Interview with Vicky_Nfs
1. When did you decide that you wanted to start writing?
That wasn’t too long ago, actually. If I remember correctly, it was sometime during February last year. Up until that very moment, it had never even crossed my mind to write my own story. I’ve always been an avid reader, at least, ever since I was about 12 years old, but never did I do as much as even think of making a story of my own.
It’s by discovering Wattpad that I noticed how so many ‘normal’ people wrote stories, that I decided to give it a try as well. I’ve always had the most random and vivid dreams and it was after one of those funny dreams that I decided to write it down. The dream involved my little brother and I wanted to remember the dream perfectly for when I was about to tell it to him. But, soon enough, I added some fictive characters, fictive events and that was the beginning of my very first story.
I still don’t know why I started to write in English though, because that isn’t my first language. But, for some unknown reason, it works better for me this way.
2. What is your writing process?
It all starts with an idea, a concept or a very basic storyline. Sometimes it starts with a dream, as cliché as it may sound, but it’s the truth. When I have an idea of what the story will be like, I just let the creative part of my brain do the rest. It doesn’t work for me to sit down and write an entire outlining of a story. No. Most of the times I come up with events, scenes and ideas in a more subconscious way. I won’t intend to think about the story but then randomly, ideas will pop into my head. Then I work those into the outlining/planning of my story and little by little, the storyline gets completed.
When I know what will happen, I start to write – really write. And, I can do that anywhere. I don’t have a specific place where I write. It all depends, somehow I find it easier to write on my bed, other times I can only focus while sitting at my desk, at the living room table, on the floor, outside…
Something else I tend to do before I start to write, is listen to music that I somehow associated to the story I’m about to write. Or, I watch certain movies, tv series or even read books that have to do with the story I’m working on. I always find that extra inspiring and motivating.
3. Do you plan out your books, or just go with the flow?
It’s not that I sit down and plan my storyline. At least not as in sitting at a desk, deciding what scenes would make for a good story.
The ideas for a story come to me, at random, and then I’ll put those ideas in order so I know what will happen when I really start to write the story. When I’m writing, I need to know where the story is going, towards what events I need to work, etc… But, of course I have lots of scenes and events that slip into the story, even though I didn’t think of them before that moment.
But yes, to me it is important to have the very basics of my story and only then I can write it.
4. Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not quite sure what you mean by writing style, but I find it easier to write in a first person perspective. I know you have to keep your readers as oblivious to certain details as your main character, your narrator, but personally I don’t like to know everything when I’m reading a book either. You can add more detail and information in your story when you use third person, but I love to try and make the reader see ‘the world’ the way my main character does. The main character may not always have a 100% accurate view on what’s happening in the story, but it makes it more ‘real’ to me.
Also, I prefer to write my stories in the past tense. I have no idea why that is, but I struggle whenever I try to write a story in the present tense.
In general, I just really want the readers to feel what my characters feel, that’s why I try to write my stories in such a way that the reader is able to know what my characters are going through, what they feel, think, want in life…
5. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In a certain way there are definitely ‘real’ things mixed up in the story. I think it’s inevitable for real experiences to end up in your story, even if it’s only characteristics of people in real life, your view on the world, and other simple things like that. None of my stories are biographic though, but certain things are based upon real life events, although they’re most likely altered to fit the story in a better way.
All in all, I find that adding small bits and pieces of real life to your story while writing, will make it seem more realistic to people. It’s easier to write about the things you know (be it feelings, events, people,…) and I’m convinced that the readers of a book prefer characters and events they can identify themselves with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be possible for the story to happen in reality, but even the most surreal and illogical events can be written in such a way that they make the reader feel as though it could happen, that it could be real. Personally, I think this is very important in order for the readers to be able to identify themselves with the characters.
6. Do you see writing as a career?
In all honesty, writing is still so new to me, especially since I had a hard time seeing myself as a writer – but I think I’ve finally come to peace with it – that I’ve only recently begun to wonder what it would feel like to have one of my stories published.
Writing is a career like any other, but I think I’ll keep it as a hobby. If I ever get any of my stories published, it would definitely be nice, but at this very moment I don’t think I’ll ever be willing to give up all the endless hours of studying and exams to become a psychologist just so I could make a full time career out of writing. Nonetheless, it will definitely make for an enjoyable pastime.
7. Which of your characters is your favourite?
So far, I’ve had fun writing all of them I think. But if I really have to chose one, I think I’d go for Hunter in Absolute Contamination. I loved his carefree attitude, yet, even though he seemed to lose it every once and a while, he always acted to protect Keara.
However, there are still so many characters in my future projects that haven’t really been developed yet, at least not entirely, so I’m sure that there will be many more, and different, ‘favorite’ characters in the future.
8. How do you deal with negative comments?
I haven’t had to deal with a lot of negative comments yet, but I think the first thing I do is re-read the comment, just to make sure I didn’t read it wrong the first time, and then I keep my fingers crossed that I’ll find someone to vent about it.
Once that’s done, I try not to think about it too much and give it a few hours, or even a couple of days before I go over the comments again to see if what the person said could be true. It’s never fun to read negative comments, but they do help to look at your work from a different perspective, and maybe by doing that you can find a couple of flaws that can be corrected or improved.
Everyone has the right to his/her own opinion, and I don’t think that you should let other people read your work when you can’t take a negative comment. However, I’m not saying that mean comments should be allowed, definitely not, but it certainly helps when you can see the positive aspects of a negative comment…if that even makes sense.
9. What was the hardest part to write in your novels?
The bad and sad stuff. I hate it when bad things happen in books, and I’ll always blame the author for making me feel bad. So, when I’m writing sad scenes in my own stories, I always feel like I’m betraying the readers and myself. It takes a lot of mental conversations with myself in which I justify the events I’m about to write, before I’m able to actually write them.
Out of everything I’ve written so far, there was one scene I struggled with the most. I don’t want to spoil anything for who hasn’t read the story yet, but the scene I’m talking about takes place in the tenth chapter of Absolute Contamination. I dreaded having to write that part of the story, and when I finally did, I cried my eyes out. It even got to the point where I had to step away from my laptop and do something else to distract myself. It’s not easy to write when you can’t see your screen through the tears.
10. Have you got any up-and-coming novels that you are planning?
I have several stories I’m working on – some more actively than others, but in the end I hope to be able to finish them all sometime in the (near) future.
I’m still trying to figure out which genres I prefer to write, so the stories I’m working on are all a different genre. I have a teen fiction, a paranormal one, a more mystery/suspense one and even a story that involves aliens. I’m equally excited to work on each and every single one of them, which makes it rather hard to decide which story will be the next I’ll focus on.
11. How personal is your writing?
It’s personal in a way that I still don’t feel comfortable showing it to the people I know in ‘real life’, but I don’t seem to have any problem with it that so many people are reading my stories online.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m afraid those people I know in real life will ‘analyze’ my work and look for hidden meanings. Perhaps I’m the only one who does that to other people’s work, but still, I wouldn’t want anyone to come to the wrong conclusions and be offended by anything I wrote.
12. If you could work with any author who would it be?
I’m not really sure. There are so many wonderful authors out there who each have something I admire in their writing, so maybe I shouldn’t just stick to one author but have some sort of an authors convention where you can work with as many authors as you want to, to share ideas and techniques, views on writing, readers, and all those things.
Some authors I’d love to meet there would be Carrie Ryan, Suzanne Collins, Richelle Mead, Simone Elkeles, Cassandra Clare, Markus Zusak,…
13. How did you come up with the titles?
Would it sound too easy if I said that they came to me? Because that would be nothing but the truth. So far, all the titles I’ve come up with for my books have never needed a lot of consideration. Usually I have an idea of what I want the title to be and then I make a list of different titles that would fit the story. When that’s done, I leave the titles for a bit and a couple of days later there’ll definitely be one title that stands out from the others.
The titles I use are plain obvious to me. It’s like it’s only logical to use them as titles. Mostly they have something to do with the storyline, but then again, isn’t that the case with most book titles?
14. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep on writing? No really, if you truly enjoy writing, then don’t give up on it. Also, if you aren’t too afraid to do it, post your work online. When people comment about it, or when you find out people recommend your work to other people, it is such a motivation to keep doing what you’re doing. However, make sure you keep on writing for yourself and not for others. The moment you realize you’re only writing because other people seem to pressure you into doing it, you won’t enjoy it as much anymore. So, keep on writing, and most of all, keep on writing for yourself.
15. If you could have a meal with any of your characters, where would you take them and who would you take?
Who would I take? I’m not sure actually. Maybe Mylor, the alien from the alien story I’m working on. I mean, if he could take me to his home planet that would be cool. Maybe their food wouldn’t be too bad either? Maybe I’d just have to bring some mac and cheese with me, just to make sure…
16. What was the funniest thing you have ever experienced?
Why is it that whenever you ‘have to’ remember these things, you can’t think of any? There are lots and lots of times when I cried from laughing so hard, but right now I can’t remember any of those moments.
Although, the first thing that comes to mind…
When we went to Prague, with school, my friend and I were seated on a bench at some plaza of sorts. But, we had to share the bench with some people we didn’t know. We may have said some embarrassing things and maybe even some not so nice things about the person who sat next to us, because we assumed no one would understand us anyway. However, shortly after, two people came to talk to that person next to us, and turns out he spoke the same language as us… What are the odds?
17. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I have absolutely no idea. No really, just like the previous question, this is one those questions that are so difficult to answer. At least, that’s the case for me.
If I really could pick anyone and it didn’t have to be anyone famous or anything, I would chose Emma and Lisa. I think it would be nice to be able to have a real conversation for once, rather than having to struggle with the different time zones we all live in.
Then again, maybe I wouldn’t mind meeting my future self either. To get some tips on what (not) to do? However, maybe that would be considered cheating…
18. What are 3 things that you would like to do before you die?
Live a long and happy life? Yes, that would definitely be one of those things. Then, I would also love to make a trip around the world and meet up with all the people I know but that I have yet to meet in real life. And lastly, I would love to see the Earth rise while sitting in a comfy chair on the Moon while listening to some good music and drinking a nice hot cup of coffee.
19. If you could slap one book character, who would it be?
I think that there is at least one character in each book that deserves to get slapped. Whether it is for making the wrong decisions, being oblivious to the obvious or simply for being an annoying person…everyone deserves to be slapped from time to time.
20. Can you tell us some fun facts about you?
I love glow in the dark stars. I love my toothpaste to be extra ‘fresh’. I love soup. I love taking things literally and enjoy it even more when it annoys people. To me, a book is good when I can’t put it down until I’ve read the very last word of it. When I don’t have any problem putting a book down while reading, that’s usually a sign that I’ll never finish it. I’m not a big fan of chocolate. Sticky notes are my best friends. I’m organized messy. I love sleep. When I write, I spend most of the time with my eyes closed, just so I can visualize the scenes I’m writing. I hate the smell of freshly mown grass or the smell outside right after it rained. I’m not a big fan of lightning. I love to give people my opinion. I don’t like to be wrong. I have a collection of empty Fanta cans because at one point in time I was surprised to see just how many different tastes there were, so I kept the cans and now I have more than thirty of them, I think. I need to listen to music when I have a headache. I used to collect (clean!) toilet paper. I love to go to concerts. But most of all, and despite the fact that I’m more of a listener, I tend to talk too much.