Q&A with Victoria Connelly
My new e-book is called It’s Magic and it’s a collection of 3 novels which were originally published in Germany: Flights of Angels, Unmasking Elena Montella and Three Graces. They’re all romantic comedies with a touch of magic so expect to meet five naughty guardian angels, a magical Venetian mask and an opinionated eighteenth-century ghost!
2. Did you draw inspiration from your personal life?
I did! Flights of Angels was inspired by when my husband was sent to a war zone just six weeks after our wedding. I panicked and truly believed I was going to become a widow and, in the split second that the thought crossed my mind, the writer in me kicked in and I thought, wouldn’t that be a great idea for a book? So, once my husband was safely home, I started writing a book about a young widow who has her own group of tiny guardian angels to take care of her.
Unmasking Elena Montella started with my love for Venice – we were staying there and I really fell in love with the city and became fascinated by the world of mask making and began to wonder if the masks were magical …
Three Graces was inspired by my love of old country houses and I couldn’t stop wondering what it would be like to live in one – a haunted one!
3. When did you know writing was for you?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I started my first novel when I was fourteen. I used to take it to school and pass it under the table for my friends to read during Maths lessons which used to get me into trouble with the teacher but I was well and truly hooked by that age.
4. How would you describe your books?
I say that I write ‘romantic comedies’ rather than chick lit as that term has been around a lot longer and it’s the romantic comedy films of Doris Day, Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly and Marilyn Monroe that inspired me to write.
Don’t look for designer labels, references to popular celebrities or high heels and handbags in my books. They’re usually set in the country and they’re often inhabited by characters who wear Wellies and the occasional mad dog!
5. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The waiting! Everything takes an absolute age from when you wait for feedback from your agent or editor to the length of time publication takes. I also find the physical aspect of writing quite hard as I suffer from RSI and often have to use voice recognition software and dictate my novels onto the computer which is really frustrating as I’m a touch typist and find that a lot quicker.
6. What are your favorite genres to read?
Romantic comedies of course! I love writers like Sophie Kinsella but I adore books from yesteryear too and some of my favourite authors include HE Bates, Miss Read and John Hadfield (who wrote one perfect novel – Love on a Branchline).
I do like the occasional thriller too – something dark and edgy like Scott Mariani’s Ben Hope books or adventures by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
I hope that my stories make people happy. I don’t attempt to write stories with life-changing messages or stories that will win literary prizes. I just hope I can raise a smile or two and make somebody happy and allow them to escape into another world for a few hours.
8. What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you as an author?
That I absolutely love writing and that it’s a real privilege to be able to connect with other people through my stories. I love hearing what readers think of my stories and I will always respond to messages from them.
9. How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
It’s very important to have a presence online and I have to say that I’m a bit of a fan of Facebook and Twitter. You can find me on both (@VictoriaDarcy on Twitter). These forums are a wonderful to connect with readers and it’s great to give them a shout when your new books come out. Publishers are very happy to encourage this!
10. What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Never give up! My book, Flights of Angels, had hundreds of rejections from agents and publisher from all over the world and took years to get published but it was then printed in four different editions and made into a film. If I’d given up at any stage, I’d never have had that amazing experience!
Also, love what you do. Really love it! Choose a genre you’re passionate about. Read lots and write lots and LOTS. Learn your craft and be patient. If you are willing to work hard and truly love writing, you can make it happen!