What inspired you to start writing?
This is the typical answer, I know, but I’ve been writing since I was a child. I’ve always been a reader, so it was only natural that I’d start to write my own stories. I started writing pretty young – the first thing I got “published” was a poem about a vampire. It featured in my secondary school’s newsletter.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Keep writing. As Charlaine Harris once told me, you’ll never sell a book you haven’t written. So keep going, keep improving, keep writing. Blogging has really helped me, not just with my writing, but also with my confidence. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have dared to release something I’d written. People might laugh at me; people might hate it. Now I think, who cares? Sure, I want a positive response, but no bad review can shake my confidence now. I’ll just take it as constructive criticism, and move on.
What do you wish you’d known about the publishing process?
That you don’t have to do it traditionally! I’d battled against the idea of self-publishing, but since my collection was too “risky” for certain publishers to take on, and I wasn’t intending on making my millions with it, I thought, why the hell not? Being a publishing snob doesn’t get your work out there. Now people can read (and hopefully enjoy!) my stories, which is what it’s all about for me.
Tell us more about Weltanschauung. Why did you decide on a collection of short stories?
A few years ago, in response to my complaining about never being able to finish anything, George RR Martin told me to start with short stories. As a rule, I’m not a fan of short stories myself – I much prefer immersing myself in a novel, rather than dipping in and out of different worlds. But the idea of writing short stories presented a challenge that I couldn’t ignore.
The result was Weltanschauung, a collection of five stories. I really wanted to push myself, so I tried different styles – past tense, present tense, first person, third person, some really short, others longer – and ventured into genres I never imagined myself stepping into. It was so much fun to write, being able to drop in and out of different characters, and it was also difficult, to make sure I could tell my story in X number of words. I have a habit of waffling, so that had to be kept in check! Amongst other things, Weltanschauung is a piece of exploratory fiction, exploring the concept of perception. How our preconceived ideas affect how we see the world, and ourselves within it.
Which authors do you admire?
So many. George RR Martin, for staying true to his story and taking the time he needs to write it. Karen Maitland, for knocking out an excellent book every year. Joe Hill, for not using his father’s name and being a fantastic author in his own right. Tiffany McDaniel, for writing an enviously fabulous debut novel. All the indie authors who work their arses off to promote their work. All the traditionally published authors who work their arses off to promote their work. All the authors I’ve come across and worked with through my blog, who have a clear passion for what they do.
What are you currently reading?
Ugh, so much! I have several review books on the go, but I always try to make time for my personal to-read pile. I’m really enjoying The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn, sent to me by Orenda Books. It’s haunting and beautiful and dark and wonderful.
Weltanschauung is available to download on Kindle now. From 16th – 18th December 2016, Weltanschauung is available for only 99p! For more information, join the Facebook event here. You can also buy Weltanschauung in paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weltanschauung-Vikki-Patis/dp/1539798763/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478689809&sr=8-1&keywords=weltanschauung