Victoria L. Dreyer (preferred name Vic) was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She grew up in a home that valued literacy above all else, and she learned her love of books during childhood.
At the age of 14, she penned her first novel in the form of the original draft of the yet-to-be-published “The Gyrath’s Gate Chronicles”, which is in the process of being adapted to graphic novel format. Since then, she has written and illustrated five graphic novels, dozens of short stories, and goodness knows how many discarded manuscripts.
Shortly after high school, she co-founded the graphic novel publisher Blue Scar Productions with the aid of Alexandra “Blue” Saunders. Between the two of them, they recruited sixteen volunteers united by their love of comic books. Although Blue Scar Productions ceased to operate as a commercial entity in November 2011, Ms Dreyer has since gone on to pen numerous novels under her own name, and her pen name Abigail Hawk. Her preferred genres are science fiction, post-apocalyptic survival and romance – and sometimes all three at once.
Due to a medical condition that has made it impossible for her to work her day job, Ms Dreyer has pushed through to release her first two novels, The Survivors Book I: Summer and The Immortality Clause. Never one to let something like a little hearing loss get her down, she is now focused on her writing, some freelance work, and maintaining the Goodreads group “Some Like It Hot”.
She enjoys talking to her readers, and actively encourages all authors to be receptive to feedback, both good and bad, because it’s the only way that they’ll learn their craft. She enjoys helping new writers join the community, and through “Some Like It Hot” has been working hard to develop a safe, interactive community between writers at all stages of their careers, and the readers that are their life-blood.
This is imagination at it's best! Thank you for taking the time to join us V.L.
TCM: What inspired you to become a writer? Why do you write your particular genre?
VLD: My mother. I was an only child for the first seven years of my life, and she used to read to me constantly. By the time I reached school, I was already a better reader than most adults. I knew even then that I wanted to tell stories, and my love of the written word grew from there.
I write two genres at the current moment. The Survivors series is a post-apocalyptic survival story, set in New Zealand. When I originally started writing that, I intended it to be a post-apoc romance novel, but… that didn't work out. Mostly because it takes ten chapters for the heroine to even meet her love interest! Still, post-apoc is my favourite genre to read, watch, and write. There's something appealing about casting off the shackles of modern society, and returning to the wilds, where the only person you can depend on is yourself – and perhaps, if you're lucky, your mate.
The other genre I write is paranormal romance, under the pen name Abigail Hawk. I decided to write paranormal romance to distract myself from the depression that writing The Survivors brought on. The Survivors is very dark; The Immortelle series is quite the opposite. While it does have violence in it, the core of each book is a love story in some way, plus each book is different so I can tell a different type of story, with a different hero and heroine, and use each book to expand a different part of the world.
So, The Survivors is my roast chicken dinner, while The Immortelle series is my saucy dessert. And now I'm hungry. Damn.
TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
VLD:Flexibility. I'm the kind of person that will take on a course, or write an essay voluntarily, just because learning is fun. This translates well for me as a writer, because it means that I can explore different genres and writing styles without feeling too out of my element. Recently, I've been working on an alternate history novella, set in The Survivors universe. Paranormal mystery. Not really my thing, but it certainly was a break from the ordinary!
TCM: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
VLD: Proof reading and editing. I love my editor, Holly Simmons, but I hate the actual act of proofing and editing. I'm quite impulsive, and sometimes have trouble paying attention for long periods of time. This is the perfect example: right now, I'm supposed to be finishing the final edit of The Survivors Book II: Autumn, which is due out in two weeks. Am I doing that? No, of course not. I'm doing an interview, working on a freelance project, and playing video games – and yes, I'm doing that simultaneously. But, I'm not editing. Holly's going to kill me.
TCM: What advice would you give new authors that have been newly published?
VLD: Even if you have a contract with a traditional publishing house (and congratulations, if you do!), market, market, market. You can't rely on anyone else to do it for you, and if you go into publishing thinking "I'm on Amazon, I'm sure I'll make sales with no effort from myself", then you're going to be sadly disappointed. There is money out there to be made, but you're going to need to work for it, just like everyone else. A good rule that I read somewhere is that for every 45 minutes you spend writing, spend 15 minutes marketing yourself – but no more than that. After all, the best thing you can do to advance your career is to release a second book! And a third! And a fortieth!
TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?
VLD: I'm very excited about what 2014 has in store for me. In 2013, I released three novels. This year, I hope to release five. Maybe I'm a little bit hopeful, but it's good to have goals!
My first release of the new year is the much-anticipated second book in The Survivors series. After the cliff-hanger at the end of the first book (sorry, guys!), I've had people begging me to release the book early. I wish I could, but I can't. It's not perfect yet! I'm still proof reading it! The pressure got so great that I ended up releasing the first three chapters, unedited, on my website so that people had a chance of resolving the cliff-hanger before they go crazy. I get it, I really do.
Later in the year, we have the third Survivors book due out. Current release date is the 1st of August, though I really hope I can make that deadline – I might have bitten off more than I can chew.
In addition to that book, I also plan to release #3, #4 & #5 of the Immortelle series, but there's no fixed date on those yet. #3 is written, and #4 is almost done, but I still have to write #5. Why am I waiting, you ask? Well, unlike the first two Immortelle books, these three feature the same cast of characters in an ongoing arc, and I don't want to make people wait longer than they have to in order to get their hands on the rest of the story. I hope to release them either simultaneously, or in rapid succession. We'll see when the time comes.
Upcoming Releases: The Survivors Book II: Autumn is due for release on the 1st of February.
Blurb: The worst has happened. Humanity has fallen. There is no future. There is no hope. A virus has wiped out our species, with the exception of a lucky few that are immune, the survivors. But now, vicious new enemies have begun to rise from the ruins of our old world, enemies that threaten to tear apart those of us that are left.
In its darkest hour, humanity needs a hero. I will be that hero. If I have to die in the process, I can accept that, but I cannot go to my grave without knowing that I have done everything possible to save my species and those people that I care about.
We cannot – no, we will not! – let this virus become our extinction event. We will endure. We will rebuild. It may take us generations, but the world we leave for our children will not be the one that our parents left for us. When humanity needs a hero, it is up to ordinary men and women to step forward and perform extraordinary deeds in the name of the greater good.
My name is Sandrine McDermott. I was named to honour my grandmother, and I will make her proud. I am no longer just a survivor. I will bring hope to my family.
We must have hope.
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