Leeds, West Yorkshire
lvlupbook@gmail.com

Interview with Author Vanessa Newman

Interview with Author Vanessa Newman

Vanessa Newman
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Books in the series

Vanessa Newman

I have three cats – Posey, Sparky and Porkchop. They inspire me and have converted me from a dog-person only to a cat lover. And they appear a lot in my work. Go figure! Food also inspires me and I write food and restaurant reviews for Rogue Valley Messenger in Oregon.

 

I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old and I have contributed lipstick names like “Moonbeam Pink” for a cosmetics company; traveled to Ireland to write Six Sigma courses; written health and wellness articles, and even explained how to increase your vitamin D levels on Livestrong.com and eHow.

 

I write children’s books, women’s fiction, and romantic comedy with cats next to me and cats as characters in the books.

Vanessa Newman Books for Sale

Alex and the Messy Monster

Alex and The Lazy Monster

Alex and The Jealousy Monster

What Inspired you to write?

I actually started putting pencil to paper first. 

Unsure of myself at age eight, I did finish my first novel in one day with a pencil. 

The main character ventured to several locations and countries in the first page revealing my impatience with transitions. 

This book did not receive the accolades I had hoped for from my parents, but I was encouraged to keep writing by family and teachers. 

I have been writing ever since in one form or another. I have been published in many magazines, online and I self-publish too.

How did you get your first book Noticed?

I am still working on that like most independent authors. I have sold to family, friends, and attended book fairs and have made sales. I have my books in some independent book stores and am growing my fan base. I like writing more than marketing, but it is a balancing act.

 

I would say that I do better with face-to-face sales at events and book fairs. My books are often like fun conversations and my children’s books have lessons. In a face to face setting, I can explain these aspects. I did win second prize in a local short story contest for a story called “Walkabout” and that gave me some exposure too

What one bit of advice would you want to give yourself when first starting out?

Get extremely comfortable with rejection and then write your heart out anyway. I have learned this, but I think that I was not as prepared internally for the emotions that can come up when you share your work and others are not interested.

 

I also work-out a lot and have a punching bag at home. Finally, do not get caught up in the outcome of your creativity and stay dedicated to the process. OK that was too many pieces of advice, so I guess I need an editor!

Do you think of this as a full time career or a Hobby with ambitions?

It is full-time work that I squeeze in as much as I possibly can. Recently, I have made more of a commitment to focusing on my writing and doing part-time jobs and contract work instead of writing full-time on top of working full-time. I have learned that trying to write as my employment and write for me is too much focus on writing for me. I now contribute on occasion for online and in-print magazines and focus more on my own creative writing.

Which Author do you admire the most?

Since I met and grew up around Andre Jules Dubus II (he taught at the college my Dad was employed at), I have a tremendous appreciation for his work and how his life was impacted by his work. I also admire his son’s (Andre Dubus III) work too.

 

Margaret Atwood is another favorite of mine, but I admire all writers who commit to their craft and I love a good laugh from Erma Bombeck or Janet Evanovich too!

Finally, What one bit of advice will help anyone Lvl-up their work?

Writing is lonely sometimes! Get a good support system that includes a writing group, an editor, an illustrator and I highly recommend a pet. Cats love when you are writing because you are quiet and they have a place to sit (your papers or computer keyboard) when you are doing it.

Great Tips Vanessa

Thank you for your insight Vanessa. I love the idea of book fairs and building up a local audience. I think this is a great way to start creating a following to get your work noticed and get some vital feedback. It’s great having supportive family, but sometimes getitng a bit of brutal honesty is actualy more beneficial!