My huge apologies to Victoria, as I've been on a back foot and catching up all week, which is why this week's posts are a few days late.
But better late than never, here's Victoria Connelly.
1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I started writing my first novel when I was fourteen and haven’t stopped since. I love films especially romantic comedies staring Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe and Gene Kelly. I usually read about four books at the same time. I adore animals and have a rescue Springer spaniel called Molly and several ex-battery hens named after characters from books by Miss Read and H E Bates! And I’m passionate about roses and have been filling our cottage garden with them since moving here last year.
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)
Gosh – it’s complicated. Christmas with Mr Darcy is my first ebook novella and it’s the fourth in my Austen Addicts series. I’ve also had eight novels published worldwide and three collections of short stories published on Kindle. I tend to lose count!
3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I use the knowledge that I’d have to get a ‘proper’ job if I didn’t want to do this one any longer! I would much rather be making up stories than doing anything else for a living. I truly love it and that’s what keeps me going.
4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Write the story you most want to. You have to LOVE what you’re doing because a novel doesn’t write itself – it’s a long and lonely slog so you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. Also, don’t give up! I had so many rejections especially for my novel Flights of Angels which – after literally hundreds of rejections over many years - was published after a bidding war between five publishers and made into a film! I’m so glad I never gave up on it!
5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Writing is my passion so everything else tends to be woven around that but the animals (and occasionally the husband!) comes first and I make sure everybody has been walked/cleaned out/fed/cuddled in the morning before I lose myself in my latest novel.
6. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I’d really love to write an adventure thriller with a strong female protagonist. I’ve got a few ideas and I’ve started one novel already so watch out for that!
7. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I don’t have a regime as such but I keep fit naturally by walking our spaniel twice a day, looking after our hens and our beautiful garden. I’m also a member of two walking groups and love to cycle around the country lanes. All of this helps stave off the effects of hours sitting at a computer.
8. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I loved writing Christmas with Mr Darcy because I got to meet all the characters from my Austen Addicts trilogy again. It was like catching up with old friends and I’ve had lots of lovely emails from readers who have said the same thing. I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas book too so it was wonderful to imagine the romantic setting of Purley Hall in the snow.
9. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
One of my favourite heroines is Maggie Hamill from The Runaway Actress and I’d love to spend an evening with her – perhaps watching a girlie film like Thelma and Louise. She’s really good fun and always knows the latest gossip and we could raid her little shop for crisps and popcorn.
10. Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
My favourite hero is Dan Harcourt from A Weekend with Mr Darcy and Christmas with Mr Darcy. He’s tall and handsome with red-gold hair, is kind and caring and is constantly followed around by his two faithful dogs, Moby and Biscuit, and he knows how to ride a horse! Sigh!
Christmas is being celebrated in style at Purley Hall in Hampshire because renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, is holding a special Jane Austen Conference. Everybody’s there: Katherine and Warwick, Robyn and Dan, Kay, Adam and Gemma, and Sarah and Mia. Oh, and Mrs Soames.
But, when a rare first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, the guests have to forget the fun and games and turn detective...
Christmas with Mr Darcy is the light-hearted novella sequel to the bestselling Austen Addicts’ Trilogy: A Weekend with Mr Darcy, The Perfect Hero (Dreaming of Mr Darcy) and Mr Darcy Forever.
Christmas with Mr Darcy is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.