exciting news that you'll like to share with us?
Answer: The SLAVEDAYS trilogy has been bought by PanMacmillan for six figures at auction, and will be published in the UK and Commonwealth in Spring 2017. US/Canada and foreign-language rights are pending.
For updates, or to ask Vic any questions on her publication journey, follow her author Facebook page or on Twitter. See links below in comment box.
Bonus question added. This option was offered to everyone.
#5Qi - August 28, 2015