Author Q&A: Victoria Walters

Today on Becca's Books, I'm absolutley delighted to be welcoming author of The Second Love of my Life, Victoria Walters, to the blog for a Q&A!
First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
My name is Victoria Walters and I released my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life in April this year. I live in Surrey and work as a bookseller and post too many pictures of my cat Harry online! *waves to you all*

In which genre/genres do you write?
In publishing terms it is commercial womens fiction, which is just a fancy way of saying I write books about women.

Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
The Second Love Of My Life is about a woman called Rose who becomes a widow aged just twenty-four. The story is about how she is struggling to move on from her grief and then one summer a newcomer arrives in her small Cornish town … it’s a story of love and loss and hopefully is life-affirming too. You can buy it now online from Amazon, Waterstones, Kobo etc and in Waterstones, Tesco and WH Smith stores too.

Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
I think that what I like to read comes through naturally, sunconsciously even, in my own writing – love stories, inspiring stories, emotional stories.

How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
I like to take readers on a journey with me – I want them to root for the main character and to make them feel the things she’s feeling. The Second Love Of My Life has made people cry they have told me and I love that the story gave them such a strong reaction.

If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be?
Emotional, life-affirming and hopeful.

When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
Hmm I feel as if they are completely fictional but it’s hard not to let your own experiences creep in so you might have to ask my family and friends haha!

How do you choose the settings of your books?
Conrwall just seemed to fit my novel perfectly – I needed a lovely place that my main character wouldn’t ever want to leave. The story I’m writing now is set in the New Forest – a place I love myself and again seemed to fit the story.

Have you visited any of the areas which you’ve written about?
I have but I tend to create a fictional town within that area. I’d love to be able to visit Talting, the town in The Second Love Of My Life but sadly it just exists in my imagination!

Who are some of your favourite authors?
An impossible question as I love so many but my favourite author is Jane Austen and always will be I think!

Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
I’m not a big planner, I love to write my first draft quite freely so the characters tend to lead the way although this can be tough when you hit the middle and aren’t sure what’s going to happen next!

If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
I think right now I would choose JK Rowling – I would love to be able to talk all things writing with her.

Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
I’ve always tended to prefer writing the first draft as I love to just let the words flow, and editing has always been more difficult for me to master.

When it comes to the cover of a book, how important do you feel they are?
Very! I think we all judge a book first by its cover and the market is so crowded that a great cover can make your book stand out.

How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I try not to set myself deadlines or goals as I try to keep it fun and I hate making it feel like homework but that’s just me! I’ve written anything from 1,000 to 10,000 words in a day, just depends on my mood.

Tell us the top three books you’ve read so far in 2016.
The Muse by Jessie Burton, My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

When did your love of writing first begin to blossom?
I have always written stories – I think being an only child made me love books and rely on imagination. I think reading Twilight was the moment I started to write more seriously and want to be published – I was so hooked by that book and I wanted to write something that someone would love as much as I loved reading that book.

How did you celebrate your most recent publication day?
I had a launch party in the bookshop I work in and it was such a lovely night, and very emotional too!

What are your thoughts on the book-blogging community?
I am so grateful to anyone who takes the time to read my book and write a review! Bloggers have been so supportive of my novel, it’s been so lovely to see.

Which, if any, other genre would you like to try and write in?
I started out writing YA so I would still love to publish a YA story. Hopefully one day!

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your writing career?
Getting my book deal! It was such a long journey to get published and I’m so grateful my book is out in the world!

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
I am working on my next book, and hopefully I can tell you guys about it very soon!

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s not personal advice but my favourite quote is by Walt Disney – if you can dream it, you can do it. It helped me keep going on my writing journey.

What do you class as a successful writing day?
I think the best day is when you write ‘the end’! Every writing day is about getting yourself closer to that so if I get closer, it’s a successful day.

Writing in an apartment in New York City or writing in a cottage in the English countryside?
Ooh I would love both – I think we should go with New York as my hayfever would be terrible in a country cottage haha!

Writing with a cup of tea or writing with a cup of coffee?
Tea – I think I’m the only writer who hates coffee.

Writing with a sandwich or writing with a cupcake?
I am a big fan of cupcakes.

Writing with music or writing in silence?
I have to write with music.

Writing outside in the sunshine or writing inside as the snow falls?
Inside when the snow falls.

And lastly, if someone told you that they wanted to be a writer, what would you tell them?
If it’s your dream then keep going and don’t give up!

- About the Author -
Victoria Walters has always loved creating stories. Her first book was handwritten when she was sixteen years old, and was closely modelled on the Sweet Valley High series. Victoria studied sociology at Warwick University and has since worked for a business publisher and as a Waterstones bookseller. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter, not Harry Styles).

Her debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE will be published by Headline in 2016.

DANCING IN THE FIRE, her New Adult romance, was the winner of a short story competition run by Simon and Schuster and is available as an eBook exclusive now.

You can find Victoria Walters on Twitter | victoria-writes.com


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