4 June 2013

Author Interview: Victoria Connelly

Today, I'm delighted to welcome the lovely Victoria Connelly to my blog for an interview. I recently read and really enjoyed her latest book Wish You Were Here,  an escapist read set on a Greek island with a little dash on magic thrown in too. Victoria was kind enough to answer some of my questions, thank you to Victoria for answering them!

Q1. Please tell me about your new book 'Wish You Were Here'.

Wish You Were Here is a romantic comedy about a plain Jane called Alice Archer who suddenly becomes irresistible to men after making a wish on a statue of Aphrodite whilst on holiday on a Greek island. Of course, the wish leads to all sorts of misunderstandings but will Alice find true love at the end of it all?

Q2. Milo is a fantastic and likeable male character - there aren't enough of those in chick lit I don't think! Was it important to you that both Milo and Alice are really likeable? Also, why are there no redeeming features for the horrid Stella?!

I'm so glad you liked Milo and Alice. I’ve had lots of lovely messages from readers who are falling in love with my gardener hero! As for Stella – she has a personality disorder - features of which include arrogance, self-absorption and a lack of empathy with others. I’m sure we’ve all met somebody who suffers from this condition and – believe me – they really don’t have any redeeming features. So, if you meet anyone like Stella, my advice is to run for cover!

Q3. The island of Kethos in your book is fictional - but did you base it on anywhere you have been to yourself?

I would love to visit the Greek islands one day but had to make it all up for my novel. But one of my favourite destinations is Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast which has a similar landscape to Greece and there’s a fabulous place called the Villa Cimbrone which has the most glorious gardens and I was thinking about those as I wrote Wish You Were Here.

Q4. There's a bit of magic going on in the book - is that something you really enjoy writing into your stories?

It is – yes! Actually, my first three novels all had magic in them. The first, Flights of Angels, which was about a group of tiny guardian angels, was made into a film in Germany. The second, Unmasking Elena Montella involved a magical Venetian mask and the third, Three Graces, was about a very naughty ghost. All three books are available as ebooks now and I’d love to write more magical books one day.

Q5. The book cover for 'Wish You Were Here' is stunning... did you get much input into it or were you happily stunned when you first saw it?

I was, indeed, happily stunned. My publisher wanted a change in direction for my covers – focussing on my locations which readers always respond well to and I have to say that this cover simply took my breath away! Now, where’s my passport ...?

Q6. Could you pick a favourite of all of your books you have written so far?

I think it would have to be A Weekend with Mr Darcy which was the first in a trilogy about Jane Austen addicts. It’s special to me because it got me my first book deal in the US and Russia and I have met so many amazing people through my research. ‘Janeites’ are wonderful people and it’s also led me to writing novella sequels for Kindle which has been so exciting. I think I might be writing about these characters forever! Flights of Angels is very special to me too as it was the first book I got published and it was an incredible experience to see it being turned into a film.

Q7. Where did you get your inspiration for your stories?

All sorts of places. I often begin with locations which I love such as the Scottish Highlands for  The Runaway Actress and Venice for Unmasking Elena Montella. I also write about things I'm passionate about such as Jane Austen. However, I was once inspired by the fact that my husband was sent away with work in a war zone just a few weeks after we got married and I was terrified that I was going to become a widow. That idea inspired my novel, Flights of Angels.

Q8. You are quite active on Facebook and Twitter - do you enjoy social networking with your readers, and do you think it's an important tool for authors to use?

Writing is a very lonely business and it's so lovely to be able to connect with other writers as well as readers. I get so much joy when people tell me that they are enjoying my books and social media is a fantastic way to let readers know when your new book is out. I always run a few competitions around launch time via my newsletter http://victoriaconnelly.com/newsletter/ and Facebook. And it’s a great way to share all the very important things that are going on with my ex-battery hens!

Q9. What's next for you?

September will bring another Austen Addicts novella – Happy Birthday, Mr Darcy! And there’s going to be another short ebook in the ‘Mulberry Cottage’ series (even more hens!) And I’m working on my next novel too which is set in a big country house during a long hot summer in rural Norfolk. It’s going to be very romantic indeed!

Thanks so much, Victoria!

You can buy Victoria's latest novel Wish You Were Here as a paperback or an eBook now!

1 comment:

  1. Great Q&A! I've been putting off really taking a look at this one because the cover doesn't call to me.. Yeah I know, "don't judge books by their covers" but 9 times out of 10, it's worth it! I fear I'm wrong in this case, however. Sounds right up my street!