Hi. My name is Vivienne Sang and I write under the name of V.M.Sang. I am a retired science teacher, living in the south east of the UK.
I have written and published three books to date. One is a recipe book that contains recipes from my own family and friends. I got some of them from an old book that my Grandmother had dating back to 1909. Although these recipes are not the sort of thing that we eat nowadays, it is very interesting from the historical point of view. Some are full of things like suet, and have to be boiled for up to four hours.
In spite of eating so much fat, most of my grandmother’s generation were not. They did not have all the labour-saving devices that we have now and so housework was much more strenuous. The long cooking was not a problem either because married women did not go out to work. People considered it shameful if a woman had to go out to work. It suggested that her husband did not earn enough to ‘keep’ her.
The other two published books are parts one and two of a fantasy series called The Wolves of Vimar. The third part is at present complete and is sitting on my computer waiting for me to do the first edit of the manuscript.
When I was teaching, I ran a Dungeons and Dragons club at the school where I was working. Having used bought scenarios at first, I thought I’d try my hand at writing one myself. This was quite successful and so when I retired I decided I would try to turn it into a novel.
I found this procedure most interesting. What I thought would be a single book seems to have extended to at least four books, possibly more. I created my characters and sent them off on the quest. Much to my surprise, they took on a life of their own, doing and saying things I hadn’t planned. One character in particular surprised me by changing my ideas about them completely.
I did wonder if I were going a bit doolally when this happened, but having spoken to many other authors since, I find this is not entirely uncommon.
I consider myself a ‘pantster’, really. I have a rough idea of where I want my story to go, but it is in my head. When I sit down to write, I let the story go where it will. Sometimes that means I have to cut a lot out later, but that’s OK.
There are two things that are harder than writing the actual novel. The first is writing the blurb. I am absolutely rubbish at that, and this makes the other hard thing even harder, I think. That is marketing. I have read so much about it and done all the suggested things, but it seems to make little difference.
At first I tried to get an agent, but to no avail and so I decided to self-publish. I did everything myself, including making the covers. It wasn’t so hard. Last week, however, I signed a contract with a publisher for a new book and they are willing to take over my currently published books as well. New covers will be needed, they say, as well as their editor going through the books.
So much for my writing. What about me?
I took early retirement and started writing, but that isn’t all I do. I enjoy painting and drawing and a variety of other crafts including card-making, knitting, sewing, crochet and tatting. This last is a dying craft. I think. It is a form of lace-making using a shuttle. It is really easy once you have got the hang of the stitch. There is only one.
I enjoy outdoor pursuits too. I like gardening and a couple of years ago I contacted our local council about a park behind my house that was getting very neglected. To be brief, they told me that it was originally a community project, but people had moved or died and the council hadn’t realised it wasn’t being looked after. I got a number of neighbours together and we’ve been working on it ever since.
Recently I’ve not done so much of my other outdoor interests. They are cycling, walking and kayaking. I live in easy distance of the South Downs and that is good walking country.
Having retired, I take quite a lot of holidays with my husband. We go abroad in Europe and in the last few years have discovered Germany. We are sorry we didn’t discover it sooner. It’s a lovely country and I’d recommend anyone to go there, especially music lovers. We started going because of our mutual love of J.S.Bach and have visited most of the places he lived or went to. Twice we’ve been to concerts in the church in Leipzig where he was capelmeister.
That’s enough about me for now. I would like to thank Chris the Story Reading Ape for allowing me to come onto his blog and to you for reading this.
You can connect with me at the following places:
My books are available from: