Victoria Pearson's latest publication "Strange Love Short Stories and Twisted Tales", a collection of ten short stories is being hailed as "A Simply Beautiful Debut" while Victoria is described as "a talented young author whose quirky view is brilliantly translated into beautiful prose, and is certainly one to watch."
Welcome Victoria, tell us a little about yourself – are you a Vicky or a Tori? and what drives you to write?
Thank you for having me Julia, this is so exciting for me, my first author interview!
Firstly, I am most definitely a Tori. I was Vicki when I was younger but I went for an extended stay with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania when I was 14. My aunt is also Victoria, and preferred Vicky. I changed my name because it was easier, but I found I preferred Tori. It rhymes with less horrid sounding words like icky and sticky for one thing.
As for what drives me to write, I don’t remember a time before writing really. It has always been a part of who I am. Even as a child I would make up songs and short plays with my sister and cousins, try to sell newssheets to my neighbours (some of whom even obliged and stumped up the 10p, bless them). As a teen I wrote dreadful heartfelt poetry and kept long pointless diaries.
Then, when I was 16 I wrote and edited a feature for the Guardian newspaper. It really gave me the confidence in my writing ability. I started writing short stories, and found I really enjoyed it, I gave some away as birthday and Christmas presents and they were well received.
When I recently started blogging my stories I realised people (who weren’t friends of mine) enjoyed reading them, which has given me the confidence to put them out there.
But I would write them even if no-one wanted to read them, because otherwise I lie awake at night with these characters and plots and new worlds swirling around my brain and the only way to stop them is to trap them on paper.
A very impressive pedigree! Do you have a particular role model?
I don’t know if I would use the word role model (because every writer likes to think they are unique, right?), but there are lots of writers I admire. I love Neil Gaiman’s darkness and his imagery. I can’t list all of the things I love about Terry Pratchett’s work. I love the detail in David Eddings worlds and the richness of his characters. I love the way Paul Auster leaves his audience guessing, right to the end. I could go on all day. I read a lot of different authors, across a lot of genres. Any writer that can completely immerse me gets my utmost respect.
Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" is the book I wish I'd written! All great favourites of mine too. Moving on, what’s your proudest achievement?
I am ridiculously proud of my children, who are turning into lovely people who stand up for others and always question everything.
Professionally speaking, I am very proud of Strange Love. It has had some fantastic reviews (including high praise from people that I don’t actually know) and I jumped up and down squealing when I got my first sale that I couldn’t attribute to a friend or family member (very out of character), but I do hope my proudest ever achievement is yet to come.
Every writer so far has said their family and children are definitely their proudest achievements, that's a lovely thought. And books do become a little like children don't they? I have to ask, any regrets in life?
I used to waste a lot of time and mental energy regretting things that were in the past. It even started to affect my health. Then one day it hit me. I am happy with my life as it is now. If I went back in time and changed anything, circumstances might have led me to a different future. I think life is a learning experience, so when life hands out a negative I try to learn from it, recognise what I can’t change about it, change what I can and move on. At the very least you get a bit wiser.
I'm in total agreement, some events aren't so special, but without them, we'd all be in a different place. On to your secret ambition?
To take over the world! Mwahahahaha! Oh, you meant seriously? Ok…
I’d secretly love to live in a hobbit house/smallholding and be a bit of a self-sufficient hermit. I rather think Hubs likes his home comforts a little too much though so it may be an unattainable dream.
Next on the lifetime dreams list is to earn enough money from writing that I can run a little second hand bookshop that no-one ever shops in, writing and reading the day away in the quiet. Two of my three kids are boys. I survive in a very noisy environment, I miss quiet during the school holidays.
There's a little of Bernard Black (from Black Books) in all of us I think! But clever you, making sure of at least one daughter. Lastly, what's next on the agenda – more short stories with a twist, or can we look forward to a full length novel?
I do have plans for another Strange Stile Stories collection (I won’t tell you the working title as I don’t want to give anything away.)
I have been working on a full length novel for a while now (working title The Soul Bus – but that is subject to change as I am terrible with titles) which is nearing completion.
I also posted a short story called Before Digital Dreams on my blog. Several people said they thought it could be expanded, or asked me what happened with their particular favourite character so I decided to make it into a mini trilogy of short stories. Then when I started noting down ideas it grew and grew and is currently standing at 20 000 words and growing. I’m not sure now what it will end up as but it is at the exciting stage where it almost writes itself, so I am having fun with it, if nothing else.
It sounds intriguing, thank you so much for dropping by to chat. Readers can keep up to date with all Victoria's current and forthcoming projects by joining Victoria's blog or dropping by facebook - scroll down for links.
Victoria Pearson lives behind a keyboard somewhere in rural Bedfordshire, attempting to write amidst the chaos being married with three children creates. She has a cat (called Mog) and a dog (that her family refused to let her name Dog) because Aristotle said that to be a balanced person you need a dog to adore you and a cat to ignore you (and because the other cat buggered off without even leaving a note).
She spends most of her time creating new worlds, characters, and religions, so is often found wearing odd socks, with unbrushed hair and a faraway look in her eye.
You can keep up with all the news about Strange Love and any further releases on Victoria's website http://victoria-pearson.webs.com (links to stockists of Strange Love are in the Contact section of the site) or Victoria's facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaPearsonWriter
Or find Victoria on Amazon author central https://www.amazon.com/author/victoriapearson
(amazon.co.uk version) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strange-Love-Short-Stories-Twisted/dp/1477588396/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341861678&sr=8-1
(kindle version) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008KGT83G