I’m thrilled to have Vicki Beeby stop by my blog today as she celebrates the publication of her wonderful new novel, The Ops Room Girls which was published by Canelo on 16th July. Grab a coffee and sit back to enjoy this post as Vicky talks to me about her writing life.
What started your journey into the world of writing?
I’ve always known I wanted to write books one day, but I only knuckled down to writing novels about ten years ago. From my teens to my early thirties I wrote a daily journal, and I think that was a good introduction to the discipline of regular writing. In my twenties, I also started writing fan fiction, well before I knew fan fiction was actually a thing. I liked to write about minor characters and give them a story of their own. When I discovered internet sites where you could post fan fiction, I dared to upload a few stories and was encouraged by the feedback to keep going. After a while I wanted to create my own characters and worlds, so started writing original fiction. It still took a lot of perseverance to get my first publishing deal, but I don’t think I would have started if it hadn’t been for the encouragement I got from fellow fanfic authors.
What is it you most enjoy most about being an author?
I love the whole process of starting out with a spark of an idea and developing it into a complete story. At times the process can be painful, but nothing can beat the kick of holding a book in my hands, knowing that the words inside came from my own head.
Tell us about your latest book and why you chose to write it.
The Ops Room Girls is the first in a series called The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. It follows the story of Evie Bishop, a working-class girl who joins the WAAF near the start of World War Two after having her hopes of an Oxford Scholarship dashed. She is posted to the operations room of an RAF fighter station where she befriends two other WAAFs – shy, awkward May and flirty, glamorous Jess. The book is set against the background of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain and follows Evie, Jess, and May’s adventures as they embark upon romances and join the struggle to keep their pilots safe.
I love watching old war films but have always been frustrated that the action mostly centres on men. You would occasionally see women in the background, but you never discovered what they actually did. In particular, I was curious about the women in some scenes in the Battle of Britain films, who could be seen pushing blocks around a chart on a large table. When I found out what their job involved, and the vital work they did during the Battle of Britain, I knew I wanted to tell their story.
Who are your top three favourite authors and why?
Rosemary Sutcliff – I fell in love with history and historical novels thanks to her. Douglas Adams – I love his sense of humour and his way of looking at reality and twisting it. Marian Keyes – What can I say? She’s a goddess. I’m in awe of how she can write about dark stuff like addiction, grief and depression and still make her books funny and uplifting.
What are your writing plans for the next year?
I still have to write the third book in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that. After that, I’d like to write another World War Two series, although I haven’t fixed on what to focus on. I’ve got a list of story ideas that came to me when researching the current series so I’ll read through them and see which ones spark more ideas.
How do you celebrate on publication day?
I’m not one for elaborate celebrations, but I do take time off work so I can enjoy the day properly. When my first three books were published—medieval romances under the pen name Tora Williams—I went out for breakfast with my mum to celebrate. With lockdown, celebrations will be even more low-key. I’m in a bubble with my mum, so I’m going to take a cake around to her house and she’s ordered a cream tea by post. I’m such a party animal!
It was such a pleasure to talk to Vicky and I am currently reading and loving The Ops Room Girls – watch out for my review soon. You can follow Vicky on the links below:
The Ops Room Girl links:
Social media links:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VickiBeebyAuthor