“My name is Victoria Zigler, but most people just call me Tori.” So says my very special guest for today. Tori is a remarkable lady, and I use that term meaning all it infers, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself…
When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?
“I’ve loved to read and write since I first learned how to. I was taught to read and write at the age of three because I wanted to do “homework” like my big brother. By the time I was in full time school shortly after turning four I was in love with the written word and already attempting to write short stories and poems. None of them were any good in those first few years, but by the time I was about seven I could write a good enough story to earn a medal in a writing competition. I still have the medal.”
Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?
“I’ll read almost anything, but my favourite books are fantasy books and children’s books, and since I write children’s books – often with a fantasy theme to them – I’ll have to say, yes.”
Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?
“Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, Beatrix Potter’s animal themed Peter Rabbit series, and both Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl’s books were a big influence to me growing up, and I think still influence my writing today.”
Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?
“Yes, past events influence my writing. I think past events often influence someone’s writing. It’s something you can’t avoid happening. Although, with my Toby’s Tales series it was intentional.”
Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?
“I don’t think one author stands out. I have a few favourite authors, but if I pick one of them I’ll feel bad for not having picked the others!”
Have you got both printed and digital books published?
“No. I only have digital books published. It’s not that I don’t want to have my books available in print, it’s just that it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe one day, but not yet.”
Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?
“I write what I have ideas for. If what I write is fashionable, great, but if not then I just have to hope it’s good enough to interest people. Besides, fashions change so quickly that keeping up with trends is difficult to say the least. Also, working with ideas that pop in to your head of their own accord is usually easier than working with ones that someone forces on you.”
How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?
“I don’t actually have set times for anything. I tried routines, but they don’t work for me, partly due to an irregular sleep pattern. The only way things get done at specific times in my house is if someone else sets the times (for example, medical appointments we have to get to, events we want to go to, or trains we have to catch to get to somewhere before it closes). So, I just write when I feel it’s a good time to write, which can be any time of the day or night.”
Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?
“Yes. I have my ‘notes and ideas’ file, with snippets of ideas for potential future stories and notes on ones I’m working on in it.”
Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on a piece?
“I write freeform. I’ll just let the words flow freely on the first draft, not even stopping to check for typos or spelling and grammar mistakes. Then I slowly go through it a few times until I think it’s done. Then I go through again just to be sure. I think I end up doing about five or six drafts before I’m completely happy with something. But one thing I don’t do is plan out the story. I tried planning, but I felt it took the life out of the story. I prefer to just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. I mean, I’ll have an idea in my head of where I want to end up at the end of the story, but how I’ll get there is usually a mystery even to me until it’s written.”
When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?
“I’ll write using any means available to me, but most of the time I use a computer. I have a laptop intentionally so I can have it to hand and take it with me if I go away somewhere. Not that I go away that often, but since my family is spread all over the place I want to have the option.”
Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?
“Yes. I get unbelievably excited if I find a copy of a book I’ve been failing to get hold of. Discovering books you’ve been looking for is more exciting than Christmas!”
What is your greatest ambition in writing?
“I’d love to be a well-known author. I’m not searching for enormous amounts of fame or anything like that – though it would be nice. I just want to be well-known enough that there are several people waiting eagerly for my next book. And I’d love to be in the top sellers list somewhere.”
Where can readers find out more about your works?
Tori: In Her Own Words
“My name is Victoria, but most people call me Tori. I’m a blind, vegetarian author of children’s books and poetry. Born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales, I now live in the South East of England with my husband, Kelly, a West Highland White Terrier named Keroberous, and four degus whose names are Jacob, Jasper, Jenks and Joshua.
“My favourite things to do are reading and writing, but I also enjoy watching movies and some TV shows, listening to music, doing various crafts (such as knitting and cardmaking), playing roleplaying games (such as Dungeons And Dragons), playing figure games (such as Monsterpocalypse and Classic BattleTech) and doing the odd bit of baking. I also have an interest in history (especially Stone Age and Egyptian history) and love almost everything to do with animals and nature (except spiders and creepy crawly bug things).”
The Books of Victoria Zigler
The Magical Chapters Trilogy:
The Pineapple Loving Dragon
A Magical Storm
The Toby’s Tales Series:
Toby’s New World
Toby’s Special School
The Kero’s World Series:
Kero Goes Walkies
Kero Celebrates His Birthday
Kero Gets Sick
Kero Celebrates Halloween (due for release October 2013)
Kero Goes To Town (due for release November 2013)
Kero Celebrates Christmas (due for release December 2013)
Stand Alone Stories:
Bluebell The Fairy Guide
Frank The Friendly Ogre
The Great Tadpole Rescue
Asha’s Big Adventure (due for release August 2013)
Snowball The Oddball Kobold (due for release September 2013)
Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems
My Friends Of Fur And Feather
The Light Of Dawn And Other Poems
Waves Of Broken Dreams And Other Poems
The Leaf Monster And Other Children’s Poems (due for release September 2013)