Tag Archives: writer

There’s always a silver lining.

8 Dec

Hello, everyone. A very warm welcome to my blog.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-cancer_survivor-writer

 

Maya Angelou is a poet I admire greatly. I love her quote:

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

That quote is one of my favorites because it’s so true. There are people I will always remember fondly. I may not remember every word uttered between us but I do remember the good feelings they brought out in me. Sometimes people underestimate the power of a kind word or gesture. But I know it could change someone’s life. I am so grateful for all the kindness shown to me during this difficult time.

I had a huge setback. I had a couple of days where I felt some improvement in my recovery after my hysterectomy surgery and then things began to go downhill. I’ve always recovered quickly from illnesses and past surgeries and I had no reason to believe that things would be different with this surgery. But around day 3 my pain level increased and I began getting fevers.

I couldn’t eat or sleep and became very lethargic. I called the surgeon’s office but they kept assuring me that everything I was going through was normal. I know my body and I knew I should have been seeing at least a little improvement everyday but instead, I was deteriorating quickly. Finally, after my husband placed a few more calls, because I was too weak to do it myself at this point, we were told to come to the office.

I went in to the office and when they saw the state I was in they sent me to the emergency room. After several tests in the ER a Cat-scan revealed that I had three abscesses growing in the area of the surgery and I was admitted to the hospital. The surgeon had found bowel adhesions attached to my pelvic cavity wall and repaired them, but in the process he accidentally introduced bacteria into my system. The abscesses were drained the following evening because my potassium was very low and they couldn’t sedate me until my potassium level was back to normal. The reason my potassium level was low in the first place was because I hadn’t been eating or drinking since the surgery. Between the pain, nausea and lethargy I couldn’t eat. After the abscesses were drained (a painful procedure) I felt some relief. I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and I feel that things are finally going in the right direction. I was discharged with the drain attached, so a nurse will come over to my house to help me with that.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-cancer_survivor-writer

But it isn’t all gloom. The silver lining is that the surgeon told me that the pathology from the surgery showed that although the cancer was in the uterus the lymph nodes were not compromised, so by taking everything out I’m cleared of the cancer. Yay! I feel the worst is behind me and I’m looking forward to enjoying the holidays.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers, good vibes, sweet comments and healing thoughts. This is the first day I’ve felt up to getting on the computer, I apologize for that, but my husband has been reading the comments to me and I couldn’t be more touched or more grateful. I appreciate each and every one of you. I will begin “Poetry Friday” again next Friday.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-writer-uterine_cancer-survivor-twitter

Q & A Tag – The Writer Next Door

16 May

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to thank Marjorie Mallon from KYROSMAGICA for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Marje is a writer, book reviewer, and all around great person. She has a fun and colorful blog that is all about the magic of writing, her love for books, crystals, laughter and much more, so be sure to check it out.

kyrosmagica-The Writer Next Door-Marjorie Mallon-Vashti Q

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating writers, bloggers, books, and writing. It is also a great way to discover or know more about our online friends in the writing and blogging communities.

Following are the questions that Marje Mellon prepared for me and my answers.

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

 

Hmm. I would interview him.

 

  1. What’s your favorite genre of book and why?

 

I love to read the same genres I write which are fantasy, horror and suspense/thriller. However, I do occasionally read romantic comedies, crime thrillers, and historical fantasies. If someone recommends a book in another genre I may read the first few chapters to see if I like it. I do like to give every book a fighting chance.

halloween-horror-clown-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

  1. Who is/are your favorite author (s), poet (s)? What is it about them that inspired you?

 

Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy. I admire these authors’ imagination and ability to tell a good story in a way that I can play it out in my mind in living color.

 

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Sexton

 

 

  1. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) Too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) Enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) Pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

 

I would tell them a story. That has always worked for me with smaller cousins growing up and with my nieces, nephews and their friends when they were younger. I might join in a little bit of mayhem too––as I suspect you would, Marje. 😉

 

  1. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

 

Nothing made me become a writer. I was born and that’s what I am. My family is very supportive.

 

I’m working on a fantasy series about angels. The first book in the series is called The Fall of Lilith. I’m currently working on some structural issues. I’m also writing the second book in the series, Dracúl.

 

  1. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

 

When my husband and I sold our previous home (it sold much faster than we had anticipated) we had to temporarily stay at someone else’s house until our new home was ready. I did not want to stay in this person’s house but my husband had good reasons to stay there, so we did. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I’d experience hell. The aura in that house was so dark and negative. One of the people living in the house did everything humanly possible to make our stay as horrible as could be. I never felt so uncomfortable and sad in my life. Leaving there was like escaping from hades. However, this experience has made me appreciate my home and my family so much more, and for that I’m thankful. (I know how dramatic this reads)

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

 

I always start the process as a plotter. Somewhere along the line the pantser takes over. I use an outline, sketches, character diamonds . . . I like to begin the novel in an organized way. As I write things begin to change and I allow the story to unfold in a more organic way. I’m generally an organized person but I do have my messy moments. I would guess you’re a plotter, Marje.

 spiral-festisite-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-graphic-art

  1. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings? Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons . . . etc. . . . Make your own observations . . . and let me know.

 

Vashti Q-fun-writer-blog-book-author-facebook

I believe in God and if there’s a God there are good and bad forces. I believe in Karma, mind-over-matter, visualization, meditation, perseverance, positive thinking . . . For the rest––if I could see it, hear it, and feel it, then it’s real.

scary-halloween-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

  1. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

 

When I was a blonde I had my hair color done and it looked good at the beauty salon but when I got home I noticed there were a few areas where the toner didn’t take. Had it happen in areas that were not noticeable I would have left it alone but the brassy areas where very noticeable so I called the hairstylist and she told me to come back in. Instead of adding toner to the areas that needed it she put bleach over my entire head, including areas that were already bleached! I didn’t think that was right but I figured she knew what she was doing as the professional cosmetologist. Well, all my hair broke off leaving me with about an inch of hair all over my head and maybe an inch and half or two inches in the front. I was at the shampoo bowl when she said, ‘Oh no!’ I looked up at her and she showed me a handful of my hair.

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-writer-blogger

  1. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you . . .

 

. . . never know when your time will come, so live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have and the good people in your life.

I nominate any writer, poet or blogger who’d like to participate in this tag. You can answer Marje’s questions or make up your own. Let me know when you publish your post. Have a great day everyone!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Writing Without Rules

25 Nov

RonovanWrites-Silver Threading-The Writer Next Door

Welcome to my blog. Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up every Tuesday and be inspired by all the quotes.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

quotes-Writer's Quote Wednesday

 Writing style like any other type of style helps writers express who they are. A style reveals both the writer’s personality and voice. That being said, I must admit that I am a bit of a literary rebel. I’ve read many books about the rules of writing, grammar, and punctuation but when I sit down to write, all the rules go out the window. I love learning new things and I’m constantly trying to improve my writing. You can say I’m an avid reader and professional student. I do respect most of the laws of writing but I write as the words flow out of my mind and worry about editing later after my thoughts are expressed. I’m not going to worry about some over-the-top grammarians and I’m going to go ahead and split that infinitive, end a few sentences with propositions (It’s not even clear how never-end-a-sentence-with-a-preposition got to be a rule), I will use sentence fragments (sparingly), and if I’m inspired to write a one sentence paragraph––I shall have no fear. I have lost count of how many amazing books I’ve read, written by writers well known for being great, that break these rules (and more). In all cases, editing comes after my first draft is written. I believe this guarantees my writing is authentic and influenced only by my muse.

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Become a better writer

18 Nov

RonovanWrites-Silver Threading-The Writer Next Door

It’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday! I hope everyone is doing well. 

 

Welcome to my blog. Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up every Tuesday and be inspired by all the quotes.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

The Writer Next Door-on-beach-with-laptop

 

“We write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. Manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. We plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. We write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway. This is who we are.”
― Tahereh Mafi

Writing-in-the-Wild

writing-advice-writers

There’s no better advice for writers and I’ll add read, read, read––a lot. 😉

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Help Others

12 Aug

It’s the middle of the week which means it’s time for Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday! Visit Colleen’s blog Silver Threading and become inspired to participate in this fun event.

 

The writing business isn’t what it used to be. The days when writers wrote books, sat back and watched the publishers do all the rest of the work are gone. Nowadays, with the advent of the world wide web, even a writer with an agent, who gets traditionally published has to do a great deal of the marketing and networking. Even the big publishing houses don’t have the resources to put so many people to work on each writer’s behalf. So, what do we do? We work our asses off and we rely on the help of others. Quid pro quo. We help others by visiting their blogs, re-blogging, commenting and liking their posts, sharing their work . . . and we hope that the kindness will be reciprocated. We need each other, because we can’t do it all ourselves. So in the spirit of writers and bloggers helping each other, here is my quote.

 

Writer's Quote Wednesday-The Writer Next Door-Silver Threading-quotes

Quote by John Wooden (An American Coach and Writer)

john_wooden_wisdom_2

John Wooden Wisdom

Another great quote by John Wooden.

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

John Wooden–The Writer Next Door

 

 

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

14 Jul

It’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday! You too can participate in this event. All you have to do is visit Colleen’s blog Silver Threading and join in the fun!

I was also invited to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge by Greg from Potholes in the Road of Life . I encourage you to visit Greg’s blog, it’s full of inspirational articles, lovely poetry, and great photographs. I enjoy visiting his blog and I’m sure you will too.

So I’m combining Writer’s Quote Wednesday and the 1st day of the Three Day Quote Challenge in this post.

The Writer Next Door_Writer's Quote Wednesday_Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega_The Writer Next Door

 I also believe that being yourself and doing what you believe is    right can help you live a stress-free life. Doing what you love means you’ll do great work. And facing almost any bad situation with humor will almost always get you through it.

 

What do you believe?

BLOG TOUR: Author Olga Núñez Miret – Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

18 Jun

Hi all:

First of all thank you very much for taking part in my Blog Tour for Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. Reader, don’t worry, I’m not here forever, just twisting the arm of your favourite blogger and borrowing a bit of space.

 

Olga Nuñez-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Author Olga Núñez Miret

 

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer, translator, reader, and psychiatrist. I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and have recently taken up meditation (mindfulness). I thought I might as well summarise and not take too much of your time. I’ll leave you some links at the end just in case you want to find out even more about me (I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but hey . . . do your worst!).

 

I’ve been writing since I was quite young and I write in whatever style the story I have in my head wants to be written in. So far literary fiction, romance, YA, thriller . . . and a few unfinished works.

 

Around five years ago I discovered and read quite a few interesting Young Adult books and had an idea for what I thought could be a series. At the time I wrote the first of the novels and after trying to find an agent or a traditional publisher without much success, I started self-publishing, but decided to publish some of my other books first. Since then I’ve published 12 books (6 original books and their translations, as I write in English and Spanish).

 

I kept thinking about Angelic Business and a few months later wrote the second novel in the series: Shapes of Greg.

 

And last year, as part of NaNoWriMo I wrote the third novel in the series, Pink, Angel or Demon?

 

As I had written the three, I thought I’d publish them pretty close to each other so people wouldn’t have to wait to know what happened next (at least not too much).

 

The three books in the Angelic Business collection are now available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 each. It’s a bargain price and they’ll go up shortly after publication.

 

Video:

 

<a href=”https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ”>https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ</a&gt;

Don’t worry. My writing is better than my video-creating skills, but as I’d been taking all those pictures of angels, I thought I might as well.

The series:

 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business_Olga Núñez Miret_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

 

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

 

Pink Matters is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

 

Snippet:

 

“Who are you?” Lorna asked. Before she could say anything else, she froze as if paralysed. And the same happened to Sylvia.

 

“Oh no, not again” I said.

 

“Hi Pink. I’m Azrael. I’m…”

 

“Let me guess…You’re an angel.”

 

I could say he smiled but it was more like a white light radiating from between his lips. His voice also seemed slightly “otherworldly”. He was nothing like G. Flesh and blood didn’t seem to be his priority.

 

“Yes. I am.”

 

“O…K….And…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? If you are going to make an announcement of some sort…I could have done with some notice.”

 

The light now seemed to radiate from his whole “body” if that was what it was. Somehow his show was much more believable than G’s. And scarier.

 

“It’s not an announcement as such. But you should know…G…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I know he told you he’s an angel.”

 

I looked at him. Maybe he was different to G but he could be as annoying as him. And interfering.

 

“Yes. I also “know” things…In my case it is because “I” am an angel. He has not been truthful about his identity.”

 

Pink Matters is currently available for pre-order and will be published on June 26, 2015 (Amazon time). So, if you’re reading this post after the 26th of June, you’re in luck and can get the book straight away! (I’m also publishing it in other platforms although as their processing speed is different the dates might vary. Do check there or in my website, that I regularly update).

 

Amazon link

 

In case you’re intrigued, I leave you the cover (reveal!) and links to the other two books:

 

 

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Shades of Greg_Angelic Business_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

What more could happen after the death and resurrection of your mother? What could Heaven and Hell toss at Pink to top that? Well, to start with, she gets a new hellish babysitter, who is seriously hot. And although everybody likes him, he only has eyes for her. When she learns what the price was for the ‘miracle’ of saving her mother, she realises that she must be careful, as Hell doesn’t lose gracefully.

 

One of her friends wants to find the perfect man, the other one gets into a relationship she refuses to talk about, there’s a demon who doesn’t know when to give up and an angel who seems to have his own agenda. What on Earth, Hell or Heaven is going on?

 

Shapes of Greg is available for pre-order and will be published on July 15th.

 

 

Amazon Link

 

And last, but not least:

 

Angelic Business 3. Pink, Angel or Demon?

Pink, Angel or Demon?

OK, OK, OK. Pink gets it. She’s the Elected, whether she likes it or no. Heaven and Hell are closing in, and their envois are closer home than ever. So close she can’t ignore them. And she’ll do everything but.

 

However long she has, she’s determined to make it count. She’ll sort her friends out, she’ll help her family and, she’ll live a bit. And then, she’ll take charge. Because no one will say that Pink went down without a fight. However big and bad the enemy.

 

Gender benders, romances, old loves that come to fruition, new challenges, divine interventions, tears, laughter and magic. All of that and more. Because, if you’re gonna go, you might as well go with a bang.

 

Pink, Angel or Demon? is available for pre-order and will be published on July 30th.

 

Amazon Link

Olga Núñez Miret-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

As I threatened you before, here are some more links:

 

Website

 

Twitter: @OlgaNM7

 

BLOG

 

Facebook Page

 

Amazon Author Profile

 

Goodreads

 

Google+

 

Pinterest: (Don’t miss my board about angels)

 

 

Wattpad

 

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit and post, thanks so much for reading, and as I always tell them in my blog, if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK! Oh, and I love reblogs! Ah, and thanks to http://www.lourdesvidaldisseny.jimdo.com/”>Lourdes Vidal for her covers. 

 

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

27 May

Welcome to my blog! I love visitors. Today is Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Colleen from Silver Threading.

Writer's- Quote- Wednesday-Silver Threading-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's-Blog

I’m a bit of a ‘writing rebel’, so it was no wonder this quote got my attention. There are so many rules in writing nowadays that I wouldn’t be surprised if a group of bitter, disgruntled librarians made up half of them. Just kidding. In all seriousness though, writers need to master all the rules of writing, so that we can then break some of them.

Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog_writing quote

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

Librarian-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-blog

Are there some rules that have you seething out of your writerly mind? What writing rules do you find ridiculous? 

There’s Beauty in Sad Things

30 Mar

Hello everyone! I came across this beautiful poem on my friend Fran’s blog Fran Rose Writes and I had to share it.

Francine Rose Hirst is a charismatic and talented writer and poet. Visit her blog and read more of her poems and interesting posts about powerful and influential events in her life.

impressionistic-painting-girl-Fran Rose Writes-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

Springs Bleeding Heart

by Francine Rose Hirst

 

Spring evokes excitement.
I smell Spring.
I breathe Spring.

And yet.

Spring evokes sadness.
I remember good times.
I cry.

Spring evokes haunting.
Carefree days.
City lights at night.

Spring evokes life.
I watch as an outsider.
A hidden being.

Spring evokes love.
Too much.
I hurt.

Spring evokes passion.
Wasted.
Let me be.

Spring evokes hope.
It has no right.
Set me free.

Spring evokes kisses.
Sweet longing at night.
Mornings alone.

Spring evokes images of you.
Your life.
Shared so freely.

Spring please be over.
I can’t bare it.
Any longer.

My heart bleeds.
Spring’s joy is not mine.
This time.

What does Spring evoke for you? Do you have memories that haunt you? What is your happiest memory?

Q & A with Zee

17 Mar

I’m so excited today! I get to introduce you to one of my favorite people on the web, Zee Southcombe.

zee-southcombe-author-interview

Author Z.R. Southcombe

Z.R. Southcombe is a teacher, children’s fantasy writer, surrealist painter, and all-around cool person. She is the author of recently released picture book What Stars Are Made Of and upcoming chapter book The Caretaker of Imagination.

♥♥♥

About her books

What Stars Are Made Of was released December 17, 2014. Print will be available soon but is currently on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords etc. as an eBook. Click on the book cover below to get a copy for your kindle.

Zee-Southcombe-art-blog-Vashti-Quiroz-Vegaart-zee southcombe-vashti quiroz-vega's-blog

amazon-book-Z.R. Southcombe

 

The Caretaker of Imagination – Will be released 21 March 2015 (The Caretaker of Imagination is available now for pre-orders)

The-Caretaker-of-Imagination

Click on image to pre-order this book

 

Lucy’s Story: The End of the World – Will be released July 2015

Z.R. Southcombe-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's-Blog

And here’s a sneak peek of the illustration for Lucy’s Story (this may be the cover art).

 

Z.R. Southcombe usually has a few creative projects on the go, including a personal blog, and is always inspired by the young people she meets in her teaching job. No matter what project she is currently working on, Zee is usually accompanied by a cup of tea.

Z.R. Southcombe-teacher-artist-writer

Q & A

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
This is a two-part answer. I realised I wanted to be a writer when I was very young, probably about seven years old I think. However, I only actually decided to pursue it a couple of years ago, when I was 24.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
In terms of my writing process, perhaps my quirk is that I’m not a coffee nut but rather an *ahem* ‘tea connoisseur’.
As for my actual writing, although I write books for children, I don’t shy away from deeper ideas and themes that are usually reserved for adults. There were a few things that cropped up from my beta readers – concepts such as mindfulness, and deep loss – that were pointed out as aspects that children might not understand. There’s also a lot of big words in there (e.g. luscious, delectable, scrumptious… apparently I talk about food a lot!) but I see it as a teaching point for children.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing or drawing?
As you well know, being a writer involves a lot more than writing! I enjoy most of the other aspects of my writing life, and most of my day is doing something towards my writing career.
Outside of that completely, I play ukulele & guitar, love hiking (though I haven’t been for a while) and enjoy my teaching day job. Obviously, I enjoy reading, and a typical Saturday night is takeouts and watching some sort of Sci-Fi series with my partner.


What do you enjoy more, writing or drawing?
Yeah, no fair. Can I pass?
I enjoy them both equally, for different reasons. I find it easier to express emotion and self through my painting. I am also more practiced at painting, and therefore more confident. This makes my work more freeing.
Writing is more of a challenge, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying. I feel like I’ve had to play catch-up with you guys who have spent years knowing you wanted to write and actually doing so. I’ve devoured books and podcasts and blogs to get to a place where I can write with some confidence. One thing I enjoy more about writing is that it is more easily shared, and lends itself to a wider audience.

How did you come up with the titles of your books?
 ‘The Caretaker of Imagination’ is who the story is all about – he’s the man of mystery, and it simply made sense to title the book in this way.
For my wordless book, I did consider calling it ‘The Star Maker’ for this same reason, but I went with ‘What Stars Are Made Of’ because the story is not about the man who makes them, but about the fact that it is our darkness that helps us shine.

What inspired What Stars Are Made of?

The story was inspired by Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ and the theme was inspired by my own journey to self-acceptance. I have spent a lot of time over the course of my life wallowing in lowness and self-pity, and I am sure that without the experience of depression, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.

I hope that this can help other people realise the beauty in themselves.
Briefly tell us what your upcoming book, The Caretaker of Imagination is about.
 It’s a chapter book about a grown-up who realises his life is boring, so runs away (with his cat in tow) in search of adventure. He discovers a real, magical world and is challenged to become magic’s hero.

 ♥

How would your best friend describe you?
Wise, pretty and intelligent. I don’t claim to agree with her.

What are your favorite books for a child?
Anything by Roald Dahl, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Tolkein’s ‘The Hobbit’. Also Dr Seuss, but we all know his books aren’t really for children!
What is the most shocking thing one of your students ever said/done in your classroom?
Well, the most shocking thing is something that should not be repeated. Ever.
The most personally insulting was having a child seriously not believe that I was under forty. I was twenty-four at the time. Thanks mate.

 

Oddball Questions

What songs best describes your work ethic?
I’ve come to realise the importance of self-belief. It is only when I believe that I am and will continue to be successful (in my own way) that I get anywhere with my writing and illustration. On that premise, it’s ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ from Disney’s ‘The Lion King’.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
I think the better question would be ‘what don’t you think about when you are alone in the car?’ (the answer would be ‘nothing’).
Here’s a list of the most popular thought-patterns:
• Hmmm, what can I make for dinner?
• It’s not that hard to use your indicator!
• Story ideas (I wrote the first chapter of The Caretaker in my head while on the way to work, then got there and had to write it all down before I forgot it!).
• Discussing whatever’s on my mind with the imaginary person next to me.
• I wonder if I’ve got time to stop at a café for a bit?
• Do I need to fill up petrol? Nahh…. It’ll last.
• My current WiP (in this case, nutting out ‘Lucy’s Story’ and thinking of funny things animals could be doing for my illustration job).
• Are we out of milk / eggs / bread? Oops, passed the supermarket. Too late now.

 

zee-southcombe-books-author

Connect with Zee on Facebook, Twitter, website, or on Instagram.

Z.R. Southcombe-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-blog-author-interview