Archives for posts with tag: Vanessa Wester

It’s Friday today and we have an author guest. This time we have a familiar face. Vanessa Wester has been a guest in my blog before, but this time she’s coming to tell us about her now complete Evolution Trilogy and how she came to write it. Without further ado, I leave you with Vanessa Wester!

Vanessa Wester

Ever since I started writing The Evolution Trilogy, I have worked really hard to take my baby to childhood then adulthood… I hope it can now go out into the world with its head held high.


A lot of the Trilogy has been based on some of my experiences when arriving at university in the UK as a foreigner (colonial), from my swimming days as a teen, my experiences as an adult, and my upbringing on the Rock of Gibraltar. BUT, a huge amount has come from my warped imagination…

When I found out I was pregnant again in 2008, on the same week I received my contract to return back to my teaching job after 7 years, I was convinced it would be a nightmare. My first two children were born 18 months apart and I had struggled with weight gain, depression, an under-active thyroid, loneliness, and the rest that comes with becoming a new parent…

My cousin also passed away aged 27 from a brain tumour, and other events happened to close family members that broke my heart. These made me reflect on my own life all the time, and I did not feel I had the right to complain about any hardships I faced. What could be worse than losing your life?

However, we all have the right to “suffer” and obtain sympathy for whatever makes us feel down. The characters in my trilogy encounter many difficulties, and I guess in a fictional setting it is easier to make things happen and talk about things that effect us all. The science fiction idea is complete fantasy, and the use of vampires is all for fun.


What I have learnt is that in life things happen for a reason. I have enjoyed every minute of being a parent for the third time. I was so much more relaxed, had fun with my daughter, and balanced three kids with some grace (most of the time… ha ha ha). It was whilst I sat watching my daughter at home that I started to write on a notepad, then progressed to a laptop, then computer… Once I caught the writing bug nothing stopped me and I became obsessed for a while. Every time my daughter slept, I wrote.

I bought a copy of the Writers & Artists handbook and tried to figure out the submissions process. I joined The Word Cloud, read a lot, and learnt to take critique. Then I saw the posts by David Gaughran, who wrote Let’s Get Digital on the Cloud… and decided to go for it and self publish. It took me months to figure out the process of ebook publishing, using the advice on smashwords. I quickly realised Amazon was where a lot of readers bought books – the dominance of the kindle! So, off to Amazon I went… Don’t even get me started on the paperback formatting!

When I was gifted an iPad by my father in law (thank you) my life changed. Social media became easier to use…

Now, I don’t want to bore you… I should write a book about this!

The point is… had I not got pregnant I would never have started writing books. As a child I dreamed of being a writer, but the fact I was scientifically minded made me abandon the dream as the years went by. Yet, the fusion of my interests and dreams has led me to write this Trilogy.

Like I say on my catch line… In the game of life, destiny is the winner


Anyway, my Trilogy is suitable for mature readers of about 10ish and above (my daughter is a fan – aged 9!). In addition, my books have been enjoyed by both men and women of all ages, to my huge surprise, so I hope some of you decide to give them a go.

My latest reviewer said:

“A great set of books. A must read for all. Imaginative story somehow believable. I would like to visit the community myself.”

Thank you for reading, and thank you, Olga, for hosting me on your site.

Vanessa 🙂 xx

Thanks Vanessa. It was a pleasure to have you as guest again, and I hope you’ll visit us with news soon. I leave you links to Vanessa’s works and blogs:

Here a link to her previous guest post. And of course, as always, thanks for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it, don’t forget to like, comment, share and CLICK!

Continuing with my Christmas selection I’m featuring again the interview with one of the most surprising and enthusiastic writers I’ve met so far in the series. You’ll see what I mean when you read her interview. And without further ado…I leave you with…Vanessa Wester!

My Journey into Self Publishing

Vanessa Wester

By Vanessa Wester

When I was a little girl I devoured Ladybird tales.  My favourite was probably Rapunsel.  The thought of being saved from the wicked witch by a Prince who climbed up a tower using her hair – how cool was that?  Then I discovered the world of Enid Blyton, with fairies, goblins, and talking animals.  My Dad loves books and he had nothing better to do than to take me along to the library or local bookstore.  I rarely bought new books (they were too expensive!) but I loved to hold them in my hands.  And I knew I could save up or perhaps get one for a Birthday or Christmas.  Books were special things, I treasured any I owned.

When I became school librarian at eleven I embraced the job and used the opportunity to hunt for new gems.  Nancy Drew was my next obsession.  After that I read all sorts until Agatha Christie came on the scene.  I used to watch the TV series, but I also read all her books and even bought her autobiography.  My dream was to be the next Agatha.

It was when I started G.C.S.E.’s (aged 14) that I started to think I was no good at writing.  I worked hard, I loved to explore my creativity, but I just never seemed to get the high grades.  I did very well in the end but my confidence was knocked.  I focused on the sciences and forgot my dream of becoming a writer.

Roll on nearly twenty years…

After seven years as a stay at home mum I had become a voracious reader.  I had rediscovered my passion for books after spending many years vegetating in front of the TV watching brainless and uninspiring stuff.  Of course, I did develop a few TV series obsessions which I loved and have gone on the inspire some of my writing.  Heartbreak High, Roswell, Buffy and Heroes are some of the many series I became obsessed with over the years.  I had gone through different phases over what I read.  I have to admit I found Leon Uris compelling.

And then one day, whilst baby number three slept, I was flicking channels and I came across the ending of Twilight on Sky.  I loved the soundtrack, and it looked interesting.  A couple of weeks later I saw New Moon on the shelves of the bookstore so I bought it and though nothing of it.  Of course, my nose would not leave the book until I finished it.  I was overjoyed to see that I could also read Eclipse and order Breaking Dawn.  I had fallen in love with a new author.  I subsequently bought Twilight, which happens to be my favourite of the series.  It was only after I fell in love with The Twilight Saga, that I realised how many others had too.  I felt like I belonged to a club.  The mums reading Twilight in their cars and I shared knowing looks, and we quickly became friends.

When I bought the Twilight DVD, and watched the interview of Stephanie Meyer, I had my light bulb moment.  I was also an educated stay at home mum with a brain that was desperate to think and I had time on my hands whilst little one slept or my husband was away.  I wanted to try to write a novel.  The question was, could I?

I answered that a couple of months later, when I completed my first romantic novel, then only 67,000 words.  I shared it with a few friends and they liked it, and encouraged me to continue.  I have to admit I owe a lot to those friends.  The writing was raw and not very good actually.  But, what they liked and what I seemed to have a ‘gift’ for was the ability to think up a story quickly.  I get lost way too easily…

I polished it a bit and thought I’d see how I could publish it.  I bought the Artists’ & Writers Handbook, searched for agents and publishers and sent off some letters.  This makes me laugh now.  Obviously, I got rejection letters.  There must have been a lot of eye rolling going on when they read my efforts.  I can imagine them chucking it into the rejection pile – “another wanna be.”

I shared my story on Booksie and made friends, but it was when I joined the ‘The Word Cloud’ that I had the idea for Hybrid and I really started to grow as a writer.  I posted some extracts, got excellent feedback – positive with fantastic advice.  And I started to graft.  In that year I edited Hybrid a lot, and started work on Complications, the first two books in The Evolution Trilogy (which was then going to be a series).  I started other stories too for fun; most of them are waiting to be completed.

Then I tried some agents again in December 2011, both replies in January 2012 were rejections but they were positive about the writing.  They actually bothered to put my name on the top of the letter and commented on the novel – progress!  It was then that I thought…why waste postage on trying to find an agent that may be able to get a publisher?  I followed David Gaughran’s blog posts with interest and decided to explore the self published route.

In March 2012, I published Hybrid on Smashwords.  I only sold to family and friends but it was very helpful – it helped me find the errors and edit further.  It then took a few months to publish on Amazon and then I realised I had to market.  So, I joined Twitter, started a blog, became more active on Facebook, and signed up to a Writers Course in York.

After that, the sky is the limit.  All of my blog’s chart the journey’s I have taken.  From the first seeds of writing, to meeting new authors, to discussing books I have read, to going on to publish books of short stories to raise money for charity.  I have never had so much fun.  It is easier to direct you to my blog’s then to rehash my subsequent stories.

Vanessa Wester’s Blog

A Reader’s Perspective

The Evolution Trilogy

Short Stories Group

Diary of the Festival of Writing, York, 2012

Have a look and follow me on Twitter @vanessa_wester, I am always eager to chat when I’m around.  All I can say is follow your dream and be prepared to work hard.  I have done it all.  I have designed my own covers, formatted my own work, edited & proofread my work (with the help of some amazing beta readers & cherished friends), cut and reworked scenes, and marketed.  At the moment, I am living the dream.  I have received amazing reviews, for which I am very grateful.  But, I am a realist.  To be a known writer you need to write, you need to get your work out there, and connect with the readers.  The readers decide if you are going to be the next bestseller – no-one else.

Personally, I want to get back to writing and spend less time on marketing and editing.  Someday, I’ll find the right balance.  It has only been less than three years since my journey began, I can’t expect miracles…then again, Christmas is coming up – I can make a Christmas wish!

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and use my story as an example…anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Thank you for reading & thank you Olga for hosting me,


Author of HYBRID & COMPLICATIONS (The Evolution Trilogy), FIRST DATE (A Short Story), and Short stories included within OUT OF DARKNESS & A FESTIVE FEAST.



HYBRID front cover










Next Tuesday to celebrate the New Year we will revisit the post by my friend Susana Araujo with one of her poems in English and Portuguese version, and I’ll have a feature (in Spanish) about a Spanish writer, Manuela Herrero Palomar. She is currently working on a Spanish/English version of the book Burmese Stories, so she might return soon with more news!

And of course I couldn’t leave you with a reminder of my books:

‘The Man Who Never Was’


And don’t forget my new series of novellas, Escaping Psychiatry about a psychiatrist and writer and her adventures.

‘Cannon Fodder’ (Escaping Psychiatry part 1)


‘Teamwork’ (Escaping Psychiatry part 2)

Teamwork2 V 0065

And ‘Memory’ (Escaping Psychiatry Part 3)


Thank you for reading!

No voy a intentar presentar a Vanessa que ella se explica muy bien y nos cuenta como llegó a autopublicarse (y sin necesitar traducción).

Mi Viaje Hacia Publicación

 Vanessa Wester

Por Vanessa Wester

Cuando era una niña devoré cuentos de la compañía Ladybirds. Mi favorito era probablemente Rapunsel.  La idea de que un príncipe trepara a lo más alto de una torre usando su cabello, para salvarla de la malvada bruja – ¡que fantástico!  Entonces descubrí el mundo de Enid Blyton, con hadas, duendes y animales parlantes.  Mi papá ama los libros y no tenía nada mejor que hacer que llevarme a la tienda de libros o librería local.  Rara vez compré libros nuevos (¡eran demasiado caros!) pero me encantaba tocarlos y tenerlos en mis manos.  Y sabía que podía ahorrar o tal vez conseguir uno para un cumpleaños o Navidad.  Los libros eran cosas especiales, atesoraba cualquiera que poseía.

Cuando me convertí en la bibliotecaria escolar aproveché la oportunidad para buscar nuevos tesoros.  Nancy Drew fue mi siguiente obsesión.  Después leí todo tipo de libros hasta que Agatha Christie entró en escena.  Yo miraba la serie en la TV, pero también leí todos sus libros y hasta compre su autobiografía.  Mi sueño era ser la próxima Agatha.

Fue cuando comencé G.C.S.E. (14 años) que empecé a pensar que yo no tenía un futuro de escritora.  Trabajaba duro, me encantaba explorar mi creatividad, pero nunca me pareció que obtenía notas altas.  Me fue muy bien en el examen final, pero mi confianza en mí misma sufrió.  Me concentré en las Ciencias y me olvidé de mi sueño de ser una escritora.

Salto de casi veinte años…

Después de siete años como ama de casa encontré mi amor por los libros otra vez.  Después de pasar muchos años vegetando frente al televisor viendo cosas descerebradas y aburridas.  Claro, desarrollé obsesiones por series de TV que me encantaron y han inspirado algunos de mis escritos.  Heartbreak High, Roswell, Buffy y Héroes son algunas de las muchas series que me obsesionaron con los años.  Pasé por diferentes fases sobre mi lectura.  Tengo que admitir que encontré a Leon Uris convincente.

Y un día, mientras dormía mi bebé número tres, estaba cambiando canales y me encontré con el final de Crepúsculo.  Me encantó la banda sonora, y parecía interesante.  Un par de semanas más tarde vi Luna Nueva, lo compré, y mi nariz no dejó el libro hasta que lo terminé.  Me llenó de alegría saber que también podía leer Eclipse y Breaking Dawn.  Me había enamorado. Más tarde compré Crepúsculo, que se convirtió en mi favorito de la serie. ¡ Fue sólo después de que me enamorara de The Twilight Saga, que me dí cuenta de que existían los fans!  Sentí que pertenecía a un club.  Las mamás leyendo Crepúsculo en sus coches y yo compartíamos una sonrisa, y rápidamente nos hicimos amigas.

Cuando compré el DVD de Crepúsculo y vi la entrevista con Stephanie Meyer, tuve mi momento bombilla.  También era una madre educada que se dedicaba a estar en casa con un celebro desesperado por pensar y tenía tiempo en mis manos mientras mi bebe dormía o mi esposo estaba trabajando.  Quería intentar escribir una novela.  La pregunta era: ¿podría?

Le contesté un par de meses más tarde, cuando terminé mi primera novela romántica, entonces sólo 67.000 palabras.  Lo compartí con unas amigas y les gustó.  Me animaron a seguir. Tengo que admitir que les debo mucho a mis amigos.  La escritura era tosca y no muy buena realmente.  Pero, lo que les gustó y lo que parecía que yo tenía era un ‘don’ para crear una historia rápidamente.  Me pierdo fácilmente…

Ya empecé ha pensar cómo podría publicarlo.  Compré el Manual de escritores y artistas. Empecé a buscar agentes y editores, y envié algunas cartas.  Esto me hace reír ahora. Obviamente, me enriaron cartas de rechazo.  Me puedo imaginar a ellos echándolo en el montón  de manuscritos rechazados: “otro que se cree escritor.”

La modifiqué algo y después compartí mi historia en Booksie e hice amigas y amigos, pero fue cuando me uní a ‘The Word Cloud‘ que tuve la idea para HYBRID cuando realmente comencé a crecer como escritora. Publiqué algunos extractos, obtuve respuestas excelentes – positivas con consejos y análisis fantásticos.  Y empecé a remodelar.  Ese año  edité HYBRID a fondo y comenzé a trabajar en COMPLICATIONS, los dos primeros libros de la trilogía de la evolución (que entonces iba a ser una serie).  Empecé otras historias por diversión; la mayoría de ellas siguen sin terminar.

Entonces intenté contactar a  algunos agentes de nuevo en diciembre de 2011, ambas respuestas en enero de 2012 fueron rechazos pero con comentarios positivos sobree la escritura.  Se tomaron la molestia de poner mi nombre en la parte superior de la carta y comentaron sobre la novela – progreso!  Fue entonces cuando pensé… ¿por qué gastar sellos intentando  encontrar un agente que posiblemente tenga acceso a un editor?  Seguí las entradas del blog de David Gaughran con interés y decidí explorar la ruta de auto-publicación.

En marzo de 2012, publiqué HYBRID en Smashwords.  Sólo vendí a familiares y amigos pero fue muy útil, me ayudó a encontrar los errores y editar más.  Luego me tomé unos meses para publicar en Amazon y luego me di cuenta que tenía que promocionarme e intentar vender mis libros.  Así, descubrí Twitter, comencé un blog, me volví más activa en Facebook y me apunté ha un curso de escritores en York.

Después de eso, el cielo es el límite.  Todos mis blogs hablan de mi viaje.  Desde unas primeras semillas, a conocer a nuevos autores, discutir libros que he leído, incluso de publicar libros de historias cortas para recaudar fondos para caridad.  Nunca me he divertido tanto.  Es más fácil dirigirte a mi blog que intentar resumir las historias que siguieron.

Vanessa Wester’s Blog

A Reader’s Perspective

The Evolution Trilogy

Short Stories Group

Diary of the Festival of Writing, York, 2012

Echad un vistazo y seguirme en Twitter @vanessa_wester, siempre me apetece charlar cuando estoy conectada.  Todo lo que puedo os puedo aconsejar es que sigáis vuestro sueño y estéis preparados para trabajar duro.  Lo he hecho todo.  He diseñado mis propios cubiertas, formateado mi propio trabajo, editado y corregido mi obra (con la ayuda de algunos lectores de beta increíble y queridos amigos), cortado y reescrito escenas y me he dedicado a la comercialización de mis libros.

De momento, estoy viviendo el sueño.  He recibido comentarios increíbles, por lo que estoy muy agradecida.  Pero, soy realista.  Para ser un escritor conocido se necesita escribir, exponer tu obra y conectar.  Los lectores serán los que decidan si vas a ser el próximo “bestseller” – nadie más.

Personalmente, quiero volver a escribir y dedicar menos tiempo a la edición y comercialización.  Algún día, encontraré el equilibrio adecuado.  Sólo han pasado menos de tres años desde que mi viaje comenzó, no puedo esperar milagros…pero bueno, se acerca la Navidad – ¡siempre puedo pedir un deseo de Navidad!

Espero que todos tengan una Navidad fantástica y que usen mi historia como ejemplo… todo es posible cuando pones tu mente a trabajar.

Gracias por leer y gracias Olga por acogerme,


Autora de HYBRID & COMPLICATONS (The Evolution Trilogy), FIRST DATE (A Short Story), y cuentos e historias cortas incluídas dentro de OUT OF DARKNESS & A FESTIVE FEAST.



HYBRID front cover










Y como siempre ANUNCIOS. La semana que viene otra vez tendremos dos autoras invitadas. El martes, mi gran amiga Susana Araujo me ha prestado dos de sus poemas para que los presente (en Inglés y Portugués). No intentaré traducirlos, pero espero que los disfruten. Y el viernes…Ya se lo diré el Martes, no sean impacientes!

Y mi otro anuncio es que si la tecnología está de mi lado este fin de semana publicaré 3 historias (novellas) en versión electrónica (Inglés sólo de momento) que pertenecen todas a la misma serie (Escapando Psiquiatría) y que tienen como protagonista una psiquiatra/escritora, Mary.

Y mientras tanto, sólo recordarles mi novela: El hombre que nunca existió

El hombre que nunca existió (cover)

Gracias por leerlo y gracias a Vanessa.

Gauri the Dreamer

My slice-of-life as child and as parent. Of reading, writing, gardening, and giving back to nature.

A.J.Lyndon - author

Historical fiction - a gateway to war-torn 17th century England

Critical thinking for Human Community

Critical thinking for Human Community via #PublicDomainInfrastructure: Public Transit, Public Libraries, Public Education, and Public Health Care

Just Reading Jess

Book Blog: Book Reviews and other Bookish Posts

%d bloggers like this: