The people who use our boards.

Vicki Tharp

Author

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

My name is Vicki Tharp, and I am an author and veterinarian. In my free time, I love to ride my horse or my motorcycle, and I have recently taken up watercolor painting as well.

I practiced small animal medicine, mainly dogs and cats and the occasional rodent, for ten years out of vet school before taking a long leave of absence to raise my kids. I recently returned, but I am working mainly at low-cost vaccination clinics for dogs and cats. I have found the work very rewarding, being able to provide services that owners would not otherwise be able to afford.

As for my writing, I have around twenty books out on all major electronic retailers. I write romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and MM romance. You can find my books at the retailers or on my website. I’ve recently taken up watercolor painting, still trying to decide if it is the medium for me, but having fun figuring it out. The learning curve is steep.

Vicki Tharp's art
Vicki's friend had a swollen foot and couldn't paint her toenails, so Vicki did it for her

As for my other hobbies, while I have been riding dirt bikes since kindergarten, I’ve only recently started riding street bikes. My newest is a 2014 Yamaha V Star 950. Though it’s not a touring bike, my husband wants to tour around the US. We’ll see how it goes.

Vicki Tharp's motorcycle
One of Vicki's favorite rides

When I am not riding motorcycles, I like to do long distance competitive trail on my horse, a fourteen-year-old buckskin Missouri Fox Trotter.

Vicki Tharp's horse
Vicki's horse enjoys a quiet moment

What hardware do you use?

For hardware, I am pretty basic. I have a 24-inch Acer TV as a primary screen, and use the screen on my Microsoft Surface Pro as my secondary. I have an old Mac Mini that I use exclusively for the Vellum program that I use to format my books. For my keyboard, I use the ErgoDox EZ. My desk is a 1950s-era kitchen table. I partially extend one of the pullout leaves, which puts the keyboard at a nice sloping angle for my wrists.

Vicki Tharp's setup
Vicki's workspace has a view of the barn

And what software?

For software, I write my manuscripts in Scrivener and edit in Word. I use Vellum for formatting.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

Vicki Tharp's keyboard
Vicki's keyboard setup helps her work and her cat rest

I use the ErgoDox EZ with a decent space between the two sides because it gives a place for my cat to lie that isn’t on my keyboard. I use the sculpted keys with a modified Dvorak layout. I have programmed the layout to optimize for some of the things I use a lot in fiction writing such as italics, em dash, quotes, ?, and comments. I have a layer for Word that after programming the shortcut keys into Word allows me quick access to my most used Review pane keys making my runs through my edits much faster.

One of the things I love the most about my ErgoDox is using the press and hold function for capitalization. It has changed my life, and now I’m really put out when I use another keyboard and have to press the shift key for caps. That function alone was worth the price of the keyboard many times over.

What would be your dream setup?

My needs are pretty basic, so right now, I don’t think there is much more I might want to upgrade, besides maybe a larger screen. My office is in a room in my barn, and I love the view of my horses over my Dutch doors.

Vicki Tharp's horse in a stable
Vicki's officemates are more charming than most

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