Saturday, 29 December 2012

The PINK SOFA welcomes Vanessa Wester

Vanessa Wester is one of the many lovely writers I met on Twitter. Not only is she a prolific writer, a mum of 3 and a witty Tweeter, she is also a great cook and makes lovely cakes and cupcakes, frequently posting luscious pictures on line to prove it. I asked Vanessa to share her writing journey with us. This is what she said:

''I used to write all the time as a child and then a teenager, but as with many things, I lost confidence and became convinced I was no good. It was in 2010, after I watched an interview with Stephanie Meyer that a switch flicked in my brain. I had permission to write - I was not being silly if I wrote. Lots of people did, why not me? I still sometimes revert to my old way of thinking, but I'm glad that a lot of people seem to disagree...

I usually write in our small study on my ancient (but hanging on) computer. Although I have to admit that I started with a notepad as I looked after my one year old, and then transferred it to my PC or laptop. I watched TV and wrote too. Recently, I used a notepad again for a short story. I have to admit that even though it takes longer, the ideas flow naturally, no distraction.

I self-published via Smashwords as I got fed up with wasting time and money posting manuscripts to agents. I got a lot of feedback from self-publishing, which was great, and prepared me for publishing on Amazon two months later, and Createspace a month after that. I actually feel like a publisher now! Recently, I've compiled a book of short stories with 7 other writers; it's called Out of Darkness. Proceeds will go to charity, and we intend to publish collections of seasonal shorts throughout the year. (The PINK SOFA likes the sound of this!) 

The best thing about writing is the complete and utter escapism that comes with it. Creating a new habitat and species (for The Evolution Trilogy) was great fun; it still is. The worst thing about writing (since I am self-published) is the EDITING. So, so hard ....
I stick to a word count of about 2,000 words per chapter, aiming for about 50 chapters, or a total length of 100,000. This was what I was told when I started asking for advice and I have to say it works for me.

The Evolution Trilogy is a SciFi romantic suspense trilogy that charts the way a university student, Steven Thorn finds out he is a Hybrid, and how his attempts to live a normal life and the decisions he makes affect the ones he loves. It started as a series, but I decided to stop after 3 books, with the option to continue in the future. The first book, HYBRID is available from Amazon and Smashwords (Barnes & Noble, Kobo etc). It is also on Smashwords. 

The second book, COMPLICATIONS, follows Steven to a community in the Amazon jungle, where he thinks he has found a safe haven. Steven does not intend to let his hybrid nature dictate who he is, but soon realises he wants his own life and his girl back. The book is just out on Amazon and Smashwords.''

Connect with Vanessa via: Twitter @vanessa_wester. 

Thanks Vanessa. And a special thank you for bringing a lovely selection of tempting home made cakes and mince pies with you. I'm sure visitors to the writing garret are going to enjoy those! Vanessa is staying around to chat, so please join her on the PINK SOFA and find out more about her books.


  1. I'm staying. Witty people and cake are always an attraction. I have brought fizz so move up.
    Very pleased to meet Vanessa and shall beetle off after the cakes to check out her books. Thanks Carol for introducing her to us.

  2. Hello Vanessa, lovely to meet you, I'll stick around for a mince pie or two, and maybe have a read of some of your work, if you have it handy - I love a good read, and your works sound really interesting.
    Joy xx

  3. Also pleased to find cake and wit on offer. The best thing, however, is to find yet another self-publishing success. It can be done! I agree about the editing challenge, though! As always, I appreciate the privilege of a Pink Sofa session. Thanks to both!

  4. Thanks for introducing us to Vanessa. Best of luck to her.

  5. It must be said you do entertain a lot of interesting people upon your sofa. It's also vibrantly reassuring to find that even the most successful authors harbour their own moments of self doubt...which to me, is in itself, a sure sign of a good writer and heartily encouraging to those amongst us who have little, if any, self confidence at all! ( Yep...that'll be me! ).
    It was lovely to meet Vanessa I just hope she wasn't put off by the fact you hadn't hoovered under the Pink Sofa since the Christmas Party!...Thoroughly enjoyed my visit..infact I may just recline here for a while and snooze.

  6. Thanks Carol for letting me sit on your PINK sofa (is it really pink? Looks blotchy in places... ha ha ha) No really, you should see the state of my sofa at home! I'm not fussy, just glad to be so welcome - BIG HUG!

    Thanks to those of you who have commented already...

    Carol, check out my blog for cake recipe's... I do have to take the time to share more of them! I love to bake & cook! I will post my meatballs recipe at some point!

    Joy, second batch of minced pies coming up shortly...

    Christina, "self publishing success" takes time... I think the current climate makes it very difficult for writers like me - the market is flooded... I think, and hope, readers still take the chance with us, but I fear many will revert to traditionally published novels. I am not being negative, just realistic. Price dictates, but quality does too! Personally, I have to ensure quality and price match - this is difficult to ascertain! (Sorry, serious chatter, I know...)

    Kelly, very nice to meet you... thanks for reading :) xx

    Lynn, I am FULL of self doubt... but, through Twitter and the encouragement I receive on a daily basis I am learning to hold my head that little bit higher...

    I think I will also sit back, and have a rest now - all that thinking has made me tired!!! LOL

    Huge hugs & kisses to you all, and a special one for Carol - you are a hoot & a fab friend on Twitter... thank you

    Vanessa :) xx

  7. Vanessa, you sound so lively, lovely and friendly! I shall have to look you up on Twitter! I have so much respect for people who write and look after a young family too. I didn't really start until my kids were out most of the time. I just know I couldn't have done it when they were small. And as for your recipes...well, lead me to them! Carol, thanks for introducing us to Vanessa! I'm terrible at keeping up with my social media absent for days on end, but I blame my boat. Always way too much to do. Still, I'll do my best to be a better virtual Val (but not virtuous..haha) and find Vanessa on Twitter.

  8. Vanessa, congratulations on your self-publishing success! I loved learning about you and your writing. Good luck with all of your writing adventures to come and thanks for sharing the virtual treats!

  9. Hi Vanessa, lovely to 'meet' you and hear your story. Your trilogy sounds wonderful - how did you find writing a male lead?

  10. Venessa, your commitment to your work is inspirational. I'd be too scared to self-publish. And your sci-fi trilogy sounds fascinating... Not to mention the cakes!

  11. I've considered the self-pub route, and I agree: quality is of the essence. As both writer and editor (and reviewer--you could say I like books), it's been my experience that no one is able to adequately self-edit. You're just too close to the material to be objective. Have you found that to be the case?

  12. Morning Carol! Hi Vanessa! Did someone say cake? Yes, Please!
    First let me say, Carol, I love the car. Is it yours?
    I met Vanessa on twitter a few months back and I have read some of her work. Even though she thinks I'm picking on her :-) She does a great job of editing (I hate editing) and her stories do exactly what a story should do. I recently read "First Date" Loved the story and she surprised me with the ending.


So here's your chance! Talk to me. Comments will be visible after moderation.