Come and meet my blind reviewer and author of multiple children’s books Victoria Zigler! #books.
I am so honored to interview author of multiple children’s books Victoria Zigler for my official author website.
1. Victoria, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
“Thanks for having me!
I was born in the Shadow of the Black Mountains in South Wales, in the United Kingdom. Most of my life was spent living in that general area, though I did also live in Alberta, Canada, for a while, and near Hastings, in the South-East of England, which is where I currently live. All three places are quite different: Wales is full of mountains, rain, sheep, and more rain. The part of Canada I was in was a lot flatter, is apparently full of foxes and great big rabbits (though I didn’t see any myself while there) and it’s really hot in the Summer, but very snowy and cold in the Winter. And the area I live in now has a lot of storms, and even more seagulls than Wales has sheep, which is a lot!
I’ve got two older brothers, and we get on about as well as most siblings do; we squabble a lot, and always have, but we love each other really, and would defend each other in a heartbeat against anyone else.
I currently live with my Canadian husband, and a gang of rodents, though I have had plenty of other pets in my lifetime. My rodent gang is made up of four degus, two gerbils, and two rats. Other pets I’ve had were birds, cats, dogs, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits. You can read a little about one of the dogs, a West Highland White Terrier named Kero, in my “Kero’s World” books, and can read about my degu boys in my “Degu Days Duo” books. Because my pets mean so much to me, there will eventually be a section on my website for all my furry, feathered, and scaled, family members, and books about some of my other pets too.
As for things about me… Well… Let me see… I’m a vegetarian, I love animals and nature, I live for books – writing them and reading them – and I’m also completely blind, having lost my sight to Congenital Glaucoma. But it’s OK, because I can read and write braille, audiobooks exist, and computers and tablets can have speach software, so I can still read and write.”
2. What kind of person are you?
“Personality wise I describe myself as a combination of Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger from the “Harry Potter” books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. Everyone I’ve asked tends to agree that this description fits me.
I’m a big kid at heart, who doesn’t want to grow up. I have a very vivid imagination, and would rather curl up alone with a book than be out with friends. Not that I don’t like going out from time to time; you have to go out to properly enjoy nature, and some of my inspiration for stories comes from things that happen when I’m out. But if I’m going to go out, then I prefer quiet walks, lunches out with only one or two people, a visit to a bookstore, and that sort of thing, rather than large gatherings, or noisy and crowded events (not that I won’t attend these from time to time; I just prefer the quieter social situations).”
“My inspiration comes from everywhere! Sometimes it comes from random thoughts or questions that pop in to my head, like my book “Vinnie The Vegetarian Zombie” which was inspired by my wondering if a vegetarian would remain one if he or she became a zombie. Sometimes it comes from my observations of people around me, or from things that happen in my life, or the lives of my pets, like the “Kero’s World” and “Toby’s Tales” books, which are about a beloved dog and my adjustments after losing the last of my sight respectively. Other times it comes from me reading a story and thinking of a new way the story could be told, like “Asha’s Big Adventure” which is a combination of three well-known fairy tales, all combined to make one big adventure for one little girl. Other times the story just pops in to my head, like “Bluebell The Fairy Guide” which is about a little blind girl who gets lost in the woods and is guided safely out by a clever little fairy; an idea I had when walking my dog. You get the idea, I’m sure.”
“I write because I must; because I have ideas in my head, and would go insane – well, more so than I already am – if I didn’t write them down. I started writing as soon as I learned how, and have always felt the desire and need to continue doing so.
As for what my books are about… How long do you have? I’ve published over 30 books, plus contributed a story to another. I’m sure you don’t have all day, so I’ll summerize…
As of February 2015, I’ve published six poetry collections: four of them are general collections of poems on various themes, and the other two are collections of poems written for, or about, my various pets.
I’ve also written and published 31 other books, with another written and pre-released (the pre-released one is due for official release at the end of March). Among these are my “Kero’s World” and “Degu Days Duo” books, which I already mentioned were stories about some of my pets, though I didn’t mention before that the stories are told from their point of view. There’s also my “Toby’s Tales” series, which is about a little boy named Toby’s struggles with adjusting after sight loss, and is based on my own experience with similar struggles. Then there’s my “Magical Chapters Trilogy” which is about a young witch struggling to find acceptance in a world that thinks witches are warty old women, while also struggling to control her quick temper, and come to terms with an accident that happened when she was only three years old. The others are various stand-alone stories, of which some are fairy tale retellings, some are stories about animals, some are fantasy stories or stories about fantasy creatures, and one – a story called “The Forgotten Angel” which I published in December 2014 – is about an angel ornament who gets left in the attic after falling out of the holiday decorations box, so sets off to find the Christmas tree for herself so she can claim her usual place on top of it.
I also contributed a story to a science fiction and fantasy anthology called “Wyrd Worlds II” in 2014. My story in it is called “Quest For The Purple Pumpkin” and is about a little girl who accidentally finds a doorway in to a world of elves; a world where just being a human is punishable by death, so the little girl – her name is Polly – has to get home before she’s found by the wrong elves. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, because Polly can’t just go home the way she got there, as the doorway has disappeared, so she has to find another way; the magical purple pumpkin.
Don’t worry, my stories aren’t generally depressing or violent or anything, though – as one reviewer pointed out – my book “Yua And The Great Wizard Hunt” has an ending that may be considered a bit too violent for younger readers, and “Vinnie The Vegetarian Zombie” may be difficult for sensative youngsters to read.
Anyway, all my books are available as eBooks from Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and some other retailers. Plus, both ”Frank The Friendly Ogre” and ”Wyrd Worlds II” are completely free (there’s another ”Wyrd Worlds” book, which I wasn’t involved in, which is also free).”
5. What you are currently working on? Any future plans?
“I’ve got a book almost ready to go, which is called “Home Squeak Home” and tells the story of our gerbils’ introduction to our household, but from their point of view. I’m also working on a four book series about a faerie dragon and her pixie friend who have to free the four element fairies when their sister – the lesser-known fifth element fairy – becomes jealous of the attention they get and kidnaps them; cursing the creatures and domains under their protection.
After that I have a whole lot of notes and ideas, so though I’m not sure which will be written next, I can assure you I have plenty of ideas to work with, and there will be plenty more from me in the future. Will it be fantasy? Will the main character be an animal or a person? The answers to those – and many other – questions will be revealed in time; when I know the answers myself.
I’ve got a couple of new poems too, so once I have enough to do so, I’ll publish another poetry collection as well. Though that won’t be any time soon, since I only have three short poems towards it so far.
I don’t bite, so if you want to connect with me – or just want to keep up with new releases – then feel free to use one of the following to do so:
My blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.com
I also have a website at http://www.zigler.co.uk if you want to check that out.”
6. What are your hobbies?
“My main hobby is writing, closely followed by reading. Yeah, I know you probably hear that a lot from authors, but I’m not kidding; I spend a lot of time writing, and I read a couple of hundred books a year as a rule. Seriously… Check my Goodreads “read” shelf if you don’t believe me! Anyway, I’ll read most genres, but my favourite genre is Fantasy, and I’ll read books aimed at any age group, but have a fondness for children’s books. I decide what to read based on whether the description of a book sounds interesting to me, then randomly pick from the books I have waiting to be read depending on what I feel like reading at the time; unless I have some books I’ve promised to review for people, in which case they are my priority for what to read next, and are read in the order I agreed to read and review them.
When I’m not reading or writing, it’s usually because I’m catching up on e-mails, or trying to keep up with what’s going on with my family and friends. But I do also enjoy watching movies, watching the odd TV show (I don’t watch much TV, because most of it’s rubbish these days, but I love “The Big Bang Theory” and shows like “CSI” and “NCIS” too, and I sometimes like to watch cartoons) and listening to music (I mainly listen to country or oldies, but I will listen to – and usually enjoy – most music; just not things like rap, and nothing too heavy). I also do crafts, play roleplaying games (like Dungeons And Dragons type games) and a couple of figure games; though I haven’t done much gaming recently.
My other interests include: certain periods of history, science, animals and nature, cooking and baking, and some types of games and puzzles (mainly word games, or puzzles that require some thinking about; like brain teasers, or those little puzzles where you have to put the funny shaped pieces together to make a certain shape).”