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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Victory Witherkeigh

illustration of author Victory Witherkeigh and an image of her book The Girl

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world?

Writing was always my safe place. It was something I enjoyed doing as opposed to where I was in my career a few years ago when I tried at my dream of being a full-time writer. As a Project Manager, I have been part of industries that vary from nonprofits to various hospitals to construction and IT. It paid the bills and allowed me to make ends meet, so to speak, but I could never say it was something I’d dreamed of doing. So when I was in a position for the first time to have enough financial cushion to attempt the dream job, I allowed myself to take that risk.I wanted to write for young brown girls like myself who felt they couldn’t identify with most of the female characters in the novels, especially if they were of the fantasy or dark fantasy genre. I wanted a heroine to help me add a layer to my question as a young girl — what does being “likable” have to do with being a hero? Can you do good if you come from something terrible where you’re told repeatedly that nothing “likable” can come from? Be Good?

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block?

My usual goal is to do at least one hundred words a day on something to try and give my mental health as much freedom as possible. This allows me the grace to work on anything – be it short story to full chapter to just brainstorming ideas to world building. I find that once I start, usually my mind will let me know what rhythm it will do for the day.

What is your favorite time to write?

I am also a night owl, so I structure my days with errands and admin tasks first to get those off the table before I try to dive into a writing session. I try to set an early afternoon session to see how creative my brain is feeling and if it seems like a good day, then I’ll stay up to work into the twilight hours.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Regardless of what you create, keep in mind you will not have control over the reactions or feelings evoked from its consumption, even if it is your core audience.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I am excited that diversity in genres like Fantasy and Sci-Fi are finally being discussed. Showing diversity in fantasy or sci-fi only helps to enrich the world’s understanding of our communities or cultures but is foundationally essential for the education of young children. It allows young readers to perceive their community with more empathy, improve their early behaviors by reducing prejudice, encouraging early critical thinking, or even inspiring confidence – all things that make the future brighter and better.

Victory Witherkeigh’s The Girl is out now with Cinnabar Moth Publishing.