Saturday, 18 February 2012

Victoria Watson is Letting Go



If you don't know Victoria Watson's writing yet then you are in for a treat. Beautifully observed pieces, reminding me of Anita Shreve. I hope you show this young writer some encouragement and go click on this collection of short stories because she's got a whole lot more to give.

Hi, Fiona, thanks for inviting me on your blog today.

OK, so I’ve been asked to tell you about Victoria Watson. Who is she? What does she do? Where does she get her ideas from? What’s she good and bad at? What are her favourite sweeties?

This may sound like the beginning of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting but I’m Victoria Watson and I’m a writer, I think. Some people might consider me a fly by night or a jack of all trades. Some might even think me a loser. I’ve had several different jobs during my twelve years of working and studying. I’ve worked in a shop (weekend job during 6th Form), I’ve worked mainly in Financial Services and Insurance but also had some time as a Civil Servant and a very brief stint as a trainee journo.

I didn’t last long at journalism training. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well, I’m soft. “Soft as clarts” some people around here would say. I’m from Newcastle in the UK and the people here certainly have a way with words. But seriously, I realised within 4 weeks that I wasn’t the right personality to be knocking on the doors of mothers who’ve lost their children in tragic circumstances, or to be writing sensational stories about people that weren’t necessarily true but made a good headline.

What I am the right personality for, though, is watching and talking to people. I love sitting somewhere – it could be an airport or a bus stop, among other places – and watching the world go by. I watch people. Not in a creepy way, I hope you understand. I like to see how people behave. I like to make up stories in my mind for the people I see. I love to hear people tell their stories so when someone starts talking to me, I usually relish the opportunity. I’ve always loved stories, whether they’re ones in the books I read or true ones people want to share.

I think my experiences affect my writing, things I see and do influence my ideas. That said, I also write about things that I haven’t personally experienced. For example, at the moment I’m writing a story about an ex-pat woman living in the Middle East and the difficulties she encounters. I’ve written about a woman pretending to be psychic after being redundant – neither of which I’ve ever experienced. I’ve also written from the point of view of an elderly housebound woman reflecting on her life. I like to put myself in the position of the people I’m writing about. How would I feel if that was me? I think empathy goes a long way to developing realistic characters.

I have to admit that I feel very lucky. Ideas just come to me. Many nights I find myself awake with a new idea and until I get that idea written down, I have it going around in my head. I write so that I can sleep!

I do struggle with discipline. I know you should write every day but I don’t. I’m not saying that what I do is the right way but I seem to write in spells.

I have recently released a collection of eight short stories called ‘Letting Go’. It’s available to buy now at: 
‘Letting Go’ comprises of stories about regret and how one minute can change your whole life. And the cover was designed by a very clever lady – the same one who’s invited me to be on this very blog today!

Now I’m concentrating on a second collection and a novel. My hopes for the future are to be able to make a living from writing and live in a hot country. I guess you’ve got to be ambitious, eh? As it stands, I’ll keep on writing my blog at http://elementaryvwatson.wordpress.com and plugging away at my fiction too.

Oh, I didn’t tell you about my favourite sweeties. It’s a toughie but I’d have to go for Haribo Starmix.

Thanks for letting me ramble on Fiona. 

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