Episode 20 – Victoria Tait – Fowl Murder

Overview

Victoria Tait lives in England, but has lived in multiple countries because her husband is in the army.

The various living locations has helped inspire her writing and she has written a unique series of Cozy mysteries based in Kenya.

Website

Victoria Tait author website
https://victoriatait.com/book/fowl-murder/
Free book in Victoria’s cozy mystery series

Book

Favorites

Her favorite series, that she reads often, is Lord of the Rings:

YouTube

Transcript

[00:00:46] Hello. Welcome to episode 20. Discovered for. Uh, I’m excited. I know most podcasts don’t make it even past three or four and here we are at 20 and I’ve got several already recorded waiting to get [00:01:00] released. So I’m glad everyone’s sticking with this. And I’m excited to be talking to so many great authors.

[00:01:06] Today’s author is Victoria Tate. She began her writing career recently, uh, in her forties. And she has based a lot of what she has written on the travel she has done with her family, because her husband is in the army. Her stories are cozy mysteries, but they are unique because they are set in Kenya. And that is something we at least in the U S do not see a whole lot of.

[00:01:32] And it was extremely nice to see something fresh like that. So please sit back, enjoy this talk with Victoria. Well, Victoria, thank you for taking some time to talk to me today. I’m excited to find out more about you and your book. I appreciate you. Uh, wait. Well, I woke up early for the, uh, for our conversation.

[00:01:55] So, uh, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about [00:02:00] you, uh, outside of writing, what do you like to do? And a little bit about.

[00:02:04] Vicky: Uh, thank you, Steven, for inviting me to the show. Um, so I forgetting you up so early. Uh that’s

[00:02:11] Stephen: for like two hours.

[00:02:13] Vicky: I, well, I’m a barely bird as well, but, uh, yeah, I’m in a, I’m in Southern England at the moment.

[00:02:18] Um, I’m British, um, as you can probably tell by my accent, um, I’m married and I have two nearly teenage and very constantly growing sudden. Um, who I phone off the internet so that I can do this podcast when I meet people, I suppose, what fascinates the most is that I’m constantly moving house, which I’m in the process of doing again at the moment, um, often location, but I move house about every two years.

[00:02:44] Um, and that’s because my husband’s in the British. So since we’ve been married, we’ve lived in Southern England. We moved to Northern Ireland to the cold north of Scotland and then the heat and the sun of Kenya, as I say, we’re back in the UK, but preparing to move to Bosnia and [00:03:00] Herzegovina. And if listeners need to know where that is, cause I had to look it up.

[00:03:03] When I found out we were moving there, it sits behind Croatia across the Adriatic sea from Italy and it’s north of Greece. So, um, fascinating.

[00:03:13] Stephen: Yeah. I mean, I think it’d be tough, especially with family to be moving around so much, but the experiences and the sites you get to see in the places you visit, uh, must be pretty fast.

[00:03:26] Vicky: Yes. I mean, usually, uh, we’d get out, which, you know, we’d arrive and get out and about and go and visit. I think this time we’re going to have to knuckle down and probably do some quarantining and just wait, but we’ve got, we’ve got three years there. Uh, I mean, Bosnia-Herzegovina is just a fascinating country because, um, you know, it was only 25 years ago since they became their own country and separated from Yugoslavia and the war.

[00:03:49] Uh, we’ve been on Iraqi and seed. The bullet holes are still in the building. Uh, the people, everybody has a story to tell. So there’s going to be a lot of material I think, [00:04:00] there for future books. I’m just not sure what John, because I’ve been writing cozy mysteries and I’m not sure if their stories will be more thriller, so I might have to change a bit or,

[00:04:09] Stephen: well, that’ll be interesting.

[00:04:10] I do like to follow up with people. So if I talked to you in a year or so, we might have a whole different story to tell. Yes.

[00:04:18] Vicky: So I’m going to try and do what everybody tells me, which is keep writing in the genre, which I am in, but, uh, you know, do my research go and visit, see what there is. So, yes, hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about Bosnia and Herzegovina when we, uh, when we next speak.

[00:04:32] Stephen: Great. Okay. So, uh, obviously you have an interesting life. What made you want to start with.

[00:04:39] Vicky: Um, I suppose that, um, everybody else you speak, I think you’ve interviewed so far on the podcast. I’ve heard them say that they’ve, they’ve wanted to write since they were a young age. Um, I had absolutely no thoughts about writing whatsoever until 18 months ago, we arrived back in the UK from Kenya, and I realized that for the next 10 years, we will be moving around again.[00:05:00]

[00:05:00] It’s physically difficult to set up a business, um, when you are on the move. So in Kenya, I set up a cafe outdoor catering business, and then a farm shop had lots of fun. It was all part of the community, but I’m not going to be able to do that with the moves that are coming up. So I need to learn something new and it needs to be something portable.

[00:05:18] Which is not dependent on my age because I’m getting never, never a 50 or location specific because you know, being in Europe, not being in the UK or America, it can make things a little bit harder. So I looked around to see what I could do. Um, Independent and have a financially viable business by the time I’m 55, my husband and I both 47.

[00:05:43] He has to retire from the army at 55. He probably get another job, but you know, I need to be saying that I can stand on my own two feet at that stage. So, um, I was looking around for something to do and they discovered Joanna Penn’s podcast, which is packed full of information from all of this. I think you’ve [00:06:00] referred to it on your show before.

[00:06:03] Um, so that was great. And I started by listening to Joanna’s guests. I then listened to their podcast or got their books. And from that I learned and research, you know, what genre I wanted to do and what I needed to put in that book. So although people talk about writing to market, I wouldn’t say that I am anything like knowing how to write to market, but I just know I want to write a mystery.

[00:06:27] What does a mystery have to have in it? And then I sat about writing

[00:06:31] Stephen: that’s yeah. Joanne is hog cast is great. And I love that you looked at writing as something you could do regardless of where you’re at in the world or in life. Um, one of the other things I’m working on doing is, uh, I want to speak to parents, teachers, adults, families.

[00:06:52] What to do to raise your kids now, like middle school age. So they’re ready for the work world as an adult, and you [00:07:00] pretty much nailed it right there on the head, uh, writing, no matter where you are, you can do.

[00:07:06] Vicky: Yeah. And I mean for, uh, I’ve got my, my son’s a 10 and 12, and so they don’t like the writing part of what I’m doing, particularly my oldest son, because he’s dyslexic, but they are fascinated by, by the journey and went by the marketing.

[00:07:21] So my older one in lockdown, he started his own YouTube channel. I’m doing his coding and roadblocks. And so we’re able to discuss, you know, how, how you get subscribers, how do you market it? How do people see what you’re doing? And then how can you take that in the future? And, you know, I just keep saying to him, this there’s so many opportunities.

[00:07:40] I mean, he still probably may start doing, he may well start doing a job, which at the moment doesn’t exist. Um, and whether he works for himself or whether he goes and works for somebody else, but I think he’ll definitely be smaller, smaller company. Um, he will want more of a flexible life. I think [00:08:00] not, not what we were grown grown up with is you must go into a career and this is what you must do.

[00:08:06] Stephen: Strive for that gold watch.

[00:08:08] Vicky: Yes, exactly. And I did, but I wasn’t in it very, I wasn’t in the mainstream for very long. I did choose. I was actually in doing development construction, which wasn’t a female dominated industry. It’s probably one reason I chose it. And then when I got married, then I had to look for something else.

[00:08:25] So I’ve done, you know, the independent selling from home. And then, um, as I say the cafe, I mean, I’m not a great cook, but yeah. I saw that people needed ready meals and things like that. So I did that when I was in Kenya just to do it. So I understand that you have to pivot and evolve and change and learn something new.

[00:08:43] And I think the young of today that will be even more important to them.

[00:08:48] Stephen: I absolutely agree that pretty much. Nailed it. So you’ve, you’ve mentioned all these places you’ve been, and I, I was completely fascinated by your book. Um, so [00:09:00] tell us a little bit about your book, what it’s called, what it’s about.

[00:09:03] Vicky: It’s called foul murder. Um, it was published in July and it’s my first book and the first in series in the Kenya kangaroo. Um, it’s a cozy mystery, but it’s probably more traditional than then cozy cozy is there are animals and there are cats and dogs, but, um, I’ve kept it, um, where people said it’s a little bit like the number one ladies, detective agency, which is very nice, cause that’s sold a lot of books over the time.

[00:09:30] Um, but, um, I would say it’s a little bit. Yeah. Forthright, um, both in its pace and also the issues, because it does tackle corruption and poverty and poaching and poaching. And I’ve just, I’ve just put my second book on pre-order as well. And that very much is around poaching and, and saving elephants. So, uh, yeah, so I base experience of the book, the book on them.

[00:09:51] I experienced in Canada. Uh, th the amazing people that I met, um, and the customs that they have, uh, I suppose most [00:10:00] people don’t get the chance to actually visit Africa. And even those that do, they tend to see the tourist lodges and not the real heart of the country.

[00:10:10] Stephen: And that’s that’s, to me, um, I I’ve always liked experiences and gaining the experiences and having things to talk about, but man, Um, I can’t imagine being over in some place like Africa, I’ve never been out of the states except a little bit to Canada.

[00:10:28] So I, I obviously you chose where you were and what you know, in that area to write the book, but I’m not trying to sound weird about it, but you’re a middle-aged white woman from England living in Africa and writing a cozy mystery. About some people in Africa. That totally sounds like it blows the genre out of the water.

[00:10:58] Vicky: Um, I suppose so, and [00:11:00] I know there’s been some criticism again about Alexander McCall Smith, because he wrote about a black woman in Africa and people said, well, what do you know about that? But when you’re growing up, when you live side by side with the people. Um, it just becomes natural. You joke around you, you have the fun.

[00:11:18] What I, what amazes me about the Africans is their values are so much different. And then that becomes across everybody who lives there. We all, we all change our values, that sense of family and a community of very, very important. There isn’t a social service. So if somebody needs an operation, then the whole family will gather around and that have a party or something to raise money and we’ll all help out in some way by cooking something or doing something towards that.

[00:11:48] They, they don’t worry about many of the issues that we get really wrapped up about because they just busy living and surviving. Um, and I think what living in Kenya taught me to do is appreciate the smaller [00:12:00] often overlooked things in life. And to, to say to the Western world, you know, just sometimes just, just slow down there are, there are other things out there.

[00:12:08] There are more important things out there. And we think we’re very civilized, but I think sometimes we miss the heart of life.

[00:12:16] Stephen: I wouldn’t disagree with that. I know some of the things I’ve done that have. You know, more than just like a weekend have been a couple of weeks, a couple of months and I get a whole different mindset.

[00:12:28] And then when I come back to quote unquote, the real world here in Ohio, I am almost like, yeah, why would you want to go sit in a movie theater and watch a movie? You can go do this. And why would you, you know, not get up early and enjoy the morning? You know, it’s a totally different mindset. Uh, when you get a different culture, like.

[00:12:51] Vicky: Yes. And so that’s what I’m trying to portray. Although of course, once you come back into like back in the UK, you do, you do slip back into the other things like, like wifi, which [00:13:00] works and the fact that, you know, the electricity isn’t going to suddenly knock out, uh, and you won’t get it back until the following morning or, um, have you collected enough rain and the water butts that it’s going to carry you through the dry season?

[00:13:15] Stephen: So. I don’t, I don’t particularly read cozy mysteries, but I think of Jessica Fletcher, uh, you know, murder, she wrote, and I think that’s the kind of feeling most of them have. Like you mentioned the cats, the dogs, the animals, there’s a lot with cooking. You know, you always have the cottage on the cover or the, you know, cozy looking home on the.

[00:13:38] Yours isn’t like that yours is good. You know, it looks completely different. So why did you choose a cozy type mystery, which it does sound like you have some thriller elements in there. I think it’s

[00:13:51] Vicky: probably, um, it’s cozy in that it’s set in a small town and it involves, um, a community and a group of people who grow and develop.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] Um, I think they’re going to grow and develop. Anyway, as the series progresses, I didn’t feel as a completely new writer. I wanted something which. I’m not going to say simple, but, um, I didn’t want, I wanted to keep it clean and clear and precise. So I didn’t want to have some of the explicit scenes about, uh, you know, , which I don’t really know about or forensics or the blood and the gore and describing all of that.

[00:14:26] I thought it was much easier because that’s done generally off, off scene. So you don’t have to describe so much of that. And it’s just keep everything, as I say, simpler to start with. Uh, I would say it’s more in the traditional vein that people said, you know, the Agatha Christie type story with, with the twist at the end.

[00:14:44] And that’s, that’s maybe more what I’ve tried to do. I think cozy is there are people who do write a hell, a huge variety of cozies. I mean, paranormal is, is a massive short part sub genre at the moment. And yes, the laws who said, you know, the real CO’s [00:15:00] is set in a very small town with, with the cat. And such, but then there are people who are tackling all sorts of other issues.

[00:15:06] Um, I’ve just read a book with a set in Italy, uh, where the coupler, again, it’s a couple of more elderly ladies, a little bit like mine, my protagonist who know life. And so we’re able to share that and share their experiences.

[00:15:22] Stephen: Um, so writing all of this, what did you learn? Uh, I mean, it sounds like you decided you want to do.

[00:15:30] But you don’t have formal training or schooling or anything. What is the, what are the things you’ve learned, uh, doing this book and what might you do different if you went back.

[00:15:40] Vicky: I suppose I’ve learned everything right from the right, from the very start. Um, and it’s, uh, it’s, you know, it’s a whole new business.

[00:15:48] It’s a whole new thinking with starting with Joanna Penn. I suppose that I immediately thought I’m going to do this myself. I’m quite a control freak. I like to be organized. So. [00:16:00] I wasn’t phased by that part of it and about the business side of it, because I have run smallish businesses before. Um, so I decided that I was going to go self publishing and also, I didn’t want to wait around for ages.

[00:16:13] I forgot a piece of work. I want to get it out there. I don’t want to wait for somebody else to tell me that they might produce it and it might be published in another 18 months time. So that was very easy that this is the route that I am going to take. So. As I said, I researched the genre. What do I need to do?

[00:16:30] I found James Scott Bell and listened to, he’s got a course on the creative. I can’t remember the exact name of the website of the great courses. Um, that was the great courses, um, which had got through audible and went through all of that. And I now have a signposting methods, so I thought I’d be a real plotter.

[00:16:48] And it absolutely amazed me that when you start writing your character, start to do things that you don’t necessarily want them to. Um, everybody says this happens, but I didn’t know until [00:17:00] I started writing. So I, I, you say, so I used the signpost method of writing in the ICA. Right? Why do I want to get to the end of say that the 50% the middle ground.

[00:17:12] So are we on a high, are we on a low and then where does that mean that we get to at around the 80% mark, because then we need to be at the. Doorway of no return. And then that’s when we go into the, this is how it happened and this is what we did. And that, that helps me to organize and structure my work.

[00:17:30] And then I, I wrote out, I think I must’ve written about 30,000 words and realized I really didn’t know what I was doing or where I was going. And didn’t have the confidence. That I was writing correctly. Um, and in the UK, there is a charity called avant who offer writers and they put on courses and they have three residential places.

[00:17:52] Obviously at the moment they can’t open them, but they, somebody, a, another author suggested I go on a course for [00:18:00] crime writers. Which which I did. And it was absolutely fantastic. And that helped me to tidy up, see where he’s going, understand a little bit more about voice. And then one of the instructors said to me, why don’t you go and find an editor now there’s no reason you have to rate until you’ve written the whole book to find an editor, find somebody that you can work with.

[00:18:22] And I think I found, um, shortlisted about three, three editors. So. Um, sampled to one of them in particular lights, and then I’d been working with her. So I sent her my first, I rewrote my 30,000. I think I got to about 10 and I sent that to her. And then I happened to be away at a time in a, in an Airbnb.

[00:18:42] And I just quickly, uh, I just had a whole day to myself and I just sat down and I wrote another 5,000 bucks. Roughly around what I had been doing, but tightened it all up. So I had 15,000 and with the last five, my editor said, yes, this, this is it. This is what you need to do. These are the bits then that you need to add in and then go [00:19:00] from there.

[00:19:00] And then that, that really helped me to, to move forward to the end and get the book, the first draft written.

[00:19:07] Stephen: I liked that in what you said, uh, you kind of discovering the type of writer you are. What you do, but what you said about characters? Uh, I completely understand that. And I think a lot of people do, you know, we have, we probably all have some favorite TV shows or whatever.

[00:19:25] And when you know those characters and you, if you create a situation in your head, you can know how any of those characters will react and what they’ll say. And I think when you know the characters in your own books that well, they do sometimes take on a life of their own. It’s almost as if, and I always say.

[00:19:44] It’s a whole nother world dimension and I’m just peeping into it to see what they’re doing and writing it now. So I might think they’re going to do this when I’m starting to write, but then when I actually look into their world, they’re doing something completely different. Cause it’s like there’s [00:20:00] other a real life, character in their own thing.

[00:20:03] And. The best stories the others can capture that very well. So I think, uh, that you kind of also discovered that same thing. I think that’s pretty great.

[00:20:14] Vicky: Yeah. And it’s, uh, and I think that’s when they say as well, you know, that the muse, this, this great force that is out there, but actually if you do sit down every day and you know, it started with 500 words a day and it’s probably not a huge amount more now it’s probably, I get probably an average of 1500.

[00:20:33] Not not COVID homeschooling or doing or moving house, but I think that’s really important because it is a sitting down every day. And I, uh, you said you were an early bird. I found I was getting up, especially at the start of the pandemic when everyone is at home at five o’clock to get my writing done.

[00:20:47] So I could get two hours of writing done before everybody else got up. And that was really important. And just that every day sitting down and doing that. And then that helps the story develop. And if I have a problem, I go to bed at night and, [00:21:00] uh, what Stephen King called him, the boys and the base. And I let them think about it, or I go out for a walk or a run and a, and then find that things start to slip into place.

[00:21:11] Um, and then on a, on a teaser story and it gets there, but it ha it’s amazed me because I, I still don’t consider myself a creative person. I can’t really draw very well, and I certainly can’t play music, but, uh, I, you know, I’m a more of an organizational person, which as I say, this is why I sort of went with a genre, which I thought.

[00:21:32] Put it put into place and work things out a little bit more, but, but it has amazed me about the creative elements as you say, which, which, uh, which develop. And it’s just important for me to when I’m in that situation and looking into the characters, as you put it to really look around and say, well, what, what, what can I see?

[00:21:50] What can I smell? What can I feel and what I’m really trying to learn for the next books I’m writing is how, how can I describe my characters without [00:22:00] saying. All the time, um, and develop. So people start to know the individual characters just from the way that they speak and that’s something I would, uh, and that, and react to others.

[00:22:11] And that’s something I would really like to develop. Oh,

[00:22:13] Stephen: that’s pretty fascinating that you bring that up. Um, there’s another podcast and another author. I like a lot J thorn. He goes to the career author. Oh, you know, J

[00:22:26] Vicky: is it writers Inc with J D Barker. That’s right. Yeah. So I listened to that. I haven’t met, but I haven’t, um, listened to the first one you mentioned.

[00:22:36] Stephen: Uh, the career author, he does that with Zach Bohannan, uh, and it’s focused more on and it, you, you probably would find that very fascinating to listen to. They focus more on a lot of what it takes to be a career author to be a professional author. Um, but they’re great guy. Um, but lately he’s been talking a lot about working.

[00:22:58] Oh, you probably heard it working with J D [00:23:00] and going through a book and writing only dialogue. Nothing else.

[00:23:04] Vicky: Yes, that’s right. And then they’re trying to go and write it as a, as a film script. Aren’t they, so that you really should really develop that. Yes, it is. It’s a fascinating way of looking at it.

[00:23:13] Stephen: Yes.

[00:23:14] And I just read a short story by somebody I’m in a mastermind group with, and he did it that way. He wrote the whole story with only dialogue Noah. Uh, description, no exposition, nothing. And it was just really interesting to read. Um, it was really good at it sometimes I think, and this is no slam against anybody doing this.

[00:23:36] It comes across to me as like an old time radio show. I can picture of sound effects and things like that, you know? So, um, so Victoria, um, your growing up or now you write cozy mysteries, do you have any favorite books? Whether they’re cozy mysteries?

[00:23:55] Vicky: I think I, I started off like many people did, uh, in my teenage years, [00:24:00] finding Agatha Christie, who all it could be classified as traditional.

[00:24:03] It could be classified as cozy, but I think what was the basis where we were probably most cozy and traditional mystery writers come from. So I started. With her. And then, uh, MCB written, she’s written the ag of the reason, um, series, which I’ve actually listened to him on audio because it’s Penelope Keith, and it’s just absolutely hilarious.

[00:24:23] And you, you really get involved in these characters, don’t you? Um, at the moment, it seems to be that everywhere. I look, I find Anthony Horowitz. Uh, the boys have been watching the new Alex rider series. Um, I’ve been reading, um, the word is murder, and then I’ve been trying to catch up whilst back in the UK with all the episodes of Foyle’s war and pyro and Midsomer murders and, and that all Anthony Horowitz and that’s, um, I’m finding that really interesting.

[00:24:49] And so I did, I have listened to a few things he’s talked at because he. Probably traditional and just on the edge of cozy, um, one of my Facebook groups, I’m [00:25:00] where they are. They have read it and they have reviewed it and said, this isn’t traditionally cozy, cozy. And I think that’s maybe, maybe where I’m heading with, with my books.

[00:25:09] And as you say, it means it is slightly more difficult on the marketing because you can’t just put a cat on the front, you have to think of something else. But if you look on Amazon and in the. Um, the categories, you will see some very well branded books. So Joanna flute does our drone fleet, does the ones with the recipes and the food.

[00:25:29] And so she just has a piece of cake or something on the front of her books, uh, and lovely colors. And you just know that’s who she is. So it’s all about branding the series. And I think that’s what I’m trying to do. In fact, there’s another one, which is fabulous. And it’s got this goat that’s looking at.

[00:25:44] And that’s, that’s what the book cover is. And, uh, once you do have to then go out and find your audience, but I think then once you can find your audience in there for you can, you can gather them up to be your tribe. Then, then you, you know, you’ve got them and you keep your brand and you work through it that [00:26:00] way.

[00:26:02] Stephen: And, uh, brilliant all over the world. Travel. Have you found any bookstores that have been just superb? Uh, I’m particularly interested if there’s anything you’ve run into that, we just wouldn’t find something like that here in the state.

[00:26:20] Vicky: Um, disappointingly. No, I haven’t yet to say, uh, we still in Kenya, it was still tended to be libraries or swapping physically swapping books around.

[00:26:33] It was quite difficult to get imports of goods into Kenya, but one thing people did seem to get every so often were books through Amazon. So, but, uh, but what people had, they were then, um, share with their friends. That was the type of community that it was. And then a lot of people, obviously reading we’re reading, e-books, uh, not far from Oxford.

[00:26:55] So there are some, there are some great shops there for, for books, but you know, that’s what [00:27:00] you expect to find in a, in a British city.

[00:27:03] Stephen: Well, yeah, you’re not far for very long. That’ll be a memory zone. Okay. So when you’re writing a, what software do you like to use?

[00:27:17] Vicky: I write in Scrivener because I found it can be well organized and I can develop my characters in it.

[00:27:23] So actually recently when I, I know this month, I should be writing my third book, but it’s just not happening with, with all the moving, um, and such, but I have been into Scrivener. And set it up. So I’m developing my characters and saying, what am I characters learned from the next, from the last book? So what traits and tropes are they developing now?

[00:27:43] So I write, so I write in Scrivener, but I convert that to word for my editors. Um, who I’ve got a developmental editor and then I’ve actually also got a copy editor. Cause my, my grammar and how to use a post a, to use a comma. I mean, I just have no idea how to use a calmer. [00:28:00] Uh, unfortunately I was schooled in the eighties, in the UK when they decided grammar was just not necessary to teach it.

[00:28:08] Um, but so that means it’s also very good to use a pre-writing aid. Um, and that also helps me because I do need help not writing in the passive voice and not using too many words to describe the same thing. So that helps highlight as well as the grammar that, that highlights those repeats and passive voice and those items.

[00:28:31] Stephen: I agree. I like providing them. Also, I always, if someone asks about it, I always caution them. You know, don’t use it in place of an editor, use it to improve your writing and to learn from it instead of just relying on it blank.

[00:28:48] Vicky: Oh, absolutely. Cause I can it’ll highlight something so I’ll change it and I’ll find out that it’s highlighted again.

[00:28:53] So it’s not certain, so you have to think about it. Uh, but it does help because it just catches, [00:29:00] you know, a few of those bits and pieces so that when you send it to an editor that there’s just less for them to see. So then they could see either it’s easier for them. They don’t have to look at all the little nitty gritty things.

[00:29:12] I think it’s useful. And then, um, and then I format in vellum. I spent the money, I thought, you know, what, if I, if I’m going to do this and I want to have a service, I need to do this properly. And I think it’s much easier because I’m not finding it difficult to do. And I’ve added a little Guinea fowl feathers into my first book and being able to, um, add bits here and there.

[00:29:32] And I’ve just found it really easy to do and large prints prints, and in ebook form.

[00:29:38] Stephen: Nice. And so, uh, the books out, you’ve got another one coming and hopefully working on a house marketing. What are you doing for marketing? Do you feel you’re getting the word out and people are discovering.

[00:29:52] Vicky: Well, I think that’s very important.

[00:29:53] I think discoverability from what I understand is what the first book is about. Uh, David Cochran. He’s just [00:30:00] done a course about starting from zero, which, which I’ve read through and then went, oops, should I have actually nixed my first book now, but I needed to have the validation that I actually I could write.

[00:30:11] So if I hadn’t done. And, you know, it was onto book three. I might’ve been thinking, am I wasting my time? So, so I have got the first book out there and getting it in front of people. Uh, once I did my writing and then I thought, right, I’ve done my first draft. I’ve got it off to the, to the development editor.

[00:30:30] Now let’s have a look at marketing. I didn’t think about it too much while I was trying to finish my first book, but I was very lucky cause it happened to coincide with Mark Dawson. Um, Uh, his 1 0 1 course release. So that was the first author I really did.

[00:30:48] Stephen: Okay. Um, so through all of this, uh, before we get going here, um, with the rest of our day, what would [00:31:00] you give as some advice for new authors?

[00:31:02] What would you tell someone that’s new that says, oh, I just, you know, getting started, I don’t know much what you’re doing.

[00:31:09] Vicky: It’s to it’s to look around and to learn that what I’ve been amazed about is, is the community it’s so friendly and it’s so helpful. And there is a lot of free information out there and you can approach people, email people and say, I’ve got this issue.

[00:31:24] What do you think? Or all I would say is that, um, If they, if they give you advice, take that advice and act on it. You can always go back and say, it didn’t really work for me. What do you think? But if you go back and ask the same question and they said, well, did he do what I is, what I suggested? And you say, no, they’re not going to help you again.

[00:31:42] So certainly ask advice will act on it, work out then what works for you. And the other thing is, um, you know, save up. It’s not cheap. Um, and you know, we haven’t talked much about the marketing, but I think. I guess that does get more and more expensive if you, if you want to [00:32:00] do your ads and then if you just want to make sure I, and I can’t do, um, the covers myself because the illustrated covers and there’s, there’s no way.

[00:32:07] So you’ve got to pay for covers. You’ve got to pay for the editor, uh, the software, the setup costs. So to have to have some money saved up, I think is really important to keep you going through. You’re unlikely to earn money with your first book and I’m not accepting, you’re probably unlikely to, you know, do a much more than breakeven with my second book.

[00:32:28] And then it’s when you third, fourth or fifth, that you can really, really take this forward. I mean, that, that’s me guessing what I’ve been told, but, um, but that’s yeah, that’s those, my thoughts.

[00:32:39] Stephen: Great. Well, that’s appreciated. So, uh, tell us where we can find you online and the name of your book and wherever we can

[00:32:48] Vicky: find that.

[00:32:49] So my website is Victor Victoria, tate.com, and the Tate is T a I T. The book is foul murder and it’s available on all an online bookstores. I actually have a free [00:33:00] novella, and that’s what I did as part of my marketing. It’s called gravy danger. It’s available on my website by for those who sign up to my email list.

[00:33:10] Stephen: Well, great. Well, the Korea, it was wonderful to talk to you. I appreciate you taking some time out today.

[00:33:16] Vicky: Oh, well, thank you, Stephen. It’s it’s great to be on the shows. Exciting.

[00:33:21] Stephen: Well, good. Yeah, I think it’s interesting. I didn’t think about this when I wanted to focus the podcast on new authors, that this could very well be the first podcast.

[00:33:31] Many of them have been on and there’s some nervousness to go with it. So in a way, I feel it’s a badge of honor, you know, to help people get past that first podcast. So when they do start getting big. They are much more comfortable, sound very professional for other podcasts.

[00:33:52] Vicky: I mean, it is. And it’s really difficult because we haven’t been at, so I, I was planning to attend the London book fair, and I thought that that’s it. I’ve written my book. I can [00:34:00] now go out. I can go and meet other authors and say, I’ve written a book and we know it will be released in the summer as all of a sudden they haven’t been able to do that.

[00:34:07] And I’m sure there are other authors who are the same. There’s also probably authors who, who are new into the space because they’ve had. Time. So everybody, yeah, it’s an, it’s an exciting time, uh, for all of us. And we’ll just, uh, we have to see where the industry in the business is going to go.

[00:34:23] Stephen: And that’s the great thing about writing and doing it independently.

[00:34:28] You can change and flex and go with what works and try new things. Um, I think it’s very freeing to do something like that. If you’re moving between countries every couple of years.

[00:34:41] Vicky: Absolutely. Yeah. And you and your people and you don’t, you don’t get the chance to get out. Uh, and, uh, and seeing other local author community.

[00:34:49] Yes. Right.

[00:34:50] Stephen: Well, great. Well, Victoria, I appreciate it. And I hope you have a great day and I wish you luck on the book.

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