I brought up 2 children, a girl and a boy and have 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter..
I am a bit of a bore as to correct grammar and get uptight about professional authors and journalists who do not seem to know what is correct and what is not.
I am a life-long supporter of Manchester United.
I am retired now and live in East Sussex with my husband.
Book title: The Wolf Pack, Book 1 of The Wolves of Vimar series.
I have also published Book 2 of the Wolves of Vimar, The Never-Dying Man, and a recipe book called Viv’s Family Recipes that covers at least 100 years of recipes and many of my grandmother’s.
VM Sang’s Q&A
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in the UK near the south coast. I am a retired science teacher. I enjoy reading and writing as well as a variety of crafts and I also paint. I have written 3 books.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called The Never-Dying Man and is the second book in the Wolves of Vimar. The whole series grew out of a Dungeons and Dragons scenario that I wrote when running a D&D club at the school where I was teaching. It has sort of grown out of that. I don’t think many of the pupils who played would recognize it now.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Don’t think so.
What authors or books have influenced you?
Obviously Tolkein, because he was the first, but I would add Weiss and Hickman and their Dragonlance books. George R.R. Martin, whom I would add that I discovered long before the TV series and everyone jumped on the bandwagon, and of course, Robert Jordan, and also Brandon Sanderson.
What are you working on now?
I am working on part 3 of The Wolves.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Not sure. I’m still struggling to find it!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never give up. Some of the best thought of authors had a struggle at first.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My uncle once wrote in my autograph book when I was a child: ‘A winner never quits. A quitter never wins. Keep on trying.’
What are you reading now?
Just bought a new car and am reading the owner’s manual!
What’s next for you as a writer?
To follow Uncle Roy’s advice and keep on trying. I want to finish and publish Book 3 of The Wolves and then write either a historical novel or a different fantasy one that I have been planning in my head for some time.
What inspires you to write?
I have stories that I tell myself running about in my head. They need to get out and so I write them down.
Tell us about your writing process. Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer? If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software? Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?
I have a general idea as to where my work is going, mainly in my head. I rarely write it down, so it can change, and frequently does. My characters develop as they themselves wish. I do have a rough idea as to what they are like, but I usually let them do as they want.
Do you listen to or talk to your characters? How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?
Always. They are always telling me to do something different, often most unexpected, or saying something that surprises me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Please, please, please check your spelling and grammar. There is nothing so distracting for a reader as poor grammar, and there are many authors who write bad grammar. I have been known to take a pencil and correct it as I am reading (the teacher coming out!) Since I send them back to a charity shop for recycling, I assume other readers come across this. It probably irritates the hell out of them, but I hope they will learn a bit from it!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Don’t really know. I just decided to try when I’d finished The Wolf Pack. It seemed the natural next step. I tried to find a traditional publisher and agent, but could only find one of each in the USA. Since I am based in the UK I decided not to go along this route and join the indie published brigade.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think more will be electronically published. This is only in its infancy yet. It is convenient to carry around, especially Kindle and ipad mini, lighter and less bulky than a book. You can also carry large numbers of books away on holiday. This was always a bone of contention between my husband and myself. He complained about the weight! I hope that books do not disappear altogether though, because there is nothing like the smell and feel of a real book.