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 writing.ie. 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
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
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
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
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
ABOUT TRUE COLOURS:
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
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.
Thanks for going minxy for the day, Vanessa!