About Vic Selby:
My interest in history probably began in childhood. I loved books set in past times, such as Treasure Island and Deerslayer. Today my historical reading is more tuned to the likes of Bernard Cornwell, who’s weaving of his characters into true historical events appeals to my style.
I have travelled widely, spending two years in Egypt with my parents as a boy and later after leaving school, disappointing my parents by not taking up a life of farming. I wanted to travel and opted for technician training at the Army Apprentice College. From there I graduated to the Royal Corps of Signals and was posted to Germany where I married. We travelled widely as a growing family residing in Nigeria, Kenya, France, Bahrain and Germany for the second time, and then Cyprus before retirement from the army and taking up a post with an electronic manufacturing arm of an international security company. With this came opportunities to travel within the UK and to the USA.
Shortly before retirement, I began to take an interest in family history and found much of interest dating back as far as the twelfth century. It was not until some years after retirement that I set about verifying what I had learned through a two-week stay in Northumberland, cataloguing local history books and speaking to local people.
Home again, I set about acquiring the local history books I needed and confirming my findings with records in the national archives and British history online. The resulting knowledge was so amazing that it inspired me to write my fictional ‘A Land Apart’ trilogy. I originally began with the framework of the idea for writing a novel around 2010 and published the first book ‘A Land Apart – Betrayal’ in the summer of 2013, followed by ‘Rebellion’ and ‘Atonement’.
Following the completion of the trilogy, I researched for a novel set in Eastern Germany at the close of the Second World War. Once again, it is a fact-based account of a family living in a small town near the border with Poland.
What inspires you to write?
After delving deeply into family history back to medieval times, I uncovered so many escapades that the family had been involved with that, given my interest in all things historical I was inspired to select a period and write a story around some of the amazing occurrences. So much happened to this family during the period that Betrayal became the first book of a trilogy covering three generations of the family. I have now been similarly inspired to write of a German family during and after the World War 2.
Tell us about your writing process.
Yes I do tend to outline my story and I list my characters on Excel with links to Word pages with their individual bios.
New characters may be introduced where necessary and a bio prepared if required.
As my stories cover a number of years Their characters also each have a timeline showing important occurrences, birth marriage, death, location changes etc. It works for me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I suppose I do. I try to put myself into their mind when deciding how they would react to a situation. I have a firm picture in my head of each character, their strengths and weaknesses.
What advice would you give other writers?
I have been on a steep learning curve since Betrayal and probably have been mostly the recipient of advice.
I have however come across a few times when my writing has ground to a halt and try as I might I could not see the way forward. My solution was to shut down my computer and do some gardening. The answer usually came to me later whilst in the shower or when waking up the following morning.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After a couple of rejections I was advised to self publish. I would not advise this path for others and I shall be making more effort with agents and publishers with my new book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have an optimistic view of book publishing. Even though many are now published in electronic format, many people tell me, that like myself, they love the feel of a physical book in the hand. I especially like to read a chapter each night before sleep from a real printed book, hard or paper back.
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction. Based on facts.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.