"After many decades, I realized that art was the healthiest part of my life, and if I could make decisions in life the way I made them in art, with the concentration, focus, and balanced energy of poetry, then I would be leading a life I admired." — Molly Peacock, How to Read a Poem & Start a Poetry Circle.
Seriously, a page about me? I’d rather talk about you and how you make me feel, like all sparkly inside that you’re reading this. I’m not feelin' the standard third-person formula...Vanessa, ahem V. G., always knew she was destined to be a writer because the ABCs were orgasmic, and her mother sprayed Bitter-Yuck on the books to prevent her from eating the colorful pages. Nah, I’d rather pretend like we're old friends so you feel obligated to read on.
Before I divulge my darkest secrets, I have to cover all the standard stuff for posterity, or something like that...
My home base is generally somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, but I somehow convinced my husband to renovate a vintage RV "tiny house” style and install a bunch of solar panels, so we spend a lot of time chasing 70 degrees. I've lived on both coasts, but I was born in Utah—in a town that no longer exists. Fitting, having lived in so many cities and states thereafter, I’m not really from anywhere. I suppose Seattle imprinted the most. Love that place.
I studied Psychology, Creative Writing, and Journalism at Indiana University and graduated in 2008. I completed an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University in 2012. My publication credits include poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, technical writing, and novels. During graduate school, I interned as an editor with The Louisville Review and Dzanc Books. After graduate school, I taught composition, literature, and persuasive rhetoric courses on campus for Daytona State College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, then online for Southern New Hampshire University.
But don’t ask me to read your work, unless you’re gonna slip me a twenty or make me a pretty construction-paper card with cut-outs, glitter, glue globs with half fingerprints, and way too many thank-yous. Confetti is also a nice touch. I’m needy like that. (If you’re genuinely interested in hiring me, click here.)
I write to sort the chaos and clear the clutter. I don’t really have a choice. Thank gawd for paper because my walls would be a mess otherwise. They still kind of are because I'm also an artist, but that makes a little more sense up there. I like to read stuff that makes me squirm. I want to see an issue presented in a way I hadn’t previously considered. I want to think about the story while I’m washing dishes or driving too fast because I was transported to another world—and that’s what I try to give readers: speeding tickets. ;)
As per the common bio page "formula," I’m not well known enough to give boast-worthy sums of money to what I’m sure would be a very worthy cause—probably elephants. But I have been known to help homeless people. I feed stray cats, recycle, eat organic, and pick up trash I find on hiking trails and the beach. Pack it in, pack it out, people! But I digress...
In my past life I was a pizza jockey, a cashier at a thrift store, the manager of a tanning salon, the manager of an adult toy store, and a tattoo artist. I know, I know, now I’m just bragging. But it all must have had a purpose because now I have a website!
If reincarnation is "what’s up," I want to come back as my own dog. Yes, I know there’s a paradox issue, but it’s my party and I'll wish if I want to. My dogs, AKA the “Morale Officers,” as hubs and I often refer to them, are as spoiled as it gets.
My pet-peeves are people afraid to call me in the middle of the night, finding empty ice trays in the freezer, getting beef instead of chicken in my tacos after a 3 a.m. drive-thru run, people who instantly become the "best friend" of an acquaintance who died, writers who refuse to use expletives, and when my husband throws dirty clothes next to the laundry hamper.
Fun facts* Vanessa is a genus of brush-footed butterflies. I love lemonade-flavored lip balm, underwear with glow-in-the-dark designs, the scent of dishwasher detergent, everything by Sarah McLachlan, peanut M&M’s (missing the peanut), and watching Henry Cavill do anything in a tank top.
And—this is possibly the most important thing on my entire bio page—I rarely do anything without also singing along to great music. Right now I’m listening to…
My novel The Light in the Sound is available here and wherever books are sold. My story collection Neon & Flamingo is releasing soon; shortly thereafter, my "tween" novel Mirabelle's Manor will be available. I'm currently working on a YA Scifi series, an essay collection, and a book on publishing for indie authors. All of my books are published under V. G. Anderson. (Some of my lit mag publications appear under Gonzales.)
Short of telling you what color underwear I'm wearing, I think that about covers it.
p.s. purple ;)