Writers Plot Readers Read think all our books should be printed in NZ. We use BookPrinting Please tell Chris we recommended you. :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Settle petals... we have Vicky Adin in the dungeon!

Kia ora,
Please welcome our latest victim guest, VICKY ADIN.

On the metal plate suspended above that puddle by wires is a chocolate fish. Behave and the delicious pink marshmallow fish covered in chocolate won’t end up a goopy mess on the floor.
In the event of an earthquake/zombie plague/or random occupation - you’ll find emergency procedures taped to the bottom of your seat. Yes, just like a flotation device. You’ll also find a Glock 17 with a full magazine.
Remember you cannot reason with zombies and it’s a head shot every time.  


What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)

Thai – the infusion of tastes and freshness of ideas is what appeals to me, just like putting a new story together.

Describe your current mental status.

Calm, as in after the storm – or maybe in the eye of the storm. It could change any minute
I know how I do what I do … but how do you do what you do?

One word at a time! Literally. I am a ‘pantser’. I have a rough idea in my head about what the story is about, but exactly how it is going to pan out I have no idea. I just sit down and start writing. If I get stuck I go for a walk (usually around the pond in the park next to the house) and talk to myself until the next scene comes to life – the locals think I’m slightly cuckoo and I probably am at that stage. Because I write historical fiction, I also research as I go along. I will look up tiny details – street names, buildings, rules, behavior – to match where the story is going. Fascinating stuff, but I can get lost in the past and forget what I started out looking for.

Could you tell us a little bit about your latest work?

My latest release – ‘The Girl from County Clare’  – is about Brigid, an Irish lacemaker who fled poverty and starvation in Ireland in the 1880s and emigrated to Australia, and later New Zealand, to make a new life. I’ve been told it’s a real page-turner, and should be made into a film. If dreams were wishes and wishes came true...

I’ve just started a new book about a young girl living in Auckland at the turn of the 20th century, who is a sugar boiler... not sure where that is going right now. She could end up in a right sticky mess.

Do you have a favorite coffee or tea?

Fickle is as fickle does... tea first thing in the morning, coffee with breakfast and maybe again mid morning if I need a kick in the you-know-what, and then tea to end the day.

Walk us through a typical day. (Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, boxers, briefs, or budgie smugglers. Inquiring minds want to know. Yes, that includes my Admins… we don’t piss off the Admins.)

My pj’s are purple and pink with flowers on them. The man of my dreams brings me tea in bed – I did mention that didn’t I? – and my laptop, and I’m set for the day. Social media first. Apparently, you can’t be a writer without a social media presence. Interesting sometimes, time consuming others, and frequently a good excuse to procrastinate and not get on with what I really should be doing. Then my toast arrives with a coffee. I answer my emails, read the newspaper, or write a blog until guilt finally gets me out of bed and into the shower. Life is good.

Then it’s re-reading what I wrote yesterday (or the day before depending on whether I even got to the blank page or not), a bit of editing and rewriting and usually the story starts to flow. If it doesn’t I don’t care, I can come back to it. I’ll do some research or reading instead.

Sometimes, demands of family – a newly retired husband who likes my company, but respects my space – need my attention, and then there’s the boring things like groceries, or cleaning (he’s taken over the washing – did I say life was good?). I never miss a chance to be with the grandchildren, and I must remember to exercise more. Must be time to take a walk.

 Tell us about your main character. (How did you first meet? Would you like to hang out with him/her? What delights you the most about writing him/her? You get the idea …)

I love women. Oops, that could be taken the wrong way. What I mean is, women are always my main characters, because they are tough underneath all their feminine, delicate, fashionable, traditional, modern charms. The one exception is Daniel in ‘The Disenchanted Soldier’ – the story of a NZ pioneer, soldier turned pacifist, and his conscientious objector sons. But then, a lot of that change should be credited to Emma, his very young Prussian wife.

Women lead change. I love that. They know what they want from life and are not afraid to go for it. What they want changes from era to era. Just read Jane Austen to work out who ruled the household, controlled what women wore, did, or said back then. Ask Kate Sheppard. A modern miss might have different goals, but nothing is going to stop her getting

My characters overcome their own difficulties, the things that hold them back, and learn how to be the masters (or mistresses) of their own destiny. Megan, in ‘The Cornish Knot’ is a heart-broken widow, Emma in ‘The Art of Secrets’ buries her past and learns to grow under the less than sympathetic eye of the aged Charlotte who thinks she knows it all. Brigid, “The Girl from County Clare’ is highly skilled but has to travel the oceans of the world to find her destiny, and who knows where sugar-boiling Gwenllian from the valleys of Wales will end up (although I do have an inkling of an idea).

I love them all - they are mostly based on real people. I am a genealogist. I have researched several family trees and many branches over the years and have been astounded by what the women had to put up with, what they overcame, and what they achieved. I base my characters on those wonderful women from the past. I hope I do them justice.

Who are your favorite writers?

Deborah Challinor, Diana Gabaldon, Sara Donati, Winston Graham – historical fiction authors. I like sagas!

Who inspires you to do better? (Be as corny as you’d like… just go for it! Mmmm chocolate fish.)

The past. I’m a kinda old-fashioned girl. I love the fashions of the late Victorian and Edwardian period, not that my characters live the wealthy lifestyle. 
My husband – he thinks my stories are the best, but then he would, wouldn’t he?

Describe your perfect day.

Every day is a perfect day for me – didn’t I say life was good?

Who is your favorite fictitious villain? Or are you all about the hero? Who do you love to hate?

Flawed heroes are my favorite characters. Ross Poldark, Jamie Fraser, Brett Butler... goodness, what is it with all these men? I love women (remember). Let’s try Friday Woolfe (The Convict Girls series by Deborah Challlinor), feisty, rough, tough and hard as nails, but there’s another side to her.  In fact, I’d include the three other women, Sarah, Rachel, and Harriet, from the series in the list too. All different, but all loyal and determined.

Do you have any quirks?

Of course not!! Quirks are for other people. But my family will tell you differently.

All-time favorite movie and why?

Gone with the Wind. I did tell you I was an old-fashioned girl and a bit of a romantic too.

Do you enjoy the editing process?

Yes, in part: I love playing with words and will rework sentences until I feel they are the best I can get. And no: it takes for ever, and just when you think you have found every last mistake, someone finds one you missed. Damn it!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

New Zealand – it is the best country in the world (and I’ve travelled a lot). It is beautiful, it is safe, it is the most down-to-earth and the most big-hearted of countries. We just have to make sure it stays that way.

Favorite Pizza topping?

Home made vegetarian with lots of cheese

What were you before you became a writer?

Now let me think: A secretary, a PA, a wife, a mother, a daughter, an amateur thespian, a professional conference manager, a university student, and now I’m supposed to be retired. 

What is the most random thing you have ever done?

Going to university at the age of 48 and coming out with a MA(Hons), or travelling 104 days around the world in a cruise liner. Take your pick.

If you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?


Who is your ultimate character?

Violet Crawley, The Dowager Duchess of Grantham (or at least the way Maggie Smith portrayed her). She is sharp, witty and totally believes in the small world of the English aristocracy. And I love her clothes.

Whiskey or Bourbon? Red or white wine? Tequila? Beer?

Red wine – keep pouring. If it’s not available, then white wine will do. 

What’s in your pockets? (Or handbag, whatever you carry your stuff in. Are you apocalypse prepared?)

Always have reading glasses, a notebook and pen, my iPhone and my kindle. Add in keys, cash cards, tissues, pain relief pills, nail file, and a lipstick probably. I used to be prepared for anything when I had young children with me... now I travel light.

Laptop, PC, Mac, tablet?

Mac all the time.

Ebook or tree book?

Both. Ebook while traveling and in the middle of the night.  A tree book if I want to keep it. Love the smell and feel of books.

Where do you do most of your writing?

On my laptop, at my antique desk in my morning room.

What’s the hardest thing for you when it comes to being an author? (For me it’s marketing but for others it’s the actual writing …)

Marketing! If only books would sell themselves without any help from me. Anyone like to add a review to my Amazon page? 

You made it!! Damn, you rock. Now would you like to try for the chocolate fish? Mind the puddles … but hurry. Power surges are common in the dungeon; you don’t want to have one hand on the metal plate containing that delicious chocolate fish and a foot in a puddle...
That laughter you hear is coming from The Knight, he probably won’t flip that switch he has his hand on. Probably …

You can find out more about Vicky Adin in the following places ...

Vicky's books are available in our store!


  1. A woman after my own heart! I've just begun watching the Poldark series, and love it! I'm with you on the strong women and how they always seem to find a way to endure and rise above life's troubles. You are very lucky to have such a supportive husband. I look forward to reading The Girl from County Clare one day. Nice interview. Well done Vicky.

  2. Thank you Teresa. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Really enjoyed reading your interview, Vicky. Thanks for sharing so much lol