Thursday, November 26, 2015

Guestopia! Vacen Taylor

Today, I'm super excited to welcome my friend and fellow Australian author Vacen Taylor to Guestopia! She is one of the kindest, most enthusiastic and fun people I've met since moving to Australia, and she's also not a bad writer! Here's a little bit about Vacen.

Vacen Taylor is a published author, emerging screenwriter and playwright, an occasional artist, amateur photographer, wannabe poet and amongst other things a support service provider. Writing works when there’s passion behind it and her stories always touch something in common or speak to the emotions in all human beings. Creating stories with richness and meaning is paramount in her storytelling. Expressing the uniqueness of self in her work using poetry and song is as much a requirement as world building with art and sculpture. All of which you will find somewhere in the Starchild Series.

Hi Vacen! Thank you so so much for offering up your time to be interviewed today. With further delay, let's kick off with the questions...
Is this your first published book?
No, I have three published books with a fourth set for release in March 2016.

What’s it called?
Starchild Book four: Fire and the Falcon.

Which genre?
Fantasy Adventure.

Which age group?
Middle grade readers 8-12. 

Is it a series or standalone?
It’s a series of seven.

Are you an agented author?

Which publisher snapped up your book?
How involved have you been in the whole publishing process of your book?
Very involved. Right through from the editing to my thoughts on the covers.

Do you have another job?
Yes, two. I’m a contracted recharge zone coordinator for Schoolies and a support service provider on a safe drinking program in the nightclub precinct.

Did you receive many, if any, rejections prior?
Yes, one rejection prior.
What created/what were you doing or watching when the first idea for this book sneaked up on you?
Reading about chakras and healing.

How long did you plot/plan until you started writing it?
About two months of thinking and plotting before I started.

Once you started, did the story flow naturally or did you have to step in and wrestle it into submission?
I always allow the story to flow by itself. I never force any part of my stories. If they stop flowing, which doesn’t happen often, I put them aside for a few days.

How many drafts did you write before you let someone read it? Who was that someone?
I can’t remember exactly. Maybe, three or four. My editor, Candice Lemon-Scott.

Did you employ an editor/proofreader or did you have a critique partner/beta readers before you started querying?
Yes, I always employ and editor. I don’t like editing at all. I’ll happily rewrite but I don’t enjoy editing, therefore, I contract that work out. This also allows me to move on with other projects.

Roughly how many drafts did it take before you sent the manuscript off into the real world?
For my first maybe five or six (before and after editing) altogether.

How many drafts until it was published?
Once with the publisher only one further draft.

Has the book changed dramatically since the first draft?
Yes, to some degree.

Are there any parts you’d like to change even now?
Yes, in the first book there is.

What part of writing do you find the easiest?
The creative concept is what I love. That is followed closely by placing down that first draft. Both of these I find the easiest part of the process.

What part do you find hardest?
Research, not because it’s hard but because it so time consuming. I would love to have an assistant to do all the research for me.

Do you push through writing barriers or walk away?
I rarely hit writing barriers but perhaps that is because I’m often working on a two projects at a time. Perhaps the dual writing work structure I have in place works to my advantage. Splitting up the work during the day or weeks allows for breaks from one manuscript to work on something else.  However I often do purge a first draft and that may mean working purely on that manuscript until it’s all down. Currently, I have four purged manuscript ready to work on somewhere in the future. 

How many projects do you have on the go at the same time?
Usually two, however, this year I’ve worked on two short stories, a one-act play, a short film script and a collaborative feature film while also finalising an Australian YA fiction manuscript, all currently in submission, and now I’m finalising the fourth Starchild manuscript, while working two casual jobs to pay the bills.

Do you think you’re born with the talent to write or do you think it can be learned?

I think everyone is different. Some people are natural writers just like some people are natural singers. Other people, like me, have to learn the craft and keep learning the craft until the day we die. Either way if you like to tell stories then have a go.  Don’t sit back and wish for it to happen. Nothing happens by wishing. Only learning, hard work and belief in yourself will get you there.

How many future novels do you have planned?
I have many stories but what format they will manifest into I can’t say. I enjoy writing scripts and novels but I also enjoyed writing the one-act play this year.  It was challenging and I like a challenge.

Do you write other things, such as short stories, articles, blogs, etc?
Yes, I adore short stories but articles and blogs not so much. I do blog but I’m not as consistent as other authors. If I was to blog fulltime it would be more about travel or adventure. I write a lot every week and I find blogging about writing to be draining. This is just me being truthful.

What’s the highlight of being published so far?
The highlight for me has been a little girl emailing me to tell me how much she loves my series. She said her favourite book in the Starchild Series was The City of Souls. She’s read it 8 times!  #BlessHer

Give me one writing tip that work for you.
I write the first draft of a book from start to finish.

And one that doesn't.
Rewriting or editing as I go doesn’t work for me. It’s disruptive to the creative flow so I avoid it at all costs.

Can you give us a clue or secret about the next book?
Starchild Book Four: The Fire and the Falcon is yet another instalment filled with challenge, teamwork and bravery. There is always a song and culture woven in through my stories. I do hope the readers are beginning to see the children change. A journey like this requires challenge, growth and determination.  The children are vastly different from book one to book three and book four challenges them in a different way.

What question have you always wanted to be asked but never have? What would the answer be?
If you were assured of one writing success what genre would you choose? Horror.  Horror was the genre I started writing in and my first ever published story was a science fiction horror story. 

Fabulous! Thank you for stopping by, Vacen.
If you'd like to follow Vacen and her writing and books, here are a few links to help!

Website                   Twitter                      Facebook


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me! Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques. V :)