And here’s our first guest! And she gets the Date itself, the anniversary of the battle! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Victoria Zigler!
Where do you live and write from?
I live on the South-East coast of England, not too far from the town of Hastings. I used to write from wherever I happened to be in our flat, but after I broke another laptop when I forgot where I put it and stepped on it, we decided a desk should be set up for me. So, now I do most of my writing at my desk, near to a window where I can hear and smell the ocean while I write (or, just hear it, if the weather is too miserable for me to have the window open). If I’m not at my desk, but have an idea I “have to” write down immediately, I use the “notes” function on my iPhone, but I usually only use that to make quick notes to use for reference later, because touch screen keyboards are too much work to use for long writing sessions, and voice recognition softwear doesn’t always reliably translate what you’re saying in to text.
Why do you write?
I write because I have stories inside of me that need to get out, and I publish them because I believe stories need to be shared. Yes, it really is that simple.
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing since I learned how. I was taught at home when I was about three years old, could already read and write well by the time I started school at the age of four, and was quick to learn the pleasure of writing poetry and stories. I was seven years old the first time I entered a writing contest, and still have the third place medal I won for it. I don’t have the chocolate bar I won in the next one though… I ate that a very long time ago. I haven’t entered any contests since I left school though, and I’ve only been publishing my work since April 2012.
What genre(s) do you write?
Most of what I write comes under the heading of fairy tales, fantasy stories, animal stories, or a mixture of the three. I have written a few stories in other genres though, such as my latest tentative steps in to writing science fiction and historical fiction, a story I’ve written about a vegetarian zombie, and a series I have on adjusting after sight loss. Regardless of genre, my stories are generally aimed at middle grade readers or younger, although I know of people in their 70s who have enjoyed them. No, I’m not talking about family members or friends either… If I included those, my eldest fan would be my almost 90 year old Nan, but I was talking about people who didn’t know me before they stumbled across my books.
I also write poetry, most of which is suitable for readers of any age, and has been enjoyed by children and adults alike.
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
I’m not really sure how to answer this one. A lot of aspects need to come together in order to create a story that readers will enjoy, and the best way to improve when it comes to writing is to practice by writing, and learn from reading books by other authors. So, that’s what I do. Seriously, most of my time is spent either writing or reading. But as for what my actual strengths are… Honestly? I haven’t a clue!
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
My goal as a writer is to share as many of the stories in my head as possible with as many people as possible. As for what I’m doing to achieve it: writing a lot, publishing everything I write as soon as it’s ready to be set free in the big wide world, expanding the formats I offer my book in so I’m no longer only doing eBooks, and pretending to know what I’m doing when it comes to marketing.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I think at this point I’m supposed to give some wise advice and sound like Buddha or Yoda, or their feminine counterparts anyway. But I’m not going to do that, because the best advice is to just keep writing. It’s the best way to improve as a writer, and the only way you’ll ever finish that book you’re working on. It sounds simple, but it’s the best advice I’ve ever had, and some people actually find it more difficult than you might think. So, just keep writing!
What is your story around the Battle of Hastings about? How did you come up with the idea?
My story around the Battle of Hastings is about a young boy named Eadweard who, along with his best friend, Cerdic, thought it would be fun to join the ranks of men marching to fight in the battle, even though they officially aren’t old enough and had been forbidden to do so by their Fathers. They have dreams of being great war heroes, but soon discover the reality of war is nothing like what they imagined it to be.
I wanted to tell the story of the events of the battle reasonably accurately – as much as can be done without a time machine, which I don’t have access to, unfortunately. But I also wanted the story to be from the point of view of someone who wasn’t some famous war hero. Part of my preference for someone who wasn’t a great war hero was because I wanted the person to be a child, and part of it was because I wanted fighting to be new to him. I wanted to tell the story of the battle, while at the same time showing that war isn’t the amazing adventure some people think it to be. I also wanted the book to be suitable for middle grade readers, which is why it needed to be a young lad who was the main character. After looking up everything I could find on the battle, and letting those thoughts simmer in my mind for a couple of months, I sat down to write the story, and “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066” is the result. To my knowledge, Eadweard and Cerdic themselves never existed. However, boys like them would have, and the battle itself was very real.
Just for your information: I’ve put an “eight years and older” warning on the book’s blurb, because some of the scenes in the story really aren’t suitable for readers younger than that, in my opinion. After all, it is a story about a battle, and I can’t show the reality of war without showing some violence and blood.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Yep… Always! I usually have at least two writing projects on the go, as well as writing poems whenever inspiration strikes. I’ve written several poems since I published my last poetry collection this past July, so when I have enough to do so, I’ll publish another one. I’m also working on a couple of new stories, one of which is a Christmas story involving a giant.
Buy links for “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066”
Also available from other sites Smashwords distributes to.
Paperback coming soon!