Meet the Author: Vanessa Garden

VANESSA’S TOP WRITING TIP: Read as many books as you can get your hands on. Read in the genre you wish to write but also experiment with new genres so as to expose your writer’s brain to as many voices as possible. Also, write a little each day. Even half an hour a day can produce a book in one year.

Vanessa Garden

Vanessa Garden lives on the coast of Western Australia with her husband, their three chatty children, and three calming goldfish. When she is not writing, Vanessa can be found at the local bookstore where she works part-time. Being a bookseller as well as an author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads to customers, or dreaming up her next novel, she enjoys spending time with the people she loves most.


Why do you write? I write because I genuinely enjoy creating stories and spending time with my characters, and also because I simply cannot stop. There have been times, more so before I became a published author, where I have said, ‘oh well, time to throw in the towel and focus on real life’, only to find that a day passes, or perhaps only an hour, before a new idea takes hold and basically doesn’t allow me to give up on writing.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’d most likely get back into baking and cooking. Before I took writing seriously I was always in the kitchen creating elaborate meals, but now I’m spending less and less time there due to my writing schedule and I do miss it. I’m sure my children and husband are getting sick of my ‘anything goes’ nights of eggs on toast, baked beans and two-minute noodles!

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Sticking with it and trying to keep the self-belief alive even after 200 odd rejections! As soon as somebody said yes, my confidence shot up. It is amazing what we can do when somebody believes in us and, more importantly, when we believe in ourselves.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Sharing stories with fellow readers, meeting other writers, and the euphoric buzz that comes with a new idea! There is nothing more exciting than waking up in the middle of the night to jot down ‘the next big thing’ (which will most likely seem ridiculous in the morning, lol).

—the worst? Trying to balance writing with family time and work. I’m very conscious of writing only when my children are at school or in bed, which can be difficult with working hours at my day job eating up a lot of the school time, so often I’m sleep deprived from writing late at night. Sometimes I just feel so exhausted. I wish there was an eight-day week!

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I learned as I went (making a lot of mistakes along the way) but it was all necessary to get where I am today. So probably not a thing!

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That sometimes you wait forever to hear back on a manuscript, so instead of waiting anxiously, write something new in the meantime.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? To write the story you want to read.


Captivate by Vanessa Garden

backdrop captivateFor the past 12 months since her parents’ death, 17-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko…the King of this underwater civilisation. Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets…


11 thoughts on “Meet the Author: Vanessa Garden

  1. Thanks Vanessa and Teena for a very interesting interview. I can relate to juggling writing and other commitments. I too try to write only when my daughter is at school or in bed. It gets tricky during school holidays! But I can also relate to what you describe as the euphoric buzz you get with a new idea, Vanessa, and spending time with your characters. I always get to a stage where I miss my characters if I don’t spend time with them and it sounds like other authors feel that way, too!


    1. Nora, I clearly remember that juggling act of writing, working and raising a young family. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to be so productive during those years when my three children were growing up and my writing space was a desk in a corner of the kitchen. I certainly couldn’t write now with small children racing through the house and interrupting me for snacks or to have help with dress up clothes. In those days I seemed to be able to write regardless of what was happening around me – today I have all the peace and quiet any writer could ask for yet I don’t think I’m half as inspired and creative as I was as a young mum. Perhaps I should invite my youngest grandchildren to stay!


  2. Another interesting interview. It’s admirable they way people work so hard to get published. And everyone seems to be saying, as I did, that they wouldn’t/couldn’t have done anything differently on their way to publication.


  3. Hi Nora! Yes, it’s so tricky during the school holidays. I must admit I haven’t really written much over the summer. But I’ve been reading quite a bit which has been great fun 🙂
    Anna, so true! I’m weirdly grateful for those terrible early mistakes (and glad nobody can read them)!
    Thanks for having me, Teena! It has been a pleasure.


  4. Hi Vanessa, what a lovely job to have! An author surrounded by books, doing what she loves best. 🙂 Lovely to read more about you and thanks for the great tips. Thanks Teena! You’re a lovely hostess.


  5. Hi Juanita and Dale!
    Hope you’re both having a great weekend.
    I do feel lucky (and very grateful) to be working with books. If I’m ever stuck with my writing, a day at the bookstore never fails to inspire me 🙂


  6. Lovely to ‘meet’ you Vanessa. Can relate to the balance thing. As your children get older it can get easier – though there’s always the challenge of juggling other commitments. I used to write when my kids were around – but I mostly wrote very short things. Now they’re older I can write for more sustained periods, but it’s usually when they’re at school/work and so on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.