I'm starting the week with another writing journey interview with another awesome author today.
Here we go...
Who are you and what do you write?
My name is VK Tritschler and I write most things, which although not particularly helpful as I don't fit into a specific genre, it is the reality. My last book was a romantic comedy called The Secret Life of Sarah Meads. I wanted to explore the concept of a character who gave all the appearances of coping with life, but secretly wasn't. Because realistically I think life for heroines is beyond the handsome princes and flowing hair. This year I have multiple books coming out including a sci-fi multiverse adventure, and an Australian romantic suspense which is very exciting. On my laptop I have another romantic comedy and a psychological thriller both underway, so who knows what else might slip off my page this year!
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I would like to say I have always been a writer, and perhaps in a way I have. I liked poetry as a child. But the honest truth is that I started writing only about five years ago, and until I joined my local Eyre Writers group I didn't have the support or the knowledge to be able to achieve my goals of novel writing. Now as my writing improves, and my knowledge grows I have got myself a publisher, a support group and a much better sense of where I am going as an author.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
There are so many highs and lows as an author that it's hard to put it all into a single paragraph. Learning to take feedback and grow from it was hard, but it has greatly improved my work. I submitted Sarah Meads several times before sinking into despair that I would never be good enough, but I got encouragement from friends and family and made it a reality. Would I change how I got here? Absolutely. But that book gave me a platform to experiment, grow and learn from, which was priceless. And now as I progress into multiple books I am more confident that I can get the time frames right for the best outcome and I know that rejections are par for the course.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part is the "Dear John" letters from publishers. Nobody likes to put their soul into a piece of work to have a generic "no thank you" reply. But each time I edited my angle, re-edited my script, and re-focused on my goals until the "no" became a "yes". Then I cracked a bottle of wine. Because I think it's also really important to celebrate the wins as you go as much as you feel the losses.
Would you go back and change anything?
Absolutely! I should have edited my books more thoroughly the first time (I am keeping some copies of the original print to remind myself), and worked on getting my pitch right. But also, and I think this is equally important, I shouldn't have given up on myself so easily. I wanted to traditionally publish my first book, but I couldn't take the rejection letters at the time. The other side of that coin is that I would never have learnt the skills I have now for promotion and brand awareness as an author, which I think is almost as important nowadays as the books themselves. Every author, regardless of their publishing choices, needs to consider themselves a marketable item and how you present yourself is key.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? What are your plans for the future?
I have always been a go big or go home kind of person. As my network of readers and author colleagues is growing I am embracing calling myself an author. I don't want to be a part-time anything one day, so I know that I have to work really hard to achieve my desire to earn enough to live comfortably off my work. But I also know that I will make it.
What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
2. If you don't know, ask - there are plenty of authors out there that will happily share their experiences. You don't have to learn everything the hard way.
3. Dream big. If you want to be famous, be famous. If you want to make money, make money. If you want to write obscure remote fiction on an island in the middle of the Pacific with only yourself and a stray dog, do it. You are the maker of your own success. Be that person.
And, most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Ketchup - although local slang would say Tomato Sauce
Night or Day? Night
Inside or Outside? Outside
Dogs or Cats? Both
Twitter or Facebook? Both - (be that brand ambassador!)
Ebook or Paperback? Paperback (its a touch thing for me)
Walk or Drive? Drive
Sun or Rain? Rain
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? Comedy - the world has enough drama already
Chips or Chocolate? Chips
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