Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Author Spotlight - Vanessa Fox

Vanessa Fox wears a number of different hats - and is well known to Irish writers as Vanessa O'Loughlin, the powerhouse behind Inkwell writers workshops and Under the name Vanessa Fox, she is the author of True Colours, her highly rated romance debut. A little bird told me she's working on another romance, so keep an eye out for it!
Without further ado, Vanessa's answering the minxy questions:
What is your writing process?
When I’m focusing on writing I get down to the computer and try and do 1000 words before I even think about opening my email – it’s the only way to get anything done! I’m a morning writer although I fill in the gaps and go over words already written in the evenings (actually in every spare minute).
Constructing each scene, I focus on what the reader needs to learn at that particular point and try and ensure that it is delivered without too much deviation. I tend to write the dialogue first, the bones of a chapter, then flesh it out with ‘stage directions’ and description.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I wish I had time for shoe shopping! I usually have several big projects on the go at the same time, all writing related although not necessarily related to my writing! When I do sit down to write creatively, it’s tough to focus so I have to be very disciplined. Even if I only have 20 minutes I make sure I produce real words in that time – but I’ve discovered because the writing is very intense it tends to be more focused (I’ve been told since school that I have a tendency to waffle) which is actually good for me. Sometimes though, finding the words is like pulling teeth – at times like those I just try to write through it or skip on to a bit that I know I want to write, then go back and join the pieces together. I find if I know where I’m going, it’s a lot easier to get there!
Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer? No! What’s an exercise regime?! I do run up and down the stairs and when the weather’s good sporadically have evening walks up the mountain behind my house with my children…does that count?
Do you believe in writer's block?
I think you often get stuck as a writer, but it’s normally because you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere, or a character has said something out of context. The trick is to go back to where it was working and retrace your steps.
Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?
I think we all draw on true life experiences but it’s important to distance real life from fiction or you risk getting sued!
In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
The scary bit is waiting for reviews to come in – it’s one thing spending hours writing but when people are paying for your work and have the freedom to comment on Amazon, you want to curl up and hide! Every writer has a contract with their reader to deliver the best possible work you can, but what if they hate it?!
Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
I’m a complete Twitter advocate, but I think any online forum is a fabulous opportunity for promotion. The trick is not to bore your readers/community and take creative angles on promoting your book. Every connection you make online is a possible new friend, and a friend who might be interested in buying your book. You can’t have too many friends…
What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Get out there, get a professional blog or website, connect and interact with readers through forums, organisations and sites like Goodreads.
What did you learn while writing this book?
That baddies are great fun to write! And I can’t spell, but I knew that already!
What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I love the creating the sexual tension between the male and female characters, presenting them with obstacles that frustrate their relationship. The other fun part was discovering things about my characters that I didn’t know when I started, having major events in the plot developing as I wrote, changing the balance and twisting the plot.
And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
A golden beach on a private island in the Caribbean!

Can you ever forget your first love?
Successful interior designer Alex Ryan knows going back to Dublin will be difficult, but she has no idea of the hidden dangers that await her.
With her father in hospital after a mysterious accident and a new design client demanding her attention, when Alex finds herself in the offices of Venture Capital Ireland the last person she expects to meet is Sebastian Wingfield, heir to the Wingfield fortune - the one man in Ireland she is desperate to avoid.
And the last thing on Sebastian's mind is interior decoration.
But Sebastian is to marry his best friend’s sister, Caroline Audiguet-O'Reilly, in eight weeks time. And as the wedding plans unfold, unknown to any of them, someone is set on ruining him - whatever it takes.
There is no escaping the past, and the night Alex meets Sebastian at Kilfenora House, more than just their TRUE COLOURS are finally revealed.

You can pick up True Colours on here.

Thanks for going minxy for the day, Vanessa!


Maya Blake said...

Oooh, what a lovely cover, Vanessa! Colour me jealous ;) Thanks so much for being here today :)

Romy Sommer said...

Thanks for appearing in our spotlight, Vanessa. As Maya said, lovely cover!

I also love the sound of that beach in the Carribean. Sebastian sounds like he might be just my kind of guy!

Sri Pammi said...

I love the sound of Sebastian, Vanessa...

Thanks for being a minx today!!