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Happy Bookiversary To Me!ย 

  
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 

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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 

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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 

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 

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Books read in January 2017

A new year means new books hurrah! I want to read a few more nonfiction books this year as well as my usual pile of novels, and I’ve made a start on that this month.

Here are all the books I read in January. The novels are on the left and the non-fiction on the right.

  
On the non-fiction front, I finally read The Secret to help with my year of positivity. The main premise is that you can have anything you want if you ask the universe for it and really believe you’re going to get it, even act as if you already have it. I’m trying to keep all my goals in mind and believe they are going to be achieved. 

  
I also read Capture Your Style, which is written by Aimee Song who has a huge Instagram following. It’s all about how to create a great Instagram and I picked up some helpful tips. Have a look at mine and tell me what you think! (https://instagram.com/p/BP53xQKAKDJ/)

I read some great novels this month. There was a thriller theme to my reading as you can see – just one romance read. The Roanoke Girls is a controversial book that I’ve seen talked about a lot online and a proof came into the bookshop, which I read and I was gripped all the way through.

  
My favourite book this month though was The Trap by Melanie Raabe. It’s about a reclusive author who sees the man she thinks killed her sister years ago on TV. She decides to write a novel based on the murder and invite him to her house to interview her. I am always intrigued when the main character is a writer and thought this book was really cleverly done, and I couldn’t put it down! Definitely recommended.

Have you guys read any good books this month? Do you try to mix up novels and non-fiction?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read July – December 2016

Earlier last year I posted all the books I had read during the first six months of the year and chose my favourite six (https://victoria-writes.com/2016/07/07/books-read-january-june-2016/) so here is what I read in the second half of the year:

  
  
  
  
  
My six favourites from July to December were:

  
I love Colleen Hoover’s books. I’m always gripped straight away and there’s always a twist to her love stories, often a dark one. 

  
A dark coming-of-age book about two teenage girls who have an intense friendship which spirals out of control. Absorbing and unsettling. Also set in the 1990’s which I loved.

  
A book about a group of friends who are leaving university. We follow them through their lives and the twists and turns of their friendship. A great summer read. 

  
A moving story of a couple who make a decision that will carry many consequences. Set on a remote island where they tend the lighthouse, I was gripped quickly and was left with tears in my eyes.

  
This book started out with a lot of similarities to Twilight except that this is about witchcraft but then the story came into its own and had a great twist leaving me wanting to read the sequel immeadiately. 

  
I loved this true life story of a man whose life was changed by a ginger cat. It’s an easy and moving read and left me with a big smile on my face. I then read the next two books and bought a Bob calendar haha!!

What books stood out for you in 2016? Anything you’d recommend I put on my reading list for this year?

Victoria 

xoxo 

2

Do you care who an author is?ย 

There has been a fierce debate about  whether authors should be as well known as their work after an American journalist claimed to have discovered the true identity of the author using the penname Elena Ferrante. 

  
The author has always guarded their real name and has spoken about wanting the books to speak for themselves. I don’t agree with the article that claims to unmask her. If she wants to remain private, this should be respected. 

Why is there a need to know the author behind the books?

Nowadays authors are expected to be public. Authors are key to the promotion of their books we are told. We should have Twitter accounts and be open to book signings, readings, attending festivals etc. Because it’s so difficult in a crowded market for a book to stand out, authors are encouraged to shout about it themselves. But does knowing an author’s face, background and favourite books make you enjoy their novels even more?

I think books do speak for themselves. Obviously as a writer myself, I am interested in hearing other writers talk about their craft but knowing more about them wouldn’t make me enjoy their book more or less. It can be a bonus sure to converse with a writer you love, and fun to get your book signed by them, but still it’s their book that brought you to them in the first place.

And you can be successful without self-promotion. Look at Elena Ferrante or Suzanne Collins whose Hunger Games series is huge but I know almost nothing about her and she has no social media presence. 

Is it a myth that a more accessible author can make a book more successful? 

I think it comes back to the book itself and whether it connects with readers. Awareness of a book is key, adverts can make it more visible but I don’t think interviews or appearances by an author can make a huge difference. I think if an author enjoys doing them, that’s great, and I personally have loved meeting readers but if you don’t want to do that then you should be allowed to remain private.

We all want readers to connect to our books. Whether you use your real name or a penname, that should be all that matters.

Do you think she should have been unmasked? Should authors be public figures?

Victoria

xoxo