#WritingCommunity Spotlight: Meredith Vanos

This was an interview conducted by Undiscovered Publishing blogger Thomas Neil with aspiring author Meredith Vanos.

Thomas: Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?

Vanos: My name is Meredith Vanos. I’m a stay at home mom to four girls. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a young child. I started taking it more seriously about 4-5 years ago. It would be amazing to show my kids how important it is to follow your dreams.

Thomas: What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?

Vanos: I write mostly YA contemporary books because I enjoy reading those books, and also because I truly believe that time period of life is fundamental in developing who a person becomes. I also dabble in NA contemporary romance novels.

Thomas: What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?

Vanos: I don’t have a set writing process. I try to make as much time as possible to fit it in to my life. I’m definitely a pantser; I get an idea and I roll with it. Honestly, I try to write realistic books that deal with things I am familiar with, however, if I’m unsure about something, I definitely research it.

Thomas: Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Vanos: I have experienced many instances of ‘Writer’s Block’. My best advice for dealing with it is to ride it out. Forcing yourself to write when you’re really not feeling it can do more harm than good. I’d prefer to keep my relationship with writing a positive one as opposed to something that feels like a burden.

Thomas: So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?

Vanos: I’ve completed a YA trilogy that follows the main character, Allie Baker, through learning to find and love herself outside of her relationships with other people. I’ve also completed a NA contemporary romance about a girl who falls in love with a (unknown to her) famous boy band member. I haven’t been published yet.

Thomas: Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?

Vanos: Currently, I’m prepping my next YA novel for Camp NaNoWriMo. It deals with grief, heartbreak, depression, and anxiety.

Thomas: How active are you on social media? And if you have social media as an author/for your books then please share links?

Vanos: I’m pretty active on twitter (@mere_789).

Thomas: Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?

Vanos: My favourite author is Sarah Dessen. Her books made me realize what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write. I also enjoy Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, Colleen Hoover, and Sheila O’Flanagan.

Thomas: What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

Vanos: When you’re writing your first novel, it can feel like a daunting task. Getting it out is the most important thing. Everything can be touched up and fixed with editing. Don’t give up and always follow your dreams.

Thomas: And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?

Vanos:  If I had to spend a night in a haunted house, I would take someone strong because I’m a wuss, so I’d probably take Sam’s security guard from my NA romance, Something About You.

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