Writing Blind …

We asked author Victoria Zigler, to share with us her experiences as a writer and voracious reader. Here is her story.

My name is Victoria Zigler, I’m twenty-nine years old, and I’m a self-published author of children’s books and poetry.  I also just happen to be completely blind.

I was born with Glaucoma, which robbed me of the sight in my left eye at some point during my childhood, and later robbed me of the sight in my right eye.  I don’t know exactly when my left eye stopped being useful, but I can tell you that I had the eye out shortly before my sixteenth birthday, because by that time all I could see with it was light and the light caused me severe pain.  Seven years later there was a drastic change in what I could see in my right eye, and eight months after that, a few months before I turned twenty-four, I had my right eye out for the same reason.  My left eye has been artificial since I was sixteen, and my right has been artificial since I was twenty-four, but I know it’s correct to say I still have the eye condition Glaucoma, because I asked the eye specialists.

I learned to read and write when I was young, because my big brothers had homework and I wanted some too.  From the moment I learned how to read and write, I’ve been in love with the written word.  I was three when I learned to read and write print, and twelve when I learned to read and write Braille.  Books have always been my place to escape to when I needed to escape the real world, and writing has always been the easiest way for me to express my thoughts and feelings.  Continue reading


Words on a Limb Interviews Victoria Zigler

This week Spotlight on Authors visits with Victoria Zigler, author of many books including her latest
Filicity The Musical Platypus.

She was born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales, and now lives by the sea in the South-East of England with her husband, Kelly.

About writing …

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. I’ve loved to write since I learned how, and wanted to be a published author as soon as I learned what one was. It took me until about two years ago to actually become published, but I got there in the end!

What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
I think I’ve been influenced more by certain authors than by certain books. I also think that I’ve been influenced by several authors, but Beatrix Potter and Hans Christian Anderson have had the biggest influence on my writing; Beatrix Potter for the talking animals that act like people, and Hans Christian Anderson for the fairy tale style of writing.

When and where do you prefer to write?
I don’t really have a favourite time or place to write, but I mostly end up writing on my laptop in the bedroom. I can, and will, write anywhere and at any time though; if I’m inspired and in a position to do so, I’ll write.

What was your biggest challenge in writing your book?
It depends which one. The books that were hardest for me to write were my ‘Toby’s Tales’ books, because they’re semi-fictionalized stories based on my own experiences with the challenges Toby faces in adjusting to sight loss. But, if you mean my most recent book, then the hardest part was trying to visualize a platypus and the environment one would live in clearly enough to be able to write about them, bearing in mind I had to do this from nothing more than bits of description I was able to find online; it was something I wanted to do though, because I really wanted to write a story about a platypus, because they have a funny sounding name.

What advice do you have for other writers?
“If you want to write, then write already, and stop making excuses not to write. Then, when you’re done, edit, edit, and edit some more, because a poorly edited story won’t be very well received, no matter how good it is.”

About you …

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Mostly, if I’m not writing, I’m either reading, sleeping, doing housework, catching up with e-mails, or spending time with my hubby and our pets. Sometimes I’ll do other things though, like watching movies, listening to music, knitting, cardmaking, cooking and baking, figure gaming, playing roleplaying games, or checking to see if any of my family or friends posted anything interesting on Goodreads or Facebook lately.

Can you share something that is happening in your life that would surprise us?
Hmmm… This is a tough one. Well… Anyone who hasn’t read about me anywhere before may be surprised to learn that I’m completely blind. Does that count? If not, then I guess the only thing that’s going on in my life that people might find surprising is that a couple of the interviews I’ve done lately have been character interviews; one is an interview with a dragon named Daisy, who’s one of the main characters in my ‘Magical Chapters’ trilogy, and the other is an interview with my dog, Kero, who’s the main character in my ‘Kero’s World’ series. I really can’t think of anything else.

Do you have any unique talents besides writing?
Not really. I’ve devoted so much time to writing that I haven’t really had time to get good at anything else. I would like to be able to say I played an instrument well, but the couple of attempts I made in the past weren’t very successful, and I’ve never really tried to be any good at anything else.”

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve got a book called ‘Thistle The Fairy Trickster’ due for release in May 2014, which is loosely based on the well-known ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ story. Plus, I’m working on a couple of others, including a story about a pixie and some faerie dragons who get in to mischief and end up in trouble in a cave full of goblins, a story loosely based on ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ about a little white bear who climbs a beanstalk and finds himself in the land of the giant sky bears, and a story about a vegetarian zombie. I also have a story called ‘Quest For The Purple Pumpkin’ that’s being published in a collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories with some other authors who publish via Smashwords. The book is called ‘Wyrd Worlds 2’ and is the second collection of its kind the group has published, but the first I’ve submitted a story for.

Quick hits …

Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
There are several authors I’d love to meet, and exactly who makes the list would depend on if we’re only including authors who are still alive. If we can include any authors – dead or alive – then my list, in no particular order, includes: Hans Christian Anderson, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, Monica Dickens, David Estes, J K Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Michelle Paver, Terri Brooks, Kim Harrison, Enid Blyton, Jill Murphy, Lauren Child, Bonnie Bryant, and Dick King-Smith. If we’re not including dead people, then just remove anyone not still alive from that list. Basically, if I’ve enjoyed a book by them, chances are I’d like to meet them.

What book are you currently reading?
I read too quickly for me to be able to say what book I’ll be reading by the time this is published. Your best option for knowing what I’m reading is to check out my Goodreads shelves; they’re always up to date.

Who designed your latest book cover?
The cover for ‘Filicity The Musical Platypus’ was created by Karl Mousley; a good friend who helps me out with covers whenever he can. Karl also created the cover for ‘Thistle The Fairy Trickster’ (due for release on May 16th 2014). The cover for ‘Goodies For Grandmother’ was created by Jacob Blackmon; a freelance artist who became a friend through his work on some of my covers. Karl and Jacob are my main cover artists, though a few of my covers have been created by Doug of Gendrill Publishing. I know you only asked about my most recent book cover, but all three titles I mentioned are recent, and I figured since I was giving both Karl and Jacob a mention, then I might as well mention all three of my cover artists.

What is your favourite quote?
I like too many quotes to list them here. Basically, I like quotes that hint at the magical worlds that words can create, and the wonders the universe holds if you take the time to look for them.

Where can new fans can follow you?
All my links can be found via http://www.zigler.co.uk (my official website). Just go to the page called ‘Victoria’s Page’ on that site and scroll down. Near the bottom of that page you’ll find links to my Smashwords, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as a link to my blog.

Filicity The Musical Platypus
By Victoria Zigler
Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Filicity is a platypus who loves music and has only one question on her mind… Why can’t a platypus be musical?

She’s heard the birds singing, she’s heard the music coming from the wonderful musical box with buttons that the humans call an ipod, and she’s heard the instruments of the travelling musicians on their way to the nearby town. All of them sound beautiful to her, and she longs to make music too!

Determined to find a way to be musical, Filicity sets off on a quest to find a way she can make the music she loves so much. After all, there has to be a way for a platypus to be musical too… Doesn’t there?

Words on a Limb would like to thank Victoria for her time.  We wish you much success in with your upcoming releases.