Interview with Author Vicky Peplow

Tell me a bit about yourself….

Hi, my name is Vicky Peplow. I'm 43 years old, and I live in Virginia, USA. I'm originally from the North-East of England and a coal mining village called Ryhope. I moved to Virginia nearly 9 years ago to be with my better half, Lorie.

I have been an independent author for four years now and I have released four books so far, with plenty more to come. I've also helped multiple other authors release their books by helping them with editing, formatting, and also by designing their book covers.

What genre/s do you write in?

I have released books in Historical/Paranormal, Crime, Children's and also a short story book so far.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for 6 years, if not a little longer, but released my first book four years ago.

Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.

I have four published books so far and I have independently published all through kdp publishing.

The first book that I released was Death on the River Wear, which is a crime/thriller fiction book based around my home City of Sunderland in England. Grayson travels to Sunderland to learn more about his mam's past and meets her side of the family. Unfortunately, he gets more than he bargains for when a serial killer begins killing people and Grayson becomes the prime suspect.

My second book is The Old Coal Miner's Lamp. It took me over eighteen months to research for this book and talking to ex coal-miners about their stories. I actually included a lot of them within the book. After Billy loses his life in a mining accident, he becomes the carrier of the old coal miner's lamp. Mike begins having strange flashes of the past and seeks out help from a medium to make sense of what he was going through.

My third book is a children's book called Big Dog and The Witch. Little Sally Wilson is on her way to see her aunty. She takes a shortcut through the Shenandoah Forest, not knowing that there were dangers between the trees. Her favorite toy, Milo, is stolen by the wicked witch and she tries everything to get her toy back.

My most recent book, Between Life and Death, is a mixture of short stories that let you slip into the life of different people and things that they have gone through within their lives. These six short stories will resonate with almost everyone.

Did you use an editor? If so who?

Yes, I have an editor, and she is amazing in more ways than one. Her name is Samantha Talarico, and she is the backbone of everything that I write. If I ever need help with anything, she is always there to help or talk me through it.

Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?

I actually do that myself and I design my own book covers. I have done book covers and book formatting for other authors as well as my own.

Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?

I am 100 percent self-published. It's not that I wouldn't like to be traditionally published, but I'm actually liking having full control over my books.

If a traditional publisher came along and was interested, then I would consider it, and if it was right for my books.

How do you market your work and promote your brand? (Include links)

I do a lot of my own marketing and promotion through social media and my own website. Word of mouth has also been useful and also joining multiple Facebook groups.

What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?

All social media is a benefit and recommended for promoting books. Wattpad is a great writing platform for new writers to post their stories and to get some feedback. It would also be good practice for writing to maybe also start a blog. Using maybe Wix or someplace similar.

Do you use an agent?

No, I do everything myself.

Do you use paid advertising? If so what?

Every now and then I will use paid advertising. Mostly Facebook ads are what I use, and they can be hit and miss sometimes.

Do you have a blog or website?

I actually have both which are run through my website.

What inspires you most to write?

Everything around me is inspiring. Even if I watch something on tv can give me an idea for a book. Hearing stories or reading local news can inspire a story.

What do you do to help with writer's block?

I tend to either step back and work on something else or read a book in the same genre to get my writing juices flowing again. The best advice I received was to step back, put the laptop down, walk outside, and breathe.

How do you plan your writing and start?

I tend to make rough notes on a pad and then think of a way to begin and Bob's ya Uncle, the writing begins.

Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?

It takes up a lot of my time, but I also help other indie authors any way I can with editing, formatting, book design, or whatever it may be.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I am working on my next book, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, which is set in the same village as The Old Coal Miner's Village and where I was born. This book is based around a now derelict asylum which we used to play around as kids.

What is your target audience?

To be fair, I would like all readers from all walks of life to read my books. Everyone has different tastes and some may like my books and some may not, and that's okay.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on how much research needs to be done. It could be anything from a couple of months to a year or more.

When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?

To be honest, Death in the River Wear had been sitting in my head for quite some time. It was only because of my partner who gave me the confidence to go ahead and write it and publish it, so I have her to thank for this path that I'm on now.

What is your writing schedule look like?

Very, very busy. I have five other ideas written down and waiting to be written. 2022 is going to be a busy year.

What does your family think about you writing?

They seem to like it as far as I'm aware. I haven't actually asked them.

What do you do when you are not writing?

If I'm not busy with writing my own books, I tend to be working on other author's books. If I'm not working on my laptop, then I'm usually doing either housework, walking our dog, Milo, or thinking of something else to do such as right now I'm working on starting a podcast.

Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?

If I'm working on something historical, then I tend to talk to people who used to work at a specific place or searching records. If it's a completely fictional story, then it all comes from my head. I have a very active imagination.

What do you think makes a good story?

Every story has to have a beginning, middle,, and end. The storyline and characters need to pull you in and grab you with an emotional pull. Good grammar and punctuation also help.

Thank you, Vicky Peplow, it has been a pleasure getting to know you better.

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