Today, I welcome author Vida Li Sik to talk about her writing and life. I’m so happy you’re here, Vida. Let’s get started.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Of course. Anyone who’s ever made fun of, backstabbed, or said a bad word about me eventually makes an appearance as a villain in my books. Just kidding. I do include characteristics of people I know for my characters but mix them up, so they are not recognizable.
I do the same thing–include characteristics of people I know in my stories, but if I don’t like those real-life people, they don’t fare too well in my books. 😉 What do you prefer: ebook or print? Why?
Ebook. Simply because I’ve run out of space in my house for physical books. My e-reader is loaded with books.
Mine too! I have about 2000 ebooks on my Kindle. How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
I have a very active imagination and can easily think of the beginning and end of a story. As a child, I used to write school stuff from the front of the book and draw or write my own stuff from the back. As you can imagine that habit didn’t make me popular with my teachers. My language teachers encouraged me to write essays, and the rest is history. I published my first eBook in 2017.
That’s awesome. Sometimes the romance genre gets a bad reputation for being cliché and full of Fabios. How do you respond to that?
Life is too serious by far, with responsibilities, crime, and constant bad news on TV. A good romance is a great way to escape from reality. There are so many different sub-genres to choose from that you’re guaranteed to find something that you like.
Agreed. Any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged?
If you are studying, raising a family and/or have a full-time job, finding the time to write may seem impossible. My advice is to write whenever and wherever you can. Even 20 minutes on your phone during your lunch break can help you reach your writing goal. I used the following quote by Doris Lessing, “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible” as a motivator to finish my first book.
I love that quote. It’s so true. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?
I love doing Parkruns (5km), and I love hiking (being out in nature is a tonic for my soul). I also like to bake, usually starting off with the basic ingredients and then throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that to come up with my own unique creations. Hang on, that sounds a bit like my writing (*blush*).
Haha! What’s your most bizarre life experience?
My sons, who are nearly three years apart, were both born during coup d’etats (a sudden, violent and illegal seizure of government) in the once-peaceful African country we lived in at the time. The second coup d’etat happened six days before the birth of my second son. My friends teased me and said, “Please don’t have any more children because every time you have one there’s a coup!”
That must’ve been a scary time, especially with two young children to worry about. Thank you for sharing, and thanks again for chatting with me.
Book Title: Remember Me (A Sweet, Young-Adult, Friends to Lovers Romance)
Can young love stand the test of time and family interference?
Emma waited two years for Marc to see her as more than just a friend. Impatient, she let the school’s star rugby player sidetrack her. Now free from that disastrous relationship, she has Marc’s full attention.
One person stands in their way: her mother opposes their relationship. Now, Emma must make a choice that will bring her heartache no matter what she decides.
Marc let Emma slip out of his hands once before. He’s determined that won’t happen again. Even though he’s from the wrong side of town, they click on every level. She’s the one for him.
The end of their school year and prom edges closer. Every minute they spend together is precious. But time is not on their side.
One decision. Will their love survive?
Remember Me is the first book in a series of sweet, clean & wholesome standalone novellas set in the City of Gold, Johannesburg.
It was not an exaggeration to say my mother blew a gasket when she laid eyes on my new BMW scooter a few hours later. She lounged on a couch and sipped a glass of wine on the patio. When I pulled into the driveway, I shattered the tranquility of the moment. Mum banged the glass on the table and marched down the path; her eyes looked ready to pop out of her head by the time she reached me just as I removed my red helmet. Her fingers were a blur of movement as she gesticulated at my new wheels.
“What’s this… this–? W-where did you get it?” She blustered in a struggle to spit the words out.
My heart hammered against my chest, and I clutched the helmet tight against my hip. “It’s my birthday gift from Dad.”
Expletives spilled from her mouth as she stomped around the bike. She glared at the controls and hissed with disgust.
“It’s dangerous. Plus, you don’t even have a licence.” My mother once again demonstrated how out of touch she was with important aspects of my life.
“Not a car licence. Yet. But I got one for a scooter when I turned sixteen. You’ve forgotten!” I refrained from adding “again”.
Scarlet splotches darkened her cheeks. Her chest heaved and she clenched her hands into fists. For a moment, I worried she was having a heart attack.
“The one you totalled a month later.”
I reasoned with her, but in vain. “This bike has an automatic gearbox. And I’m two years older. Dad trusts me with a new one. Why can’t you?” Ready to defend myself, I stood with my feet planted wide. Behind my back, I gripped the key tight.
At the mention of my father’s name, she turned an even darker shade of red. I didn’t think it possible. She turned on her heel and stalked back into the house.
“I’ll give him a piece of my mind.”
Forlorn, I trailed in behind and listened as she spewed vitriol at my dad over the phone. A burning sensation blossomed in the pit of my stomach and grew in intensity at each word she uttered.
“How dare you? You didn’t ask for my permission… I won’t allow it. You hear me. I won’t! It’s dangerous… I don’t care what you think of my parenting skills… don’t you dare lecture me–”
She threw the mobile phone onto the couch. Her eyes hardened, her lips morphed into white slits, and her body shook as she pointed in the direction of the driveway with wild arms.
“You must return it.”
I placed the helmet on the coffee table. Rage rose from the pit of my stomach and scorched my chest as I glared at her. “No. I won’t. You can’t make me.”
“You want to bet?” She advanced, grabbed my hand, and tried to wrest the keys away. “Watch me.”
Like an angry lioness, she stalked me as I retreated into the lounge.
“No!” I protested and held firm. The hard grooves of the key cut into the skin of my palm, but I didn’t care. “Let go, Mum. Dad wants me to have it.”
“Over my dead body.” She twisted my hand, but I was strong and resisted. This was an attempt to sever my last link to my dad. No way!
Our scuffle took a toll on both of us. We both breathed hard. A smell of sour wine drifted towards me, and I bit out my words.
“Let. Go. Dad was right. You’re a control freak. You’re not happy. And you won’t let me be happy… not with Dad or with Marc. I hate you!”
There was an infinitesimal pause as my words hung between us. Then her hand swung left and right through the air and slapped my face so hard that my ears buzzed. The back of my knees hit the hard edge of the coffee table as I staggered backwards. I crumpled to the floor, cradled my cheeks in disbelief, and swallowed the salty taste of blood in my mouth. She hit me. My mum hit me! Disbelief clouded my brain as the enormity of her actions and shift in our relationship sunk in.
Mum leaned over me. The rancid odour of wine wafted towards me, and her spittle dripped onto my skin.
“You are under my roof. Take it back. Apologise at once.”
I struggled to my knees and rubbed my face to ease the sting of pain. “I’m not sorry. It’s the truth. And it’s repellent.” My hard voice matched hers in tone and intensity.
Her phone rang. Mum glanced back. She took a step towards the couch, undecided between taking the call and continuing our fight. The phone won. Her voice turned to flint.
“Get out of my sight. Now! Before I slap you again.”
I got up on rubbery legs and stumbled to my room. My first thought was to rush to Sylvie. But I couldn’t, as I remembered that she and her family went away for the weekend. If I contacted my dad it would make the situation worse. There was only one option left. I grabbed my rucksack and stuffed in a few items of clothes. The tears arrived then. But I erased them. How many tears have I shed because of my mother? Now, escape was my only desire, as I slipped out at the back, and pushed my scooter down the road before I started the engine.
(End of excerpt)
Vida Li Sik is a wife, mother, award-winning journalist and multi-genre author. She grew up in a small town, Nigel, in sunny South Africa, and now lives with her family in Johannesburg, the City of Gold. She has no pets and has yet to find a weird and wonderful hobby. In the meantime, she loves to write about people, real ones and imagined.
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