Good day, friends! I’m just back from another sit-down in the Starving Kitchens with another review alumni, Vanessa Wester, author of Hybrid and the Evolution Trilogy. Let’s waste no time and see how Ms. Wester whips up her literary recipes!
Please introduce yourself to my literary foodies!
I am a writer of paranormal romance, historical fiction, short stories for children & adults, and blogs! I have three children (who keep me very busy) and also teach mathematics! Since 2010, I have been juggling between writing, reading, teaching, parenting, etc, and find that time passes by so fast these days that I rarely know what the day is anymore!
Do you do any work outside of the writing kitchen? Any non-work interests?
I like to give up my time for charity and have volunteered at the local Foodbank, as well as helping out at my local primary school. I also spend a lot of time in the swimming pool (but not as much exercising as I would like to be honest!)
What is your latest dish to be served up? Are there any past pieces of literary cuisine you think we should take a bite out of?
I have completed my Trilogy & Prequel – visit my blog for more information! www.theevolutiontrilogy.blogspot.com
What made you want to put on the chef’s hat and whip up your own books?
I was tired of being at home looking after children and needed to use my brain for a change. It was escapism at its best. I used to love creative writing as a teen and had forgotten how much fun it was… I have to admit being inspired by Stephenie Meyer, who also has three children.
Do you have a genre of speciality or do you dabble? Why?
Dabble! Why not? This is not a job for me, it is fun! Why limit myself? Although, I doubt I’ll ever write a gory book.
Style! Every literary chef aspires to have their own unique one! What do you think sets yours apart and why?
I like to make the reader feel like they are seeing the story through the eyes of the character. I want to make you think, feel, and aspire to be where that character is. Make fantasy a reality…
Even the best of us find inspiration is the dishes of others. Do you have any literary inspirations, heroes, and influences?
Agatha Christie, Stephenie Meyer, Ken Follett, John Grisham, Sarra Manning, Jeffrey Archer, etc, etc, etc…
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes: the art and craft of writing itself! Do you have a preference of points-of-view when you write?
Yes. I like to write from the point of view of the character. To see the world through their eyes.
Sparse or wordy, how do you like your descriptions served up? Are you a Hemmingway man or do you like some saucy adjectives with your nouns?
Not really thought a lot about this. I am a mathematician not a literary genius! (Hmmm… I could be both?) Let’s just say I write as it feels natural. But, I liken my story-telling craft to the human body. First I get the skeleton down, then add the muscles and fibres, then the skin, and finally the clothing & extras!
Picking off the menu of base literary conflicts, what’s your favorite and why?
I honestly have no opinion on this. But, if I have to add something I’d say that sometimes books that are extremely dull end up winning awards for some bizarre reason! Ha!
What do you think is more important to your recipes, plot or characterization? Why?
This is a tough one… I honestly think both are equally important. I love to cheer for a character, but I also want to know the point of reading a book in the first place. I want it all!
We all know that the first taste means the most! What do you do to get that first bite hook with your readers?
This is something that I think develops as you write more books. An element of suspense is important though… why read on if I don’t care?
The most important of questions: Cake or pie?
CAKE! Definitely… (There goes my waist-line again!)
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to aspiring literary chefs out there, what would it be?
Don’t just think that when you’ve finished a book it is done. The truth is, it is only the beginning! Most of the work happens after you write the book. But, get it down first – then worry!