Author Interview: Vicky Ball

a watercolour tree branch; text says 'author interview: indie book spotlight'

1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

Paperback – hardback is too heavy to read in bed and I prefer to read rather than listen. 

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

I love thrillers. I do read other genres but thrillers are what get me really excited. I love being surprised by the twists and being kept on the edge of my seat.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

The first book I can actually remember is Five Go to Smugglers Top (Famous Five series). I loved the adventure in those kinds of books.

4.      What book shaped your childhood most?

I really enjoyed the Mallory Towers series. They made me want to go to a boarding school and lead me on to reading lots of other boarding school-related books such as the Chalet Girls

5.      When did you first start writing?

I’ve always loved writing ever since I was at school but I really became serious about writing after I went on a writing course about twelve years ago. It was then that I started to believe I might actually be good at it.

6.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Writing always felt like it was a part of me, something I felt I had to do. It is probably even more true today after having got published. People have read my book and that spurs me on. 

7.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

I am most proud of my novel, Powerless, which was published three weeks ago.  I am proud of the journey it went through to get to where it is today. When I started writing it nearly five years ago, it was just an idea and over the years new ideas got added to it. It was the first thing I had written in present first person; it felt like I had found my style. 

8.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

The first book I actually wrote was about a Hungarian boy who was abused by his father. It is not yet published. When I finished it I was so happy at the achievement of having written a whole book but the story had a lot to it and didn’t quite work. I have since rewritten it but I don’t know yet whether I will publish it or not. Who knows!

9.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

So far I have one book published, Powerless. I hope to write many more. 

10.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I write thrillers. I don’t think I intended to write that genre and I actually found it quite hard to figure out what genre my book was but I gradually came to realise that it was a thriller. 

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

It is mainly in my head but I do some research. For my latest project, I am planning on doing a bit more research by talking to people I know in specialist areas that will be relevant to my book. 

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I have never been much of a planner when it comes to plot. I like to write and see where it takes me. I fear that planning it all out in advance spoils the creative flow for me but that said I have been planning a bit more with my new work in progress. 

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

My publisher, Burton Mayers, are hybrid publishers. So far it has worked for me and I am extremely happy with them. Definitely sticking at the moment. 

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

When I was young I used to love the Magic Faraway Tree series where at the top of the tree it took you to a different land every time. I would love to try out some of those lands.

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

My current WIP is about a teenager who has an alcoholic Mum and then finds out something huge which changes her life. I am more than halfway through and am excited about where it is taking me. 

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

One of the characters I have created who I love is a boy called Janos. He was in the first novel I wrote which has not been published. He is a great villain who all my writing group loved. Originally he was a minor character but he kind of took over the story and became the main character. 

17.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Keep going. Find supportive writer friends who you can share your work with and be willing to support others, too. 

18.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have entered a couple of flash fiction competitions but have not got anywhere with them. I find writing something so short very hard. It’s always tricky to know what they are looking for. 

19.   Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

My top five thriller writers are:

Cara Hunter
Clare Mackintosh
N S Ford (after just reading her novel You Watch Me)
Lianne Moriarty
Jodi Picoult 

My top five indie writers are:

John St Clair
B Fox
K M Harding
Morton R Leader
Nicola Lowe

20.   Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

My book Powerless is available on Amazon: Powerless. You an also connect with me on Twitter (VickyBall3) where I can be seen frequently. 

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