Vacen Taylor is an author, writer, storyteller, occasional artist and amateur photographer. She describes her writing as a basic prose style with the occasional splash of creative penning. She collects comics and loves superheroes, anime and science. Her first novel Starchild: The Age of Akra was released by Odyssey Books in 2013. The series is now up to its fourth instalment, due for release in June this year.
What have you been up to since the launch of The Healing Stone?
I’ve been busy writing, exploring new forms of storytelling. As a screenwriter, winning the Best Short Screenplay with my piece Foiled in The Good Dog International Film Festival. Then as a playwright creating my first play, Crazy Plastic Love. This piece of work has since been selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, having the opportunity to work with a director and actors for a performance reading with an audience.
I’ve also been writing my first adult novel and finishing the fourth book in the Starchild series.
Any little hints as to what we can expect from Starchild Four?
All I can say is the rise of the black castle is one of those magical moments.
Your love of children is evident in your work. What is it that inspired you to write for them?
Reading stories that include bravery, courage and collaboration is part of my belief system. And creating those types of stories, those rich in culture, hardship, remorsefulness, happiness, religion and song inspires me to continue to write for children.
The Starchild series is ensconced in a fantasy world. Why did fantasy appeal to you more than writing about real life?
Fantasy provides the writer with the opportunity to engage creativity in world building. This begins with a blank canvas. It is up to the writer to paint the picture of the world. That’s why fantasy appeals to me when writing for children. Creating a whole world with its complexities and its beauty which is not dissimilar to our own world. The difference is when writing fantasy we can expand on the world’s populace with the aid of forces outside our normal reality, like magic or the supernatural. So, having fewer boundaries, as opposed to real life, is what attracts fantasy writing to me.
Not only do you write novels, you also concoct plays, volunteer, motivate other writers… How do you find time for it all?
I work really hard. These days I say “no” to the things that don’t inspire me.
I conduct one free writing workshop a year and no more. I believe writers, particularly female writers, undervalue themselves and their skills. That for me is no longer acceptable.
Volunteering to help the less fortunate and vulnerable in my community keeps me grounded and connected to what’s happening in my local community. That is time well spent.
Motivating other writers is equally as important because the creative arts needs new ideas, new creatives and new chances for people to grow their work.
Mai, Akra, Kalin and Long visit several unique cities. Do you have a favourite?
Not really. Personally, I’d like to visit all of the places. Each is unique and not without its climatic challenges. That screams adventure, don’t you think? Desert. Forest. Land of ice.
Tell us a bit about where you create your stories. Do you write outside, in a cafe, at the beach…?
I write at a desk. Here, I have no distractions.
What advice would you give a young writer trying to get published?
A great story will make its way into the right hands with a lot of effort from the writer of course. Have your work edited before submission. Follow submission instructions carefully. Understand “rejection” is not about you. Publishing is a business. They
want a product that will sell. Your manuscript might not have been right for that publisher. Don’t sweat it. Move on to the next publishing submission.
To finish up, how would you describe your writing style in three words?
Still developing. Really it is. :)