Sunday 28 August 2016

Isle of Wight Virtual Mini Book Festival - Introducing Vanessa Wester

My penultimate guest today is Vanessa Wester, author of The Evolution Trilogy amongst others.

Vanessa Wester is bilingual in English and Spanish, since she was born and raised in Gibraltar. With a degree in Accountancy & Law, she initially worked for two leading accountancy firms, before she changed career and became a secondary school mathematics teacher. Over the past twelve years, she has devoted her time to the upbringing of her children, whilst giving up a lot of her time to help voluntary organisations. Vanessa developed her writing bug in 2010 and has not looked back since. Her main published work is ‘THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY’, which is comprised of HYBRID, her debut novel, followed by COMPLICATIONS and RETURN. In addition, she has compiled an anthology called FIRST DATE (Love & Regrets). She has also published, and included stories in, six anthologies to raise money for fantastic causes, such as Gurnard Primary School on the Isle of Wight. Writing is one of her passions, reading the other. The day she decided to start writing her ideas down she found another way to lose herself in a book, whilst finding an outlet for her imagination. It is the best way she can think of to escape from everyday life.

Photo courtsey of Vanessa Wester

                                                Finding your character...

I was asked if I wanted to be a part of this "Isle of Wight" Blog Tour and thought it was a great idea. What I did not know was that life would take over and give me hardly any time to consider what to say. But actually this is a good thing because when talking about book characters or an MC I think time is not always on your side.

When an idea for a story comes along, different authors get inspired in a range of ways. Some see the character clearly, others a place, others a plot. There is no such thing as a formula - although some would argue there is. The best books are those that do things differently and explore boundaries both in topics or concepts.

But a character name is SO important. At least, I think it is. There have been times when I simply could not connect with a book because John did not feel like one, or Sally just needed to toughen up! The thing is that once a character has a given name, you can't imagine a different one. 

This leads me to how I personally chose mine. For my first main novel, HYBRID, I used a name I had always liked - Steven. But, even then I had readers say this name should be Stephen. I was thinking of the American version that can be shortened to Steve... even though I never did shorten it in the entire Trilogy! My female MC was Caitlin. Why? I have no idea. I can't even think of why I thought of this name. I have a feeling I checked out my book of baby names and this one stuck! The other characters names just popped into my head on the whole, but I did have to do some research for some of the foreign ones.

Here I have to make a confession - I muddled up countries! My characters were going to come from Norway and then I changed it to Sweden but forgot to change the names... I apologise now to anyone offended!

Because I had characters from different nationalities I had to mix it up and even ended up with a powerpoint presentation to keep updated on the names, places, etc. Plots are hard to keep a tab on, but I find names more of a struggle. I think I once wrote a short story where at the end Tom became Jerry! Ha ha. Luckily, my sister was quick to find my flaws and pointed it out.

For any budding writers out there, my advice would be to use a name you are comfortable with but to take into account your audience. I guess in different languages you could alter the name to suit a culture better? Saying this, Darcy will always be associated with Jane Austen and Edward with Stephenie Meyer so be wary to use a name that has already been used before. If in doubt, make one up! You are writing a book after all.

I hope this helps and keep reading... what is your favourite MC? Mine is Elizabeth Bennett- strong, feisty, and full of spirit.

My favourite character is Adam in Flowers For The Dead, he's an unusual choice as he's a serial killer but his heart is in the right place. Tell us about your favourite MC's in the comments below.

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Caitlin Chance and Steven Thorn are about to discover that life does not always go in the direction you envisage. When they first meet, they are overwhelmed by an irrational attraction. First love strikes when you least expect. Unfortunately, Steven has a secret past that is destined to reveal itself. Soon he will become a stranger to everyone and his new life in Brazil will begin.

People like him are not meant to live amongst normal humans.

The wheels are set in motion for his radical upheaval. But, love is a powerful thing and the connection forged between Caitlin and Steven is not easily broken. Steven will have to disregard what he is and where his loyalty should lie. Everything is possible at an unforeseeable cost. Decisions have to be made and rules will be broken.

From the University of Southampton to the depths of the Amazon jungle in Brazil, Steven and Caitlin will discover that in the game of love, destiny is always the winner...

If you'd like to find out more about Vanessa or connect with her you can find her by using the links below:


I'd like to thank Vanessa for stopping by today and for taking the time to write a guest post. It's been great having you here.

1 comment:

  1. Another new author I shall have to look out for.

    Thank you.