Today’s guest is my very good friend, Vanessa Garden. We met at the RWA conference in 2012 and, along with Susan Roberts, formed a trio with a promise that we would all be collecting our ‘First Sale’ ribbon at the 2013 conference. And guess what…we did! All three of were successful in being published in the same year. So, it’s with a huge smile that I welcome my friend and totally awesome YA author, Vanessa Garden to the Author’s Limelight today!
Hello Vanessa and congratulations on the January 1st release of ‘Captivate’. I have to say that it the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever seen!
Thank you for having me, Sarah!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
It was a poem called ‘Shell’ – about… a shell! I wrote it when I was six and it was published in our school newsletter. I was so excited. I think my mum still has it somewhere.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
My favourite character is Marko, my sexy young king from Captivate. He is so flawed and has so many layers that I just find him so intriguing.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
It hasn’t really changed me much as a person (apart from the huge smile that never seems to leave my face). However, one thing it has done is instil a little more confidence in my writing. I think sometimes we can all get stuck and doubt ourselves. All we need is a little belief and validation. I’ve also become a lot stricter with my writing schedule.
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
Anything and everything – especially books with romance. My bookshelves are double stacked with every genre you can imagine and I have books all over the house on coffee tables and couch arms. But Young Adult novels are what I read most. I love the Infernal Devices series, The Elementals, and also good contemporary writers like John Green and Sarah Dessen.
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
A slice of cold pig fat that I thought was cheesecake!
Oh my god! That’s so funny, Vanessa!
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
Thelma or Louise – who doesn’t want to just hop in a convertible and see where life takes them?
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men – it’s a beautiful book with so much heart it makes me cry every time I read it.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
To not need sleep. That way I could write all night and still feel refreshed in the morning.
Ooooh, yes! Good one.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
I’d go back to when my mum and dad were little kids to see what their childhoods were like and to just get to know them as children. I’d take my own kids so that we could all hang out.
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
I’ve just completed book two, to follow Captivate, and I’m also awaiting edits on a YA sci-fi, Carrier, which will be released with Escape Publishing March 2014.
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from ‘Captivate’ please?
Here’s a piece of dialogue from one of my favourite scenes:
I kept my arms folded and raised my head. ‘Yes, and I’m not pretending.’
‘So you want me to believe that you’ve suddenly fallen hopelessly in love with me,’ he said.
I ignored the smirk on his lips and said, ‘Yes.’
He folded his arms across his chest and stared down at me. Amusement sparkled in his eyes.
‘Say it, then. Declare your love for me.’
Vanessa is giving away a signed copy of Captivate to one lucky reader! All you have to do to be in the draw is leave a comment.
This competition is open to Australian postal addresses only. It will be drawn on Monday Dec 23, 2013 but will not be received by the winner until January when Captivate is officially released.