About Vikki Walton:
Vikki Walton is a writer and a Work Quilter. She has a love for learning. Her passions extend to travel (she writes a travel blog), animals (she's a global house and petsitter), and gardens (she's certified as a permaculture designer). Her favorite genre is the cozy mystery.
What inspires you to write?
As long as I can remember, my mind has been active in the creation of ideas and stories. I’m passionate about helping others enjoy life to the fullest. I’ve taught adult continuing education and coached many individuals on moving forward to achieve the life they want. I also noticed that my personality needs change and diversity. As such, I became a Work Quilter™ in order to create multiple streams of income from my various passions. I took what I’ve learned and wrote the book, Work Quilting: Piecing Together Diverse Income Streams; Live an Insanely Awesome Life. While much of my nonfiction writing comes from the desire to help others, I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery. As a suburban homesteader who has chickens, gardens and is a beekeeper, I got the inspiration to write a backyard farming mystery series. The first in the series is entitled Chicken Culprit.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have a vivid imagination and constant ideas for stories are always in my mind. My first draft is always written in my mind. I may write a few things down on paper that could involve who, what, when, where, why and how, but then I leave it and allow my subconscious to get to work. As I go about my daily tasks, ideas may pop into my mind and I tuck them away in the subconscious file cabinet, letting my “mental” virtual assistant craft the foundation. Once I get ready to put fingers to keyboard, the ideas are already mapped out. Along the way I will write notes by hand and for the mystery series I will use post-its to help me recall character personality traits or timelines. The only outlining I do is very basic. As Agatha Christie (my favorite author noted), “You work the story out in your head. The hard part is making time to sit down and write it.”
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I can’t say that I listen or talk to my characters but once they are formed, they often take on a life of their own. They may choose to go in a direction I hadn’t anticipated or I may find a primary character fall away and a tertiary character grows in importance.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read, read, read. The more that you read in the genre that you want to write, the more you will pick up on what works, what doesn’t, how each author uses their particular voice. The second piece of advice I would give is to just sit down and write. Don’t self-edit. Just write. Let it flow. For fiction writers, the first couple of chapters (especially when you’re starting out) may be more for you. Start your story where the action happens. Finally, listen to others but go with your gut. You can get so caught up in proper English, grammar, or sentence structure that you lose your unique voice. Have a good product that your audience will enjoy but don’t allow your words to become so pasteurized as to lose all their flavor.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self-publish for a few reasons. First, I used to work in the publishing arena. It’s difficult to get in with a publisher without an agent which is also difficult to get—as least if they’re a good one. I used to work at a literary firm as a submissions administrator. Manuscripts were discarded in mere seconds. Second, I like control over my product. What it will look like, when it will be released, how much profit I will make. There are lots of reasons to self-publish and lots of reasons to go through a traditional publisher. Each individual author must decide the best way forward.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe there will continue to be a place for self-publishing and traditional publishing. I think that more publishers will begin to seek out clients from successful self-publishers. I also think self-publishing allows for special niche products that may only have a small target audience to be published.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: nonfiction, mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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.