Writer’s Journey with Vicky Adin

Today I have historical author and genealogist, Vicky Adin sharing her creative journey as a writer. Thank you for sharing your love of history and writing Vicky.

What, where, why?

Two separate incidents started me thinking this week. The first was a post by Nora Roberts on “Here’s how I work”.after she became embroiled in an appalling plagiarism mess involving 85 books and 36 authors. That alone is bad enough, but the fallout generated questions surrounding her methods, output and honesty. Nora took to the web to explain herself. I find it sad she feels she has to justify herself at all, but I was extremely interested in her methodology.

Now, in no way do I wish to compare myself with Nora Roberts, but I was pleased to read she, too, spends time ‘staring into space’ and ‘looking stuff up’. I wonder if that is a common trait among authors? I write historical fiction and I ‘stare’ and ‘look things up’ all the time, and while she didn’t use the word pantser, she starts at the beginning and keeps going until she reaches the end, which is also what I do.

In contrast, I tend to re-read what I wrote yesterday, fiddle with it a little bit if something jumps out that says ‘fix me’ and then I carry on. I let the story unfold in my head as I write or sometimes the characters have to have their say about the directions I’m taking. When I’m writing (and I don’t produce more than one book in a year) then I write every day solidly. While the book is away being edited, I work on the marketing and promotion. No-one, it seems, can sell books without a profile and it takes work to keep up that profile and books before the readers’ eyes. Once the editing stage is complete and the book released, then it’s back to writing again. There’s always a new story to delve into.

Which leads me to the other aspect of my writing I often get asked about. Where do I get my ideas? For me, that is easy. I’m a genealogist. I love digging into the past, searching through records, and reading old newspapers online. From that, an enormous number of ideas pop up. Tiny snippets of information will lead to a whole story line. A job – lacemaker, sugar boiler, costume maker, journalist, soldier – can often become the starting point. Other times, it’s the location: Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, but I always end up in New Zealand. On one occasion I found an article about the discovery of a long, lost painting by a Cornish artist hidden behind another painting. The research into the art world of the time was fascinating, and when I discovered links to New Zealand, the story fell into place.

My wonderful husband recognises when I’m in the zone and doesn’t disturb me other than to bring me coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) until I’m back in his world again. Often when we are driving anywhere, silence descends as my mind drifts off into whatever world or era I’m writing about at that time. I do an enormous amount of research to ensure the facts are correct and then wrap the stories of everyday life around the events of the time.

I love history, I love people and I love writing. I love my job. It’s a perfect combination.

Vicky

A fan of historical novels since her teenage years, Vicky Adin writes New Zealand based stories about the tribulations and successes of the people creating history as it happened. As a genealogist, she uncovers some amazing stories of fortitude and endurance and of love and hope. She combines her love of research and writing to weave together family sagas in a way that brings the past to life. Her books vary in format from dual-timeline. She waits for the characters to tell her how the story will unfold. Married to her greatest supporter and best friend for nearly five decades, Vicky has two children and four grandchildren. She holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education and enjoys travelling – especially caravanning and cruising; the opposite of experiences. Her writing has been compared to Catherine Cookson’s stories. Check out her website, books on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

 

Culling 1.5k words

I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but for the academic paper I’m writing I’ve somehow gone over the word count by 1.5k!

Kimba home from the vets.JPG

This is after a hectic weekend with a very sick dog (and going to the emergency vets twice and having poor Kimba stay in over 24hours. He’s finally recovered now thank goodness), hurting my hand so it’s difficult to type, crocheting a shawl, and mentoring two writing students. Oh, and I’m heavily preggers. I must have had a lot to say or something on the matter of the relationship between history and fiction despite all of these distractions being thrown at me! Either that or I’ve somehow turned into super woman! 😉 And I’ve got extra powers to get through everything… if only! 😉

virus shawl completed.JPG

Anyway, this morning’s job is to cull 1.5k words, so this paper can be submitted tomorrow. What better way to do this than at a cafe, and of course outside in the beautiful autumn weather. I can soak up the sunshine and use it to help as motivation 🙂 It’s the simple things that can help you keep going after a busy time. heart clipartAnd looking on the bright side of life. I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but I have, perhaps because I have lots of support from friends and family, so while I did this alone, I wasn’t alone. With one step at a time, I’ve gotten through the life’s challenges.

Now, back to culling some words…

Lilliana

Happy Australia Day!

Bit of controversy this year about the date of Australia Day, as for Indigenous Australians it marks the day of invasion, not settlement. It’s a dark side of Australian history, and it’s hard to find ways to go forward. I hope that at least by recognising this day isn’t a celebration for everyone, but also by doing this it can offer some sort of healing. I hope that there can be a peaceful and healing way to the future, and that’s what this day means to me this year.

So cheers, may the future of Australia be peaceful and inclusive for all.

Here’s a link from SBS offering an explanation of why people do/do not want the date changed. It’s a well measured article explaining the debate to change Australia Day.