Written by JJ Barnes
I had the privilege of interviewing MG Vaciago about her book, Big Little Voice Colours The Grey. From her words, I hope we can inspire others to follow their passion and write their book.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m MG, I’m an author and the founder of Big Little Voice ®. I live in Hertfordshire with my husband and our 3 amazing boys.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I was driven by my inquisitiveness and my vivid imagination, to write basic short stories from the tender age of 7 years old and eventually, to writing poems and longer stories. However, I left writing behind to focus on my degree, my subsequent career in Finance, and raising a family. Ultimately though, the pull of writing was too great and once my youngest son was no longer a baby, I decided to return to writing.
When did you take a step to start writing?
A few years ago, I set myself the task of writing a full-length novel. In the past, my stories had never been more than ten thousand words, so to write an eighty-thousand-word book seemed like a mammoth task. I decided that if I was able to complete it and make it amazing, then I would consider writing something to publish.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
The idea for Big Little Voice Colours the Grey came to me really quickly. But as I had 3 children to look after, I didn’t have a writing schedule. I would write in between school pick-ups, during afterschool clubs and whatever spare moments of time I could snatch during the day. In the end, it took a few months to get to the stage where I was 100% happy with the book and a further 6 months to have it published.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
The latest Big Little Voice book also took a few months to write, but as the publication process is quite long, the release date is set for August 2021. Details of the title and content will be released over the next few months via my social media pages.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Big Little Voice Colours The Grey?
Big Little Voice Colours the Grey, was written for my son, to help him deal with something he was struggling with. My middle son was about six years old when he first told me that some kids at school were being mean to him. At first, it wasn’t the obvious forms of bullying but over time it escalated and I would regularly be met with a teary-eyed face telling me that the kids were bullying him. In the end, he was no longer the same child, his enthusiasm for everything he loved had disappeared and he had basically had enough. He could no longer see any way out of this, except one, and to this day I still find absolutely distressing, the fact that a 7-year-old would even consider it an option.
Over the years, I did everything I could to resolve the issue, and every night I had told him the same story: that he had an inner superhero. This superhero was his positive inner voice and I told him that he should use this inner spirit to drive him on and remind him of how he would go on to achieve amazing things.
One evening after I tucked my son up in bed, my husband said “Well, you definitely have a talent for storytelling and one day one of your stories will change someone’s life”. At that point, there was only one life I desperately wanted to change and it was my son’s. I wanted to make it better, and give him hope. So, I set about putting everything I’d told him to paper and in a few short months, I had written Big Little Voice Colours the Grey.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Big Little Voice Colours The Grey?
Finding the time to write was always quite tricky, as I had to fit around looking after my children. Also, as this book was written in verse, I faced the added complexity of trying to build a story, that would incorporate all my ideas whilst also rhyming throughout.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
My son was the main protagonist and so the character encompasses all my son’s qualities, fears and emotions.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
There isn’t an antagonist per se’. This book was based on my sons bullying experience.
What is the inciting incident of Big Little Voice Colours The Grey?
The inciting incident in the book, is when Big Little Voice appears to Tommy at a point in his life where he has given up hope. He then takes him on a journey to make him rethink everything that he believes to be true about his situation.
What is the main conflict of Big Little Voice Colours The Grey?
The conflict in the book was between the negative thinking of the protagonist and the positivity of Big Little Voice. Big Little Voice finds himself having to work hard to break down the negativity that has taken over the protagonist’s life.
Did you plot your book in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I had an idea of where I wanted the story to go, what people had to be featured and the emotions that I wanted the main protagonist to feel, so yes it was quite structured.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Big Little Voice Colours The Grey need?
I didn’t have a professional editor, I give all my work to my husband to read and he is brutally honest in his opinion, sometimes painfully so. If he doesn’t think something is working, or he doesn’t feel I haven’t quite got my point across, he will tell me. When he initially read Big Little Voice Colours the Grey, he didn’t have any comments so I’m pleased to say he liked it.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Don’t overthink it, just get it down on paper. I think too many writers believe they need to have every last detail of the plot figured out before they start to write a book, but all you need is a basic idea. I am endlessly writing down plots and ideas in notebooks, with absolutely no clue what the whole story will be about or where those plots will lead.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Big Little Voice Colours the Grey has sparked the start of a series of books for children. The next 5 books in the series have already been written and are at various stages in the publication process. Big Little Voice Book 2 is due for release in August 2021, with a cover reveal and full title being disclosed in the coming months.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
To see the difference the book has made to my son’s wellbeing and confidence levels, proves to me it was 100% worth the effort of writing it.
To see my book available in all major book retailers and to read the reviews left online by readers, has made me very proud.
Since publication, I have also been invited into schools to present the book and to provide the students with my message of encouragement. Sharing my son’s story has allowed me to positively empower others to speak out and ask for help. This is the greatest accomplishment of all.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Linkedin @M.G. Vaciago
Goodreads M.G Vaciago