• VK Tritschler

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...

Who is the fairest of them all, would be the next line in this story, and frankly there is hardly a person in the English-speaking world who wouldn't have picked up on that. Why? Because there are phrases from stories that transcend time and age. But here is the kicker - we even wrote that line? The story we know is derived from a fairy-tale once written down by both the brothers Grimm, and a Frenchman called Giambattista Basile.

So as I was working on my next book the other day, I wondered if I would ever have the brilliance to write a simple yet pervasive line in a book. One that would surpass my name and enter the lexicon of known phrases. Or are my words only ever destined to make a hasty exit into the bottomless barrel of literary knowledge within my own lifetime? Time will be the one to tell. But I rather fancy making up a single word in a Shakespearean effort to attach something new to the world. So this month I will be writing again, and fingers crossed it might be the golden ticket.

Let's find out what some other authors are doing with their time this month.

This month's authors:

Corey Toomey

Corey is an American author who has just recently completed his first book. I was keen to see how things have gone for him so far:

With your novel Heather's Mannequin you have a leading character with a disability. What drew you to create this character and why do you feel it resonates with readers?

As someone with a disability (deafness), I can relate to the debilitating nature of it. I could write about the theme with relative ease, and said ease while writing was important because of this being my first book. My main character is an amputee with prosthetic limbs. I was aiming to create a literal/visual representation of trauma and psychological wounds. As the story goes on, the reader can see there's something seriously wrong with the main character. We all have demons, whether you're a survivor of childhood abuse, sexual assault, or saw things during wartime, we're all damaged goods somehow. My main objective with this book is to answer the questions: "How can damaged people survive in a dangerous world?" and "Should we let our trauma define us?"

What was the most difficult challenge you faced when writing your first book, and what would you have done differently if you had a second chance at it?

Definitely the editing process! I put Heather's Mannequin through 13 drafts, each done with a different approach (iPhone draft, audiobook draft, hard copy draft, etc.) I really had to apply myself to clean up the prose and improve the flow to the best of my ability. It got frustrating at times but I'm glad I put myself through it. I learned a lot about myself as a writer and a person. One thing I would've done differently is built a social media presence before publishing the book. Every writer needs a veritable network, and books don't just take off on their own.

Where do you get inspiration to write and what does your writing space look like?

I've been something of an outcast for much of my life. Subconsciously, I learned early that the best way to express myself was through writing. I love creating worlds and characters, it's my high. I have what you call an "on-the-go" workspace. Sure, most of my materials are at my desk but even when I'm outside I have my iPhone with me. This allows me to work on my projects anywhere. I'm very, very mobile.

How much time do you allow for writing in a normal week, and what does that time look like? ie writing, editing, marketing, social media - how do you spread your time?

It varies. I have a blog that I try to hit a nightly quota for. I do this writing exercise to put me in the habit. I'm still trying to get into the "stream of consciousness" style of novel-writing where I'm not overthinking things during the first draft. At the moment, I'm on Twitter a lot of the time but I am starting to shy away from it. People in the #WritingCommunity seem to be more interested in self-promotion than helping each other, which is fine. It's not the only tool you should have in the social media shed. I'm still getting the hang of the digital marketing aspect.

Corey loves to catch up with his readers via a range of social media accounts at:

I hope you can take a moment to offer support for him by checking it out, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!

Kirsty Ferguson

Kirsty is an Australian author who has written several books and is preparing for her next big release in June 2020 of "Never Ever Tell". As the countdown starts, I was keen to chat to her about what is happening in her world and how she got there.

What is your favorite genre to write in, since you are adept at a few, and why?

My favorite genre is crime and always has been. I like to see where the story goes, how and why people do what they do and how the end result and consequences affect them. After five years of mainly writing straight crime, with police procedural as the main focus, I changed to the sub-genre domestic noir. My protagonists are female and are deeply flawed individuals. They are mothers who are fiercely protective of their children. The why? I like to deconstruct characters. I now write character-driven novels as I find it a much better fit for me.

What inspires your stories?

I have written for as long as I can remember. My stories come from a variety of places such as dreams and nightmares, a random line in a newspaper article, a song lyric. Sometimes just sitting in front of a blank document sparks an idea. I don’t tend to suffer from writers’ block so I am very fortunate that way.

As a prolific writer, what process do you use to stay on track with your work?

I’m one of these people that when I start a novel that I can’t wait to write, I have the need to finish it. I get so caught up in the story that sometimes I just write until it’s done. Sometimes I give myself a self-imposed deadline, or I write a certain amount of words per day to keep me honest. I love world and character building and I have a desire to see how they develop, what the characters think and feel and how it affects their relationships with people around them.

Who is your favorite author and why?

That’s a tough question. I very much admire Gillian Flynn, the way she can weave a plot in and out of the character’s lives making it seem real enough that you truly believe. When I read Gone Girl, I was completely captivated. The twists, the turns, the ending.

I also love Loreth Anne White. Her novels are set in Canada and I swear when reading them, you can actually feel the frozen crunch of snow under your feet, feel the biting air nipping at your face. Her psychological thrillers are on point, the plots are tight and the main characters well rounded.

Primarily, Kirsty likes to use her social media accounts to engage with her readers and followers. She writes about her books, the creative process, and a few funny memes. She also sells books at markets where she can meet and greet people, and have a chat.

I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking them out, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!

I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler

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