The final instalment of my Edge of Darkness week is my interview with Vanessa Skye.
Vanessa Skye has always had a love of words and spent her school years writing poetry, speeches and fictional essays.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism and studying Psychology at Charles Sturt University, Vanessa got a job at Australia’s largest publisher of regional and agricultural news and information, Rural Press, where she worked as a journalist in the Central West of NSW for four years.
Thousands of stories later, Vanessa decided to move back to Sydney and try her hand at public relations while studying a Master of Arts in Communication.
Skip forward a few years and Vanessa once again found herself joyfully studying various psychology subjects while managing a Sydney public relations firm. Enthralled with examining the motivations behind people’s actions, Vanessa realized what she really wanted to do in life was combine her love of words with her fascination for human behavior.
So Vanessa quit public relations to begin the significantly more impoverished life of a professional writer.
Inspired by a recurring dream, Vanessa wrote her crime fiction debut,The Enemy Inside, which challenges the concept of justice, asks if the need for vengeance sometimes justifies murder, and explores whether you can ever heal from childhood abuse. The second book in this series, Broken, soon followed. In her spare time, Vanessa wrote a short story, The Piece, which was published in February 2012 by Dark Prints Press as a part of the ‘One That Got Away’ dark fiction anthology.
Vanessa now works as a freelance writer, lives in Sydney’s northern beaches and tries to immerse herself in salt water at least once a day.
Vanessa has created two amazing stories that I enjoyed immensely. I came up with a few curly and curious questions for her, see how she answered them below.
- Who is your favourite character from your books and why?
It’s a mix between Berg and Jay, both characters represent different sides of my personality. I love Berg’s intensity and her dedication to getting justice for people no matter what the cost to herself. I love her strength and her edginess and her loyalty. But I also love Jay’s sense of humour, and his optimism, and his unwavering love for his family and Berg.
- Your all-time favourite book?
That’s a tough one! I have so many favourites. I love Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, and also Raymond E Feist’s Magician. And The Hobbit. Argh! Too hard to choose!
- Tell us about your writing space (study, cafe, office?)
I am really inspired at cafes and libraries, so I try and write there when I can. I have a desk and an office, but I also have a baby, so I end up in the lounge room with my laptop most of the time, so I can watch her.
- We all find different things difficult to write, what was the hardest scene you found to write from your books and why?
Without giving too much away in Broken, one of the characters loses a baby at 20 weeks gestation and I found this very tough to write because I had just gone through the same thing only a few months prior. But it was also very healing for me to write about it. But there were many, many tears and more than a few times I wanted to cut it out of the book.
- If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional. Who would it be and why?
I think I’d like to be Kate Middleton for a while, as I’ve always wanted to be a princess. I wonder if it’s all it’s cracked up to be?
- What would you say is your primary source of inspiration?
Dreams, exercise, music, and meditation. If I’m stuck on a storyline, one or all of these things will unblock me. The book before Broken, The Enemy Inside, was inspired by a recurring dream. Where as Broken was greatly inspired by music, which is why I have included the lyrics to some of the most inspiring songs in the book itself. They sum up Berg’s journey perfectly.
- If you were in a fight to the death, ‘The Hunger Games’ style, what would be your weapon of choice and why?
A rifle or a bow and arrow, because I’m a pretty good shot. That being said, I could never shoot anything living unless it was a direct threat to my family or myself.
- Tell us about a vivid childhood memory.
I remember that before I could read, I used to pick up books at home and at the library and pretend to read them. I loved them before I even knew what the pages contained. I loved the smell and the feel of the paper under my fingers, and if they had pictures I used to make up stories in my mind to fit them.
- In light of the recent trend of Paranormal books, what sort of paranormal being would you like to be and why?
Vampire, no question about it. I am actually writing a paranormal thriller/romance now about vampires and I am totally loving it. It’s called Koven and I’ve let my imagination go a bit wild, which has been a nice break from writing crime fiction, which takes loads of research.
- What genre would you love to write that you haven’t tried yet?
Fantasy. After the paranormal series I’m now writing, fantasy is totally next. I love magic, dragons, prophecies, the whole thing! I’ve had a fantasy story in my head since I was a teenager. I should really write it down…
- What do you think are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Don’t give up, and don’t take criticism to heart. You can’t please everyone. Don’t read bad reviews. You really have to believe in yourself as a writer, and develop a thick skin. It took me seven years to get my first book published, and plenty of people told me not to give up my day job. I ignored them.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to exercise, it keeps me sane. I also like to cook and eat, so the latter is controlled by the former!
- A psychic has just told you about your past life. Who were you?
I was an Egyptian Pharaoh or a Native American medicine woman for sure as they are two cultures I feel drawn to.
- If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Writing. I love doing nothing else more than writing. I makes me so happy. It also makes me poor, but I don’t care.
- You are now in charge of the dictionary and need to remove five unwanted, overused or otherwise irritating words from our language. Which do you choose and why?
Twerk. Totes. For reals. Like. Cute. They are all over used and all particularly irritating. *Shudder*
- Your new best friend is a character from a book you’ve read. Who will it be, what book, and why?
Lisbeth Salander from Stieg Larsson’s books, because you would totally want her on your side, yes? She’s such a great character, I love her dogged pursuit of justice, she’s a little like Berg in that way, except even more damaged, if that’s possible!
Thanks so much to Vanessa for the time and effort she’s put into writing these amazing books, her work with The Writers Coffee Shop and other bloggers to make this blog tour happen. If you haven’t already, check out the giveaway that’s being run to celebrate the release of Broken.