2

Happy Bookiversary To Me!Β 

  
My debut novel The Second Love Of My Life was first published here in the UK a year ago today! It was a dream come true to hold the book in my hands and see it on the book shelves. And it still is.

I still receive messages from readers who have enjoyed the book and that is always the most wonderful feeling. Getting published was a long journey for me, and for most writers, so knowing the book has found a place in someone’s heart just makes it all worthwhile.  


I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who got a copy and supported the book’s release (and who are still supporting it and me!). Being a writer can be lonely sometimes and it’s easy to doubt yourself so knowing that someone has enjoyed your book is a huge boost and you guys have put a smile on my face so many times since publication.

Lots of love and hugs,

Victoria 

xoxo 

2

Books read in March 2017

  
I can’t believe March is over already and Spring is here. I turned 34 this month and I can’t believe that either. Sometimes time is a scary thing. It definitely scares me when I look at my pile of books to be read and how little time I have to get through them all! 

But here are the ones I managed to get through this month: 

  
I really enjoyed all the books I picked up this month. I continued trying to read more non-fiction with Lauren Graham’s book as I love The Gilmore Girls and her novel was really enjoyable. This book was pretty short and easy to get through. It was light hearted and she definitely comes across as someone you’d love to hang out with. I’m hoping she’s working on another novel.

With the fiction, I read my first Liane Moriarty novel. I know I’m behind on getting on that train! And as a massive fan of her Sookie novels, I picked up the first in another series by Charlaine Harris. Both are authors I’d read more from again in the future. 

  
Behind Her Eyes has had a lot of hype online particularly because of its ending so I was intrigued to read it. It was a page turner for sure and kept me guessing right up to the end where the twist gives you a lot to talk about to others who’ve read it! I don’t give anything away don’t worry but let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought.

My favourite of the pile this month was this book:

  
I’ve followed Holly online for ages now and this has sat on my self for an embarrassingly long time. It’s a brilliant YA novel about friendship and feminism and at its heart a girl who’s struggling to get to grips with OCD. It’s very honest and I loved the three girls at the heart of it. There are two more books in the series which I’m looking forward to reading.

I probably don’t read as much YA now as I think I overdosed on it, particularly on the fantasy side, but I’m really happy I picked this one up finally!

What books have you enjoyed this month?

Victoria

xoxo 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram guys! 

https://instagram.com/p/BSQQlH2hvYA/

And Twitter: 

https://twitter.com/vicky_walters

And you can now like my Facebook page: 

https://www.facebook.com/Vickywalters

0

Flatlay Like A BossΒ 

  I’ve been asked quite a bit lately how I create flatlays for my Instagram so I thought it would be fun to share some tips. I always find flatlays generate a lot of attention on Instagram and I love looking at them myself. They are visually appealing and really stand out when you’re scrolling through photos online. 

If you want to join in the flatlay fun then here are my Five Helpful Hints ….

1. Tell a story

If you’re not sure where to start with a flatlay image, think about the story you want to tell. What do you want to show people through the photo. 

  
For example, in my flatlay above I used a concert ticket and the top I planned to wear to it as my story – showing everyone where I was off to that day. You could read the caption I wrote about it but the image speaks for itself and just glancing at it tells you a story. 

2. A backdrop dream   

   

You want the pieces in your flatlay to stand out as much a possible so you’ll need a plain background. In the photo above, I used my desk or you could use the carpet, your bed or a coloured piece of card like I did for the concert picture. 

3. Get propping 

For a great flatlay, you’ll need props. And it doesn’t have to be costly. I’ve found some great bargains but I’ve also used lots of things I already had. Beauty products work really well and stationery is always popular. It’s lots of fun experimenting with what works the best. This flatlay generated a ton of likes I think becauseeverything stands out and works together really well. And the symmetry is pleasing to the eye. I’m happy with it anyway!

  
4. The right light

I’ve found natural light is the best to work with but it isn’t easy to get rid of shadows. Editing your photo afterwards will be useful in most cases. I usually have to lighten and brighten an image and a sharpening tool helps makes a picture pop. Editing wise I use the Camera+ app and Snapseed as well as Instagram’s editing tools to make my photos look as good as possible and in keeping with each other.

  
5. Birds eye view 

And then finally, you need to frame your photo. I usually put things together then look through my phone camera to see if it’s working. Standing high gives a great flatlay so you might need to climb up on a chair to get the best shot. Things often look different once you get up high so adjusting the photo will be key. 

I have often had to take a ton of photos moving things around ever so slightly so it all fits into the frame. Your patience should be rewarded at the end though with a fab flatlay to post.

  
I love playing around with flatlays as you’ll see if you follow my Instagram (check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/vickyjwalters/) and I love looking at them so do let me know if this inspires you to post one!

Do you have any other flatlay tips? Let us know in the comments!

Victoria

xoxo 

2

The RoNA awards 2017

Last night, I made my way to London Town for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards as my novel The Second Love Of My Life was on the shortlist for the Contemporary Romance award. 

Here are all the books in my category: 

  

The professional photos with the other nominees:

  
  
Obligatory pre-event selfie:

  
The event was held in a lovely building in Whitehall full of original features and it all had a Beauty and the Beast feel to it.

  
If only I had a library like this. Swoon.

  
  
Sadly, my book  didn’t win (I was robbed, obvs πŸ˜ƒ) but it was lovely to have been nominated and it’s always lots of fun meeting other authors and publishing peeps. Plus there was pink fizz to be had!

  
So happy it was finally warm enough to wear my new jacket! 

Here I am with lovely author Ali McNamara:

  
With my agent Hannah Ferguson: 

  
And, here are the three of us!

  
It’s always fun having a glamorous writer night out. But tonight it’s all back to normal and I’m slouching on the sofa in sweats watching Netflix with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. 

You’ve got to keep it real folks. 

Victoria

xoxo 

0

Books read in February 2017

First of all – happy World Book Day everyone! A perfect day to look back on the books I read in February I think.

  

It wasn’t a bumper book month for me. I was concentrating on editing my own book but I managed to read three novels and one non-fiction – a humorous self-help guide. 
  
My favourite of the books I read is this little gem. It’s not released until May but a proof arrived at work and I’m so happy it did!

  

I don’t want to talk too much about it as it’s one of those books that you should just read and fall in love with but essentially it’s about a woman called Eleanor who lives a lonely life in Scotland and how she comes to terms with her past and opens up her heart finally. It’s almost a coming of age novel although she’s grown up. 

It’s funny in places and so moving in others and I had tears in my eyes at the end. It’s really original especially Eleanor’s voice and I hope it finds lots of readers when it’s published.

What book did you love this month?

Victoria 

xoxo 

8

How do you put positivity into action?Β 

This week, my year of positivity has hit shaky ground. Fed up of worrying about health issues and not focusing as much as I wanted to on editing my new book, I’ve not been in the best frame of mind. I wish I didn’t find it so hard to stay positive when weeks go this way but I do. 

I’ve been trying to steal some positivity and inspiration from other people. But it’s easier said than done. I admire them, I agree with what they say but then I go back to my life after leaving their story and struggle to change a thing! 

  
I really enjoyed this article by C.S Larkin (@livewritethrive) on how to be positive as writers. Read it here: 

http://www.livewritethrive.com/2017/02/13/3-tips-to-help-writers-adopt-positive-thinking/

I really liked her idea of ‘faith it till you make it’ – so by telling ourselves we can and will be productive and overcome any obstacle in our way, then that belief will make it happen. This idea has come back to me time and time again reading non-fiction books. That by making positive statements like “I can finish editing this novel by the end of the month” and even writing it down, sticking it by your laptop and repeating it to yourself everyday, then you’ll believe you can do it and so you will do it. 

I seem to be collecting a fair few self-help and inspiring true stories to read. I’m definitely hoping that following advice from people who have put positivity into action then I can too. But it still feels just a theory to me. It’s as if I know what I need to do but I’m still stumbling with actually doing it. I am shaking my head at myself as we speak! 

I don’t know how to reprogram myself into not worrying, not being negative, not focusing on things going wrong etc into a brain that is positive and optimistic, focusing on good things, who believes that everything will work out okay. I just hope acknowledging that I am the biggest barrier to being positive is that first step in the right direction. But what is my next step after that? 

So, do you guys have any ideas? How do you turn advice from people into actions by yourself? How do you make positivity happen?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Victoria

xoxo 

2

Celebrating the small (and the big!)

  
I was wondering what to post next in my Year Of Positivity series when it was announced that my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life has been shortlisted for an award! It is shortlisted for The 2017 Contemporary Romantic Novel Award by The Romantic Novelists Association. Here’s the announcement in The Bookseller: 

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/rna-shortlists-480346

It got me thinking that celebrating positive news should be mandatory. And we shouldn’t just stick to “big” things but all positive moments can be marked in some way. At the very least we should recognise them if we are hoping to keep a positive mindset. It’s so easy to just think about and remember and go over the bad bits of our day that we can forget all the times we smiled during it. 

I am thrilled that my novel has been recognised in some way. It makes me remember that my novel is out there in the world and people can still discover it, and hopefully enjoy it too. It’s also a lovely acknowledgment of all the hard work I put into the story plus I get to go a ceremony in London next month and hopefully raise a glass of bubbly to the characters I spent so much time with.

I’m the midst of polishing a new story and it’s forever tricky for me to be confident with my writing and not let the self-doubt monster suck me into its clutches so I took a moment today to remind myself that I wrote a novel that not only was published but has found some readers who fell in love with the story, and I should never lose sight of that.

Celebrating all the moments that put a smile on our faces should be a big part of our year of positivity. I am going to really try to make sure I do this and try to find some time in each day to recognise everything good that happened. 

What has happened to you today that you’re going to celebrate?

Victoria 

xoxo