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 

10

The Second Love Of My Life

I’m so excited to announce that my debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE will be published by Headline in April 2016! It’s great to finally be able to share the news with you guys, I’ve been sitting on it for a while now as we came up with the perfect title for the novel and I’ve already completed a round of edits with my amazing editor at Headline Emily (who you can follow on Twitter here).

The news was announced yesterday via The Bookseller and I’ve pasted the press release below:

Headline has acquired an “utterly captivating debut novel” by an “exciting new talent” who works at Waterstones.

Commissioning editor Emily Griffin bought British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters from Hannah Ferguson at Hardman & Swainson.

The Second Love of my Life tells the story of Rose – a young artist living in the small Cornish village of Talting – whose childhood sweetheart and husband is killed in a road accident, leaving her widowed at the age of 25.

Two years on, as Rose starts putting her life back together piece by piece, and her “challenging journey towards love and happiness is a heart-rending and ultimately life-affirming tale of survival”.

Griffin said: “What makes this novel special is the way that Victoria utterly immerses the reader in its world, portraying Rose’s story with insight, sensitivity and a seemingly effortless balance between light and shade. It moves me to tears every time and I can’t wait to put our publishing plans into action and introduce countless readers to this enthralling novel.”

Walters is a bookseller at Waterstones, and last year won Simon & Schuster’s New Adult short story competition. Her winning story, Dancing in the Fire, was released as an e-book in February.

Headline will publish The Second Love of my Life in e-book and paperback in April 2016, and will give a “tantalising taste of the world of the novel” in a digital short story to be published two months before.

A huge thank you needs to go out to my agent Hannah Ferguson (follow her on Twitter here) for making my dream of having a book on the shelves come true! I’m so thrilled that you guys will be able to read this novel and I can’t wait to hear what you all think in 2016!

(And you can already pre-order the eBook version of THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE here!)

And finally we need a gif to describe how I’m feeling right now:

giphy-3

Victoria

xoxo

2

Eleven questions

The lovely Vicky from Vicky Finds Work nominated me for the Liebster award yay, thanks Vicky!

liebster-award

The award comes with questions and I loved the ones Vicky came up with so here goes!

1) What is your dream job?

WRITER. I suspect this is obvious 🙂

2) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love living in England  and suspect I’ll never leave but if I had to live somewhere else I’d choose New York every time!

3) Favourite book?

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

4) If you could interview any actor, who would it be?

Either Ian Somerhalder or Jensen Ackles although the interview would be mostly me fangirling, blushing and falling over in excitement!

Excuse to share pictures? I think so 🙂

Ian-Smoulder-halder-ian-somerhalder-32812636-500-700

 

a-jensen-ackles-picture
5) While we’re on the subject, what is your favourite film?

Ugh this is a hard one because i have like a top ten depending on my mood but I think the film I’ve watched the most is You’ve Got Mail so we will go with that!

6) Explain one of your favourite memories.

The one that comes to mind is going to Disneyland Paris with my mum, it was such a happy place and so much fun! Plus I got to hang-out with Minnie Mouse 🙂

DSCN0103
7) Best restaurant you’ve ever been to?

An Italian restaurant in New York and I’m so annoyed I didn’t write down the name! My cousin and I had been walking all day, we were starving and exhausted and their garlic bread and pasta carbonara felt like the best thing we had ever tasted!

8) What is your favourite blog?

Probably Buzzfeed – they seem to always talk about things I’m obsessed with!

9) Do you watch YouTube? If so, who is your favourite YouTuber?

Only for music to be honest.

10) What car would you get if money was no object?

A purple VW Beetle 🙂

11) What is true happiness to you?

As I read this question, Kacey Musgrave’s Follow Your Arrow started playing and I think it’s great advice on how to be happy:

66194de2dec166edafb4f366f0a97645

Now I’m supposed to pass this award on to 11 bloggers but I’d love to give it to anyone who wants to take part and answer Vicky’s questions so post your answers in the comments below so we can all get to know you!

Victoria

xoxo

 

24

Thank you

I try not to take too much notice of numbers on social networking as it’s usually engagement that is more important but when I noticed my blog followers had ticked over the 500 mark I had to commemorate the occasion. It’s been two and half years since I started this blog and I’m always thrilled when someone wants to read my ramblings. This blog has been a real journey from starting it anonymously and being too scared to admit I wanted to be a writer to this point.

So this is just a short post to say thank you to all of you! Getting to know you guys has been the best part of blogging and if I don’t know you – stop lurking! Just kidding – sort of 🙂

internet-high-five

Victoria

xoxo

27

The Liebster Award

I have been tagged by the lovely Kat Ellis with a Liebster Award yay! Kat is hugely supportive of other writers and I know 2013 will bring her much success with her own writing. Thanks Kat!

liebster2

Here’s how Liebster works:

– I list 11 random facts about myself.

– I’ll answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.

– I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award, along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.

– If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with the questions I come up with.

– Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.

My 11 random facts.

This is hard because I’ve had to do a lot of facts over the past two years and I’m really not that interesting so I apologise if you’ve heard these before:

  1. I don’t drink coffee. I feel I let all writers down by this but it tastes horrible. I’m not all that keen on the smell either.
  2. When I went to Vegas, my cousin and I were asked to roll the dice for two men playing Craps. They won big and gave us a $1,000 chip and bought a bottle of Cristal champers to celebrate!
  3. I don’t like eating starters – most of the food I dislike is used as starters like pawns, mushrooms, pâté, tomatoes.
  4. I had three imaginary friends growing up called Belly, Colic and Jasmine. Maybe it was written in the stars I’d make up people for a living 🙂
  5. I went to Warwick University and have a degree in Sociology.
  6. The first novel I ever wrote was when I was about fifteen, I wrote it with pen and paper and my inspiration was Sweet Valley High.
  7. The celebrity I feel would be my BFF if we knew each other is Taylor Swift.
  8. My film collection is half girlie romance and half films made for teenage boys.
  9. The fictional character most similar to me is Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. Tis true.
  10. I’m very clumsy. I can’t really walk through doors without hitting the frame as I pass.
  11. I’m scared of fireworks and heights. I’m pretty much a wimp.

Now, here are Kat’s questions:

1. What would be your last meal?
My mum’s roast dinner.
2. Who’s your favourite literary character of all time and why?
Elizabeth Bennet. Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book – Lizzie is smart, feisty and witty but also blind. I like the journey she takes to discover herself and ultimately the love of her life.
3. Have you ever written an ex into one of your novels/stories?
No. They’re not interesting enough haha!
4. What’s the worst pick-up line someone ever used on you?
I never get chatted up, seriously! Only over 70 year olds come on to me (this happens a lot).
5. Which song are you listening the most right now?
My currently top played song on iTunes is Jealous of the Angels by Jenn Bostic. It’s a sad but beautiful song.
6. Paris or New York?
New York!!! I’ve been twice and I love it. Don’t shoot me but I’m not a massive Paris fan *hides*
7. Which book do you wish you’d written?
Harry Potter. I think you know why.
8. Got any tattoos? If yes, what and where?
Yes – on my hip. This is it:
tattoo
9. What made you choose the genre/category you write now?
I chose YA because I loved Twilight so much. My first stories weren’t original enough then I decided to write about contemporary issues, I think my Sociology degree came into play.
10. If you were going to write a completely different genre under a pen name, what genre would it be, and what would be your pen name?
I think the least likely choice of genre for me to write would be erotic fiction but I could have fun with a pen name if I did – how about Honey Fox?
11. Name three things you will do this year.
Get a book deal.
Turn 30.
Eat a cupcake.

Okay I’d like to tag these lovely people:

And these are the questions I’d like you to answer if you wish to take part!

  • What made you want to be a writer?
  • Where do you find the inspiration for your writing?
  • What are your goals for 2013?
  • What’s your favourite quote?
  • Where in the world would you most like to visit?
  • What five things would you take to a desert island?
  • What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?
  • If you could met one author, who would you choose?
  • What’s your favourite film?
  • If you went into The Hunger Games, what would be your most useful skill?
  • Which fictional male would you most like to marry?
  • Victoria

    xoxo

    35

    Two years of blogging

    Two years ago this week I joined WordPress and tomorrow is the second anniversary of my first ever post. When I started blogging, this blog had a generic name and my profile picture was a cartoon. I didn’t have my name anywhere and no one offline knew about it. I had no followers and didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. All I knew was that I wanted to write something. I’d submitted my first novel to agents that year and I had really caught the writing bug. I just had no idea where it would take me.

    Two years later, my blog has changed dramatically. My name and picture are on it for one! I now have 333 blog followers and I share my posts on Facebook and Twitter so everyone I know could read it if they wanted to. I have declared myself a writer. I have written more novels and decided that I want to make a career out of writing.

    The two biggest changes though have been that I took a leap of faith and took a year out of my job in HR to focus on writing and that I found a literary agent. I really believe this blog played a huge part in this. It has been a real journey accepting that I want to write, sharing that dream and doing something about it. Not only have I been able to vocalise my ambitions on here but I found an amazingly supportive community who have got behind me every step of the way. I have been continually touched by the encouragement bloggers have given me and count many of you as friends.

    This blog has become a home for me to share not only my writing journey but my life.

    It seemed like fate when I found out that I’d been nominated for the blog of the year 2012 award by the lovely and talented Jenny Keller Ford on this anniversary. I’m touched Jenny thought of me for this award but I am always thrilled when I receive a blog award, knowing that someone has taken the time to think of me and this space. So thank you not only to Jenny for this award but to the givers of the awards I have been given over the past two years.

    Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

    I’m not sure my blog is worthy of such an award but I love that Jenny thought of me so I will display proudly!

    Only recently I questioned whether I wanted to be so honest online but the outpouring of support on here and on Facebook and Twitter convinced me that the only way for me to be online is to be myself. This wasn’t always the case. This blog was a secret for a long time and I was really nervous about people who know me reading the things I wanted to say but I’m learning that if I don’t believe in myself then no one will. And I know I’m incredibly lucky to have so many people who believe alongside me.

    So thank you to everyone who follows this blog and thank you to everyone who has supported, encouraged and cheered me along on my journey. You helped me chase my dreams and if I wanted this blog to do anything it would be to encourage others to chase their dreams.

    So I hope you do, and I hope you continue to tell me all about your journeys too.

    If you can dream it, you can do it – Walt Disney

    Victoria

    xoxo

    18

    The Next Big Thing

    I’m super grateful to have been tagged as the next big thing from three wonderful bloggers – Ruth Ellen Parker, Lisa Kramer and Tori Young. I really appreciate their kind words and support and I’m sure they will have wonderful successes with their own books. Check out their blogs, well worth reading!

     

    In accepting this award, I have to answer questions about my novel and then tag five other up and coming writers. So here we go!

    What is the title of your Work in Progress?
    Sticks and Stones
    Where did the idea come from for the book?
    I saw an NSPCC awareness campaign on TV and I hadn’t read a YA book that dealt with the issue so I decided to try writing one myself.
    What genre does your book fall under?
    YA contemporary thriller.
    Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
    At this moment I’d pick Kaya Scodelario, Aaron Johnson and Alex Pettyfer as the main three characters.
    What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
    A teenage girl has been shunned by her friends for cheating on her boyfriend but they don’t realise she’s hiding a painful secret that someone will do anything to stop her from revealing; can she find the courage to face her past before it’s too late?
    Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
    I have an agent.
    How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
    About three months.
    What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
    I’m currently reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I can see it sitting next to YA titles like this one.
    Who or what inspired you to write this book?
    I wanted to write a story that didn’t shy away from very real issues that teenage girls can face.
    What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
    There’s a line currently in the MS that I could see as the tagline on the cover:
    Some secrets are too terrible to tell. 
    ***********************************
    I’d like to tag these five very talented writers:
    Victoria
    xoxo