VK liked my posters, so you have to think she’s a great author! 🙂 And to talk with her, I had to time travel to the future! Listen in and find out.
Like many, she started out writing as a kid, but never thought she would become an author. Her current book is the 2nd in the Vital Impetus series. If you like magic and mischief, these are the books for you.
Her Grandfather took her father’s life, and now Jess wants revenge.
Heir to a multi-verse kingdom Jess should be the most powerful woman in the world, able to keep her loved ones safe and bring peace to the realms. But with her newfound powers, came newfound dangers.
Jess is determined to protect the people she loves. To keep her sister, mother and boyfriend Peter safe, she sends them away, where her enemies can’t find them. When, Peter’s parents find out she’s the offspring of their mortal enemy, they are determined to keep them apart forever.
Going alone is perilous, and it’s hard to tell the difference between friend and foe. Determined to bring down her maniacal Grandfather, Jess is just beginning to realize the depth of her ties to those around her and the strength they bring to her.
Will she become the great protector or is she more like her Grandfather than she wants to admit?
[00:00:47] Stephen: So a welcome discover wordsmith today. We’ve got VK. How are you doing? Good
[00:00:52] vk: morning. How are you today?
[00:00:54] Stephen: Good. I sounded like a smarmy sideshow hosts there. Hey, come on in and pop my [00:01:00] balloon. So yeah, it’s all good. So I, I really got to ask this question for everyone on the podcast. What’s the future. Like
[00:01:11] vk: it’s a bit dismal today, actually, to be honest.
[00:01:15] Stephen: That’s my joke. Cause I’m so excited. I’m talking to someone that is in a different day. You’re on Thursday and I’m on Wednesday.
[00:01:22] vk: Yes. Thursday, eight 30 in the morning. She’s a bit gray outside. It’s supposed to be summer. We really haven’t had much of a summer this year. It’s been a bit of a wet one. So
[00:01:33] Stephen: yeah,
[00:01:35] vk: it’s not the greatest future at the moment.
[00:01:38] Stephen: a lot of people around here would take the rain in summer as opposed to the several weeks of snow we’ve had. Whatever I hear you as we just alluded to you’re in Australia, which is pretty much opposite everything from me. So tell us a little bit about before we get into your book a little bit about yourself, but what you like to do and [00:02:00] some things outside of writing.
[00:02:02] vk: Okay. So I was born in New Zealand, my, um, what I call a mutt. My, my dad’s Canadian, my mom’s acute. So I traveled between the two countries a bit growing up as well. And we moved to Australia about five years ago. I still haven’t quite got the Australian lingo. Right. Occasionally I get caught out, but I’m learning and we look, we’re really enjoying the lifestyle here to beat cheat, a relaxed kind of lifestyle.
So that’s lots of fun. We like going out, exploring. I love traveling, which has been really difficult during COVID. So I’ve struggled a bit. My restrictions in place, but I’m looking forward to those coming up again soon. Hope, but yeah, I, I love reading and I love writing for me. Writing is like watching TV.
It’s a way for my brain to switch into a different mode and think about different things outside of reality.
[00:02:59] Stephen: Agreed. [00:03:00] I know when I sit down and start writing, even if I’m like, I don’t feel like writing, oh, I’m not going to do good today. Whatever, it’s an hour and a half later, I’m like, oh, I’ve written how many words.
It’s always enjoyable. I agree. You guys have done pretty good with the whole COVID thing. You’ve tried to keep it a little more secluded in sheltered.
[00:03:22] vk: It’s been interesting watching how different people have dealt with. Like my folks back in New Zealand, they basically closed the entire country.
Australia did to a certain extent. And then within Australia, obviously there’s different states. So each state had different regulations that applied as well. I think I, I lived in the strict one of the strictest states in south Australia, but now they’ve done. Okay. It’s it’s not an easy one because there’s no quick fix on it.
And I don’t think from a government perspective, a one blanket approach. Meets all requirements either, which is it’s really tough. [00:04:00] Yeah. Having to constantly change. And we all know governments move slow so much slower than viruses.
[00:04:07] Stephen: Yes. Yes. Very much. So jumping just a little bit, you mentioned that you travel between Australia and Canada, and I assume you go to New Zealand at times.
If your mother’s. Moving between those countries. Do you think that’s been an influence on your writing and it changes how you think of your writing?
[00:04:29] vk: I think travel always changes, writing, having a greater perspective and looking at the world differently through the eyes of being a foreigner and, you know, understanding that just because you do it this way, doesn’t mean everybody does it this way.
I think helps you grow. And also helps your character development. I use a lot of characters from different locations and in some of my books from different universities, because I love the concept that each person is a little [00:05:00] bit of a half the made in their biology, and then a lot of how they’re raised and the environment that they’re raised.
And you can edit biology to a certain extent, but how you raised, you can really play with. I like the ability to be able to use that. And I certainly see that when I travel, we can even just have parents and direct with the children at the airport. You can tell different countries from how mom’s talking to the kid.
But for me, it’s a really interesting look at humanity and how we view ourselves. When you travel
[00:05:38] Stephen: and it’s different because you’re basically secluded island, all your kind of yourself, you know, America and Canada and Mexico. So there’s a little bit that we travel sometimes there. I mean, I’ve talked to some people over in the European Asian countries in Africa and that, and.
We’ll travel vast distances in [00:06:00] between countries or that. And it’s always interesting to hear how they think and view the world differently and how that affects the writing. So, yeah. Okay. So let’s talk a little bit about your writing specifically. When did you say, Hey, I want to be a writer. I want. I w
[00:06:20] vk: I get this question a lot and to be honest, there’s not like a solid lawn.
I didn’t wake up one day and go, yay. This is what I want to do. It’s a gradual thing over time. I remember as a kid doing a little snippets of short stories and a lot of poetry in my teenage years, where you go through the angsty phase and poetry, really. And then coming out of that, I just got busy and it really wasn’t a focus point until I got into my thirties and started really wanting to get.
Not escapism, but having that time to myself, walk back into my life. So for me, it became an opportunity a bit like going and watching a movie to be able to [00:07:00] escape from what I’m doing and go and sit and do something that I enjoy and that I can focus on. And my first book really dabbled in didn’t really do much with, and then we moved to Australia, we made a bucket list and said, okay, we’re going to be doing this big move then.
I have to have one thing that I’ve always wanted to do that I’ve never done yet. So mine was to write a book cause I hadn’t completed anything of that stage. So I got over here and found that they had an amazing writing group here. Incredible authors. Yeah. It still blows my mind that you come to middle of nowhere.
Cause this is rural Australia too. This isn’t in the middle of Sydney and yeah, all these people with this talent is. So I got to join in with this group and the skills that I grew and learned from them was perfect. It’s exactly what I needed. It was at the right time. I got my book started and then once I it’s like a drug, once you [00:08:00] get on it, it’s really hard to get off.
And I just, I kept feeding the base and yeah. And I’m still doing that. I was still loving writing. I enjoy putting out lots of books. And I really enjoy interacting with people like yourself, other authors, other artistic type, because it just stimulates a different parts of your brain on a regular basis.
[00:08:22] Stephen: So you said you like to read a lot also, do you do what I do? I’ll be reading. I’m like, oh man, that was, I love that sentence or I love how they described that. And then the next time I go to sit down, I’m like, okay, I got to try and channel that. And so I use my reading to help fuel my writing a lot. Do you do.
[00:08:41] vk: I do I have to say, I try not to put on my editor’s hat too much, but sometimes that creeps into when you’re reading something, you’re like, oh no, I’d move that there. And I’d change that. And I’d take that word out. Cause you don’t really, I think that it’s just a time thing or you get used to doing it on [00:09:00] yourself so often that eventually you do it to everyone else, but yeah.
Uh, John DRA Hoppo when I read to, cause I, I read based on what I feel like I need to have. So if I want something really light and happy, I might do like a rom-com or if I want something more in depth, I might go and, and do some like action adventure or Saifai or.
[00:09:21] Stephen: Same here. Yeah, same here. I’ve got so many different things.
And then I start reading one book in one genre and another book in another I’m like three books, all different genres. And people are like, how the heck are you doing that? I’m like, I don’t know. Maybe I have ADHD. I just show her around. So tell us about your book. I wonder what is it called? And what’s a little bit about what it’s like.
[00:09:44] vk: Okay. So the one I’ve got coming up is, uh, it’s called vital impetus, revenge seeker. It’s the second book in the series. A, the first book in the series is the magic and mischief a book, which actually I’ve got, I haven’t got a copy of the new one yet. Sorry, but [00:10:00] that’s the magic and mystery. So it started as a collection of stories through a publisher.
So we did it as an anthology type thing, and I had. Really strong concept of a multi universe scenario. And I wanted to really have a play with what it looked like, how it worked, who was in it, how that functioned had he moved between worlds, that kind of thing. So I started writing the story and it was only ever, supposed to be as part of this initial book.
It was like going to be his own standalone thing. But the more I got into it, the more I realized that there’s just so much to go on. It doesn’t end in this book and I got to the end of it. And I, I said to my publisher, look, I’m really sorry, but there’s more to tell and she’s no, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.
So yeah, we got booked to coming out and then I’m working at the moment towards book three, which hopefully should be the end. That’s the plan, [00:11:00] unless the characters must behave. But at the moment,
[00:11:03] Stephen: sometimes they take a mind of their own. I know one. Thing I wanted to do for a local fair, turned into a seven book series that I’m working on.
So I understand that. So tell us a little bit more about the, what the stories are about. Don’t have to give things away, but synopsis for the people that are interested.
[00:11:24] vk: Okay. So the baseline synopsis is the stories by surround a character called Jess who’s here in Australia. I like to use local settings.
I think it brings an authentic feel to it because I can describe to the reader, places that I actually go to. So I find that quite fun. And so Jess is here in Australia, she’s being raised on the run with her family. She never really understood why she just assumed that it was some kind of government thing or there’s some generic reason why her parents wanted them to be off grid and.[00:12:00]
As she gets older, her parents announced her. Look, are you going to have to leave? It’s no longer safe for you to be with us. And she’s okay. It follows the trend of my life for a few guys, you know, hiding me from some non-existent threat that I can’t see yet. And yet she turns 18 and gets given this book from her mom.
Who’s basically not abandoned her, but they’ve left her to, to fend for herself. And, uh, and it explains in there about who she is and what she can really. And yeah, I’ve got a little bit around the background of that. If you want me to read it to you, but it, the concept of it is that it’s a multi-verse I idea, Jess is one of the realm K Kings kingdom realms, future leaders.
So it turns out her mother was actually a princess. And [00:13:00] had escaped with your father illicit affair, which they ended up getting married and having kids. And she didn’t want to go back to face the reality of what she had to be as, as a future queen. So she’s been on the. And, and so Jess is suddenly thrown into this different alternate reality where she can actually control the move between universities and she’s, she starts accidentally, she falls through, finds herself in a strange place and then accidentally falls back out.
So really those stumblings. Of moving between worlds. And then as she grows, she gets more control Walnut, and she gets to be able to understand how it works and how to manipulate it and how to do the things that she needs to do. And she’s slightly influenced slash assisted by a boy of a similar age. She had met him in her childhood and neither of them had really understood what the other one was.[00:14:00]
He disappeared for a number of years and then reappears back in her adulthood. And it turns out that he is the son of the opposite kingdom. And now we’ve got this juxtaposition of the light energy versus the dark energy and the two being attracted to each other and
[00:14:21] Stephen: Julia
[00:14:21] vk: Little Romeo Juliet scenario.
How does that work? What does that look like? And how do they work their way through that, but we’ve, we get introduced to it a little bit and the magic and mystery of series. We start to understand how the worlds work. We see Jess start to understand how to use the power that she has and what that means.
And then in the second book, this is where the adventure really ramps up, but there’s lots of action scenes. There’s lots of underhanded ploys from different people as they try to manipulate the new pieces of. And I really got to have a look at, I guess, the concept of we, [00:15:00] we assume the worst of people when we hear only the worst, what happens if you have to suddenly be with them, how does that change your reality?
If you’re seeing them on a actual day-to-day, they’re not just this arch nemesis off in the distance, there’s suddenly someone that, you know, and somebody you might be related to. So how much of your genes comes into. How similar are you to, to the demon that’s portrayed by everyone else. I really wanted to touch on that, particularly for Jess, her grandfather’s portrayed as this really horrible person.
That’s kind of attractive her family. Rose with an iron fist and does despicable things. But I really wanted to, to see if she was suddenly living with him and surrounded by him. What does that actually look like? How does that work? Does she see it the same way? Or does she start to see the cracks and the illusion and understand what that means?
Or this is, yeah, that’s, [00:16:00] we’re in that middle section now that really. Heightened awareness. And then in book three, we’re going to move towards her understanding and a graded deeper aspect of reality. So
[00:16:13] Stephen: nice. Yeah. So is this general fantasy, is it like Y a, where would you classify that?
[00:16:22] vk: It’s a really tough one.
I think it probably is Yia in that there’s there’s no really. Like massively graphic scenes, but there are some traumatizing trigger moments, no different than a hundred game series. But really for me, I like the fluidity of moving between Joanna’s as well. This is a kind of book that I would expect adults to be able to pick up, understand, and probably get a deeper meaning from it than a teenager.
Who’s got. Really attach, I think to that relationship [00:17:00] art and not necessarily see the depth and the characters that an adult would see. I like that too. I liked it. Yeah. It was a bit like here as an adult, when you watch a Simpsons movie or a Simpsons TV show, UCL, something completely different to what a five or six year old sees.
So I liked that concept too, because I think there’s some things that teenagers will see. At the adults won’t and vice versa. And
[00:17:28] Stephen: I, that’s funny you say that because I was thinking Looney tunes because I was watching it with my stepson. Who’s 14 and he’s going, Hey, this isn’t like as silly and goofy, as I thought it’s got some funny stuff, he viewed it differently than he had five, six years ago, which I was like, yeah, there’s a whole lot of stuff in there.
So layers. What other books would you say that yours is similar to?
[00:17:52] vk: That’s really good. One. I don’t know you
[00:17:56] Stephen: mentioned, but it doesn’t really sound like [00:18:00] it’s a dystopian hunger games type. It’s
[00:18:03] vk: not dystopian. It’s more fantasy across between almost like a time travel or a like a multi-verse scenario, because they can move between worlds.
At one point, she jumps into world and, and. Where people, which obviously don’t exist in our universe, but didn’t this one. And then she moves around in between these different spheres. So I haven’t read anything that specifically reminds me of it. And I don’t know where I got the ideas or half of this stuff from, yeah, it’s a fantasy multi universe.
[00:18:51] Stephen: Nice. And you mentioned a publisher, so you have this traditionally published through somebody.
[00:18:57] vk: Yeah, I do this through inks. Bell. [00:19:00] Expel are a small publishing house, but I love them so dearly. They are such a support team. They do great work and it just, for me, it takes a lot of the stress off. I do some of my own self pub stuff as well.
I know, um, that from a self publishing side, you do have a lot more flexibility. You have a lot more control on, on looks and feels. And even on the editing side, you can probably clear a little bit back, but I do also love the concept of having feeling like you’re part of a team and having that support network here.
So for me, the duality of having both. Living in the best of both worlds, I get to pick and choose a little bit on what I want to present to who and yeah, it gives me a bit of freedom, so
[00:19:56] Stephen: nice, great. One is out and two [00:20:00] is just about out. You said that’s cracked
[00:20:02] vk: yet. Next week.
[00:20:05] Stephen: By the time the episode comes out is definitely going to be out.
We’ll make sure to put links in there for people I’ll make sure and grab that. Thank you. So your first book, what type of feedback have you been getting from readers?
[00:20:17] vk: Really good. I think. The hardest part for people was the initial info dump. I guess I, I tried to make it not quite so in-depth, it’s a bit like anything when you’re world-building and you have to supply information for that backstory.
You need to give a lot of information over a short period of time, but you want to make it so that they can understand. So I, I tried not to put too much into that first book, stretch it out a little bit, but there is a lot of information cause it’s, it’s a concept reality. And so having to allude to what that meant and how it worked and who lives, [00:21:00] where and why, when, how they interact.
That’s quite a lot of. Generically people seem to love it. I’ve had really good reviews. I’ve had a couple of art copy stuff, come back for book two and people were really enjoying it so long. May that last, we all know as Ortho’s that a golden thing to have, but it’s, yeah, it is quite different to a lot of my other books.
I do a lot of different genres a bit like how I read, I write based on how I feel. I jumped between John Aras, I’ll have two or three books on the go at any one stage. I’m a terrible, if you’re looking for somebody to, to have one specific type of book every time that’s not me, but my readership get to pick and choose a little bit.
And they know there’s something new coming out all the time. I, I get to enjoy what I do and they get to enjoy books as they come in and assess them on the individual merit. And I think that’s really important. [00:22:00]
[00:22:00] Stephen: Nice. Okay. And if you had a choice, would you rather see these as movies or a TV show?
[00:22:08] vk: That’s a tough one.
Cause you know, some of the TV shows at the moment. Amazing.
[00:22:13] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely a different thought and question than it would have been even 10 years ago. Yeah,
[00:22:21] vk: absolutely. You know what? I would probably want TV show and that’s only because my brain doesn’t switch off so I could create. Like series of TV shows for eternity 26 years worth of run and never run out of ideas.
So a TV show would be great.
[00:22:44] Stephen: That’s funny. We just watched a reach on Amazon and it was an enjoyable, and I told my wife, I said, there’s 25 more books. So she’s like, oh, 25 more years. So it’s funny you say that, Hey, keep planning, getting them [00:23:00] out there, getting the stories out. That’d be great. Yeah. So you say you read a lot.
What are some of your favorite books
[00:23:09] vk: and authors different genres for different times? So I am a big lover of the classics. I read most of them in my early teens, and I still pull them out occasionally now, because every good book, when you go and pick it up a second time, you find that. And I have to admit, I am a Jane Austin fan.
I’m sorry for a lot of you out there that hater, but I find her to be a really funny and interesting and quite a unique character in itself. And, but recently what. I think she got into audio books. I told myself I was never going to do it, but I have a really busy lifestyle. And for me, audio books are great because I can listen in the car or it can put on the headphones and go for a walk around the block and listen and read at the same time.[00:24:00]
So I’ve been doing quite a few. I like paranormal romance stuff through that one. I’m writing some paranormal romance. So for me, it’s both interesting and engaging, but also gets that part of my brain. Okay.
[00:24:16] Stephen: What’s your favorite audio book so far right now?
[00:24:20] vk: Oh, I don’t have my phone. I don’t have my phone here.
I don’t think so. I can’t have a look at I’m really bad at remembering names. I go, I’m going to admit that hair it out. I don’t remember what it,
[00:24:32] Stephen: as long as you remember the name of your own book, that’s the most important
[00:24:36] vk: I know. Don’t we get into the habit of going on order auto focus. Like I jumped in and I pushed play on my audio book thing, and then it gives me a recommendation.
Yeah, sure. Sounds great. I hit the next one and I’m getting into the stories. I’m loving the stories and I’ll occasionally put a review on, I tend to be a bit cautious on reviews because I don’t want to [00:25:00] like upset anyone, but I do, I get into that auto, um, recommendation phase. And that can be really dangerous because you’re not actually proactively looking.
You’re just going. Oh yeah.
[00:25:12] Stephen: So you mentioned Jane Austin. What’s your favorite other favorite classics? You mentioned you really liked the classics loves the classics,
[00:25:20] vk: Charles Dickens. I am a massive Charles Dickens fan. Um, I love the beauty of the description in his work. He can describe or sum up a character in two sentences and you know exactly who that character is.
And. He touches on and plays on some really dark themes around poverty and abuse and the, the, the, I guess the, the, the way things were at the time, but he does it in such a beautiful way. And I really enjoy that. And I have to admit, this is a little bit of a side [00:26:00] note, one of my very old time, favorite books.
If you’ve never looked it up as a German author called Herman Hesse, he wrote a book called Steppenwolf. I’ve read it both in English and in German. Cause I learned and
[00:26:14] Stephen: most of Australia Canadians learned German.
[00:26:17] vk: It’s in the CERN. I, yeah, it’s a long story. I worked over there as a tour guide and a translator for, I don’t know, a year and
[00:26:27] Stephen: yeah, you’re actually the second person on the podcast I can think of that mentioned Steppenwolf as one of their favorites.
[00:26:38] vk: I remember reading it in my teens and going, oh my God, this is crazy, but it’s so cool. I love the concept of this monster inside the man. And how does that, that what part of him is actually him and what part is the beast and, and really connecting with that duality. And then it gets into all these kinds of other [00:27:00] greater thinking around.
He talks to Mozart and he discusses philosophy and it’s just, it is the craziest out there book, but I just adore it. I really do from a philosophy perspective, from a duality perspective, from a real study in human nature and how and why we do what we do. I think it’s a classic, so
[00:27:24] Stephen: nice. Around where you live.
Do you have a favorite bookstore that you like to go to?
[00:27:30] vk: We have one bookstore in my town cause it’s like 16,000 people to live here, which is beers, bookstores. So shout out to them right there. They’re so supportive of local authors and writers. And I feel like because we have an enormously large amount of authors for a very small town.
And so they’re constantly being Barbara bombarded with new writing books from us. It’s a bit like the library. I think like I’d donated a book of mine. For all of them to the library and she’s, uh, can you slow down a bit? [00:28:00] It takes us longer to put it in the system than it does for you to ride it. But yeah, we it’s, bookstores are really interesting.
The world has changed so much. We’ve had a lot of shifts since COVID with people physically not being able to get in and do the bookstores. Even in the old days. I remember we’d have a cafe bookstore combo and you can’t do that anymore. Distancing and masks. And you can not only not wear a mask if you seated and drinking or so it’s, it’s a tough one.
I do love seeing the growth in independent authors and the ability for them to be able to distribute their works and a and two. Not just traditional concept stuff like libraries, but they can now move into independent bookstores and even some of the large chain stuff. Uh, you can now get through, you know, as an independent [00:29:00] author, you can get your stuff through there too.
And it’s fascinating for me to see the spread as well. Like some of my self. I’ve seen my books crop up in the strangest places. And like, I don’t even know how that got there. Yeah. Sometimes it’s oh, that’s there. Oh, that’s kind of cool. I don’t know what I did to get that there, but happy days. Yeah. Yeah.
But look, it’s, I love the journey. I love interacting with my fan base. I love hearing from my friends. I get lots of emails or messages from them, or when’s this coming out? Winston, I have you written this, but yet lots of questions about my family. Is this related to your husband? Like this way here? I know it’s not, but yeah.
It’s I think the distribution world that we had has changed. If you look statistically, we’ve got a lot more pickup and things like KDP.
[00:29:55] Stephen: Uh, I was going to actually ask you a few things about that with living in Australia [00:30:00] for our author talk. That’d be cool. Okay. Before we get onto the author talk, tell everybody listening.
If you were in the elevator, give that elevator pitch of why they should get your book and
[00:30:12] vk: read it. Okay. Because it covers all the bases. We’ve got romance, we’ve got adventure, we’ve got multiple universes. So if you don’t like one, keep reading, you’ll find another. And I love the idea of keeping you on your edge of your seat.
So every page, I want you to be more invested in the story so that when you get to the end of it, you’re like, no, where’s book three, because that’s the idea of golf.
[00:30:39] Stephen: Nice. Okay. Thank you for sharing the book. It was great talking to you about it.