Could you please tell us a little about your path to publication?
I was first published in Germany, which is a little unusual. There was a bidding war for my novel, Flights of Angels, which was later made into a film in German. But no UK publisher wanted the book! It took me a few more years before I found a UK publisher for my romantic comedy Molly’s Millions. I then wrote five books for Avon, HarperCollins, and I now write for Lake Union. As well as being traditionally published, I independently publish novels, novellas and non-fiction and have now sold over one million books. I adore being a ‘hybrid’ author. It gives me both security and freedom and it keeps me wonderfully busy too.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I used to be a pantser, but, as I get older, I’m doing slightly more in the way of plotting. Not a lot, it has to be said, but I like a rough outline of what’s going to happen and I usually know how things will end. But nothing is set in stone because that would be awfully dull, I think!
Do you have a regular writing routine?
When I’m in first draft mode, I like to write about 1,000 words a day. I work best in the mornings and often continue into the evenings, but I like a long lazy lunch, rest and dog walk in the afternoons!
How long does it take you to write a first draft?
It takes me about five months for a first draft.
Is there any part of the writing process that you particularly like? Dislike?
I love the first draft stage when the story and characters are all shiny and new and anything is possible. That’s my total joy! My least favourite is the structural edit when your publisher wades in, tells you they love everything, but then ask if you can just a few changes. Somebody once likened this process to telling a cook to add some ingredients to a cake that was already baked, and that’s pretty much how I feel about it!
Tea or coffee?
Longhand or keyboard?
Milk or dark chocolate?
Romance or thriller?
City break or beach holiday?
H E Bates, with special mentions for Miss Read and Rosamunde Pilcher!
What are your top 3 writing tips?
Read lots and write lots – build up your writing muscle – the more you do, the more you can do!
Don’t give up! Keep writing, keep improving, keep approaching publishers, and don’t forget that authors can independently publish these days too. There’s never been a better time to be a writer!
Love, love love what you do. Remember, you are your first reader and if you don’t like your story and fall in love with your hero, how can you expect anybody else to?
Finally, can you tell us a little about your new release, The Beauty of Broken Things and what inspired you to write it?
The Beauty of Broken Things is about Luke Hansard, who tries to track down the online friend of his recently deceased wife, Helen. But the friend, Orla, is a recluse, living in a castle on the Suffolk coast, and she doesn’t want to be found. The story follows how Luke and Orla meet and how they slowly learn to help each other come to terms with their mutual loss.
I wanted to explore how we all use social media these days – how friendships are made and how close we can feel to people we’ve never actually met. That fascinates me. And the gap between what we post and what we hide also interests me greatly and was something I wanted to delve into.
Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
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