Journey to publication (part 3)

In the last part of my journey, I had sent back copy edits on The Second Love Of My Life to my publisher and that meant the next step was page proofs! This means the manuscript is typeset to how it will look as a book but on paper for me to go through and check for any errors.

This was the first time it started to look like a book and reading it through again was quite scary as I was looking for final errors and seeing it pretty much as it will be when you guys read it! Here’s a sneaky peek:

Once I sent back my corrections, I then started on edits for the short story ebook prequel The Summer I Met You, which will be released two months before the novel. 

I also wrote a blog post for Waterstones about how it feels to be both a bookseller and author: https://www.waterstones.com/blog/from-bookseller-to-author-by-victoria-walters

This has been helping to take my mind off the fact my bound proofs were being printed ….

And now here they are!!These are  uncorrected  proofs (so based on the copy edited manuscript and not including changes I made at page proof stage) and are produced for people to review the novel. So they get sent to magazines and book bloggers and booksellers and other authors to hopefully build buzz for the book.

They are so pretty!! My little story is a book!!! I still can’t quite believe it!!! 

 I’m running a giveaway over on Twitter to win a signed proof so pop over and take part:  https://mobile.twitter.com/vicky_walters/status/666900162070097920

We are getting so close to publication now! Just five months to go …




Books read in October 2015


Life and Death (Twilight tenth anniversary edition) – Stephanie Meyer


The Twelve Dates Of Christmas – Lisa Dickenson


At thirty, Claudia’s life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life – and Christmas – alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It’s also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing’s for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different . . .

This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it’s a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what’s been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

Did I Mention I Need You? – Estelle Maskame


It’s been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother… and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can’t help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that they aren’t over each other. But can they resist temptation?

In Did I Mention I Need You?, the second volume of Estelle Maskame’s phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, Tyler and Eden must face up to their feelings and decide what to do next. Is their love strong enough to face the challenges that lie ahead?

Book of the month:

The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters

If you’re looking for a fun, romantic Christmas read then Lisa Dickenson’s book is perfect for you, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy and definitely festive! I’m really enjoying the Did I Mention I Love You? series and can’t wait for the final instalment next year as book 2 has ended on a cliffhanger! But my favourite read of the month I have chosen ….


It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

This is the fourth book by Sarah Waters I’ve read and is set in a new era the 1920’s and is at essence a love story with a crime thread to it too. I was drawn in from the first page, she really is an excellent writer, and although it’s a long book I remained captivated for all of it. I must say though that I didn’t think I would be at the end when I suddenly was (there’s extra material in my copy at the back) and so I finished it with a “huh”. I wish there could have been an epilogue as I really wanted to know where the characters went from there, what happened next and it’s because I had spent so long desperately hoping things would work out. For such a long book I suppose I hoped for a stronger resolution but it is a really entertaining story, dark and twisty with strong characters and the typical Waters forbidden lesbian romance that you’ll be rooting for even when you’re not sure you should be.

Has anyone else read it?




Judging a book by its cover


We all do it, don’t we? In the visual world we live in where we watch screens for way too many hours a day, we are programmed to respond to visuals which catch our eye. It’s the same with a book cover – it needs to catch your eye in the bookshop, online or in the supermarket. You need to have that first reaction to the cover to then pick up a book and read what it’s about and whether you want to read it or not.

As a reader, author and bookseller I see book covers every day. The surround me at work and home and when shopping because I almost always go into a book shop. So, I’ve seen many different types of covers and can usually tell instantly what genre the book is inside. This is what you want. You want a reader to know what type of book this is but you also want to intrigue them to want to read inside. If they think they already know exactly what to expect from a book, they probably won’t bother parting with their money.

It’s a tricky thing to get right then. A cover needs to stand out but also fit with other covers in the genre, and it needs to let you know what to expect from the book but pull you in to reading it. I’m actually glad I’m not a cover designer!

I am really happy with the cover of my novel because I think it does all of this! And I can say that as I didn’t design it :) What I was intrigued about was how the cover for the short story prequel to the novel would look like. Would it be similar to the novel? Would people realise it was written by the same author and the books were linked? But would it also be clear you could read the short story as a standalone piece as well?

Again I’m so happy with what my publisher has created because thankfully I think my short story cover hits all of these things.

Ta-da! ….


For me, it complements the novel cover perfectly. The design is similar so you know the stories are linked but it works for a romance story in its own right. I love the pink so much! Plus you may have spotted the butterflies, which made me so happy because as you know I love them and have a tattoo of a butterfly. I think it’s super pretty and would stand out to me when book shopping (the book is also a bargain at 99p, just sayin’ – pre order here: http://amzn.to/1VGdI50) so I really hope it will do to readers out there.

What’s most exciting to me is seeing the covers together and realising this is the start of my author brand! Look at my little name on TWO covers. I may have to go and have a lie down :)

What kind of covers stand out to you the most?





Books read in September 2015


After You – Jojo Moyes


Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .

All Of The Above – James Dawson


When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are, all in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who’s the coolest girl Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the ‘alternative’ kids take Toria under their wing. And that’s when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band – and it’s instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria . . . but then there’s Polly.

Love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling has found herself at a turning point. So in Why Not Me?, she shares her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships inunlikely places, or attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behaviour modification whatsoever.

In “How to Look Spectacular”, she reveals her tongue-in-cheek solutions for guaranteed on-camera beauty. “Player” tells the story of Mindy being seduced, then dumped, by a female friend in LA. And in “Soup Snakes”, she spills some secrets on her relationship with ex-boyfriend and close friend, B. J. Novak.

Mindy has put the anxieties, the glamour and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into this book, to which anyone can relate. (And, if they can’t, they can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.)

Book of the Month:

Hanya Yanagihara-A Little Life

I enjoyed all the books I read this month especially All Of The Above, which is a great contemporary YA novel set in the UK but for my book of the month, I had to pick the 700 page epic A Little Life. Here’s what it’s about:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome – but that will define his life forever.

The first thing to say about this book is not everyone is going to want to read this. Based on reviews I’ve seen, it’s a Marmite book. It’s an epic read and it’s one of the darkest and saddest books I’ve ever read. Seriously, it will break your heart. I’m still devastated about it!

This book is so emotive, you care so much about the characters and the author really puts them through hell. It deals with some pretty tough subjects such as child abuse and for this reason, it’s hard to say that I liked this book but I admire it a lot. It’s compelling and I found it brilliantly written with such well-drawn characters that at one point, I threw the book down unable to bear what was happening to them. I picked it back up again though. I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and hoping that things would turn out okay. I think the book had to end how it ended but I’m still upset about it.

So, I’ve never read anything like this book before. However, I won’t recommended it to everyone because of the subjects it deals with and how difficult it is to read about them. I think reading the blurb and reviews will help you decide if it’s for you or not. And if you do read it, just have a light-hearted book ready to pick up when you’re done!

Has anyone else read these books? What did you think?



Come and see me over at Goodreads!


Sunday Songs

I’ve decided to stop my Sunday Songs post as I now spend most of my music time over on Spotify.

But don’t worry you can see what I’m listening to by following me over there!

I have a Current Faves playlist, which will work like this post did by listing the new music I’ve found and what I’m loving right now. Follow the playlist here:

I’ll also be uploading playlists for all my books and coming soon a Christmas playlist!

You can also check out my playlist of Theme Songs – if you any suggestions for me let me know and see if they added:

Who else is on Spotify?




Journey to Publication (part 2)


Since we last caught up with my journey I have been working on copy edits for my novel The Second Love Of My Life. I’ve just sent them back to my publisher Headline. The edits pretty much focused on grammar mistakes, spelling, repetition of words and making sure each sentence flowed correctly with commas and so on.

I’ve also visited the London offices of Headline to meet with my editor, agent and publicist to talk through publicity ideas for the novel and meet all the team. I also got to see their roof garden, which provides an amazing view of London:


Here I am up there with my lovely editor Emily:


But the most exciting development since we my first journey to publication post has been my cover reveal! I was so grateful to book blogger Sharon for exclusively revealing the cover for me on her blog.

Seeing the cover was probably the most exciting and nerve wracking part of the journey for me and I was thrilled that Headline produced such a gorgeous cover for me. I think they got the tone of the novel spot on with it and I think it will stand out really well in bookshops – it’s the kind of cover that would catch my eye.

What do you think??


I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

Don’t you can pre-order the paperback or e-book now on Amazon.co.uk or from Waterstones and check it out on Goodreads.com!






I saw this quote online and I just loved it instantly. I remember how hard it was to start telling people that I was writer who was writing a novel and who wanted to have it published one day. I remember the fear that came with declaring myself to people I know and then people I just met.

I still get nervous saying the words “I’m a writer”. I think it’s because in saying it we are revealing a large piece of ourselves. We write because we are passionate about it, writing is part of our hearts and souls, writing is part of a dream we may have had since we were little and to tell people about it is a really big deal. There is also the fear of how people will react. Often the words are followed by a lot of questions – what do you write? Would I have read anything you’ve written? Do you have an agent? Do you have a book deal? Are you the next JK Rowling? etc.

We experience so much self-doubt in our writing that talking about it is difficult. We lack confidence generally as writers and telling people who we are and what we do requires a leap of faith in that moment – it requires us to confidently declare ourselves and that’s hard.

But I agree with this quote that by declaring ourselves we put ourselves on the path we need to be on. By telling first yourself then others you will start to believe it, and will work harder to achieve the goals you have as a writer. People will ask you where you are on your journey (hopefully supportively!) but it’s not about pleasing them but pleasing yourself.

I see a lot of bios on social media using the words ‘aspiring writer’ and I long to message the person and tell them if you write, you’re a writer – do not aspire to it, be it, live it and be proud of it. But I’m pretty sure I used those very words myself at one time. Choosing the life of a writer is choosing an uncertain life – there will be ups and downs, there will be fear and rejection, there will be difficult questions, there will be times you want to give up but hopefully you will see your dreams come true and the journey to get there will be a worthwhile one.

Not many people get to live their dream so if your dream was to be a writer and you’re writing then be proud as hell because you’ve made your dream come true.

No matter what your goal as a writer is – to write 1,000 words, to finish a book, to find an agent, and so on – it begins with saying those four words:


Are you??