Saturday, 30 December 2017

Writing is Good for Your Health

Well, I haven't written a blog post since be fair, I do tend to neglect this blog, but there has been rather a lot going on this year, most of it not good. As we are just a day or two away from 2018, I thought I'd just tell you about my year.

Last year around this time, I was worried about my dad who was having awful pains in his leg. He was generally unwell. My mum had her usual health problems and at 89 most of us would, but was mostly not too bad. The doctor was trying to find out what was wrong with Dad's leg, but of course everything shut down for Christmas. My daughter and I had to take Christmas lunch down to them as Dad couldn't walk.

By the 3rd of Jan, I think it was, Dad was worse and was taken into hospital. To cut a very long story short, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and secondary bone cancer. His thigh bone was fractured. He was given months rather than years, but they couldn't be more specific. Although Dad was 88, it was still a bit of a shock for us all and Mum, who had started to have much more than the normal memory lapses for her age, didn't really take it in - neither did Dad come to that.

Again, cutting to the chase, by the summer Dad had been home and then back in hospital after a fall, and the big shock - Mum had a fall and went to hospital. Six weeks later she died. That was on the 14th of June and then on the 23rd of July came the biggest shock for me personally, I had a heart attack.

I couldn't quite believe it to be honest. I'm not your average candidate - I don't smoke, don't eat much processed food, I was drinking quite a bit given the stress of Mum and Dad though. Stress is what they reckon caused it. There was so much to do during that time, involving sorting out my parents with carers and hospital appointments, rushing round there at 2am when one of them had fallen again, so, so much to worry bout. Anyway, just as I was trying to get my head around the heart attack and Mum's death, Dad died in August.

I can tell you I wasn't really in a good place after all that. My husband and family were wonderful, but in the end they couldn't really understand what I was feeling. Neither could I, so I just threw myself into writing. It wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened. Over the year I'd had quite a lot of interest from various agents asking for the full manuscript of a previous story, but in the end they all said no. So I decided to start a new one. Well, actually I was 2,000 words in, when a publisher said they's like to see the rest - that's when I was in hospital. Ten weeks later it was finished. Two weeks after that, I had a book deal with the brilliant Bloodhound Books. Rip Current will be out in April and Another Mother, will be out in June.

When I was writing, I didn't have to think about the real world and dwell on my heart attack. I was still having chest pains, which the consultant said was atypical and that nothing could be really done about it. He was satisfied it wasn't cardiac related. I still get them now, but not too often thank goodness. I have quite a few meds, which is all new to me too. Writing helped take my mind away from the death of my parents too for a time. I have always written - it's like breathing to me, but it is even more important now than it ever was. It got me through the darkest time I've ever had, and for that I am very thankful.

Right at the end of the year it all feels a bit surreal and I expect it will take a long time to process it all and eventually come to terms, but I do feel hopeful about next year. 2018 can't come soon enough, and I will do everything I can to make sure it's a good one. One thing's for sure it will involve writing as I'm convinced it is good for my health. Here's a picture of the Cornish coast not far from me - that's good for my health too. Here's wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2018!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Behind the Lie

Well at last I can reveal that I have now signed with HQ Digital - an imprint of Harper Collins! How exciting is that? My new book will be out on the 21st of April 2017 and I'd thought you'd like to see the cover...It is a suspenseful read with a good many twists and turns and set in Cornwall and London. Anyway, more later :)

Monday, 16 January 2017

Come and meet Victoria Cornwall and The Thief's Daughter!

Welcome to my blog, Victoria. Please take a seat and would you like a glass of something? 

It’s a pleasure. And yes please. That Prosecco looks inviting and we are celebrating after all aren’t we?

We are indeed! I can't wait to read The Thief’s Daughter, it sounds so full of adventure, mystery and good romance of course. I'm sure those that love Poldark will be very interested in Jenna's story! 

Can you tell me where you got the idea for the story?

Yes, my husband and I were walking the coastal path of North Cornwall and came across Pepper Cove. The strange name came from its murky past as it had been used as a popular landing site for smuggled spices in the 18th century. I wanted to write a story which was set near the coast and seeing the cove reminded me of Cornwall’s smuggling history.

 How much do you depend on Cornwall for your inspiration?

Quite heavily, I think. The geology, its history, the historic buildings, monuments and local industries, all inspire my writing. The names I choose for my fictional villages are often formed from its old Celtic language and I like to give some of the characters Cornish names.

I love Cornish names too. Did you have to do lots of research to make sure you had the right setting and terms for 18th century Cornwall?

Yes, but I enjoy history and researching the past. The internet is very useful for research purposes, although you have to be careful and recheck the accuracy of the material. Cornwall also has several museums which feature the history of smuggling. I was able to visit them and learn how goods were hidden until they were able to be collected, see the implements the smugglers used as weapons and be reminded of how prolific and well organised the smuggling operations were.

Fascinating. Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

I love all of the main characters. Jenna is feisty and shows great loyalty, but finds herself in a very difficult situation. The mysterious, brooding Jack Penhale is on a mission, but he has a great sense of humour which only Jenna can bring out in him. However, I think I enjoyed writing the character of Silas the most. His behaviour is so outrageous that at times I had to rein myself in as he had no intention of doing it for himself! 

Isn’t it odd how characters just do as they please sometimes? Is this your first book and if not, are your others historical romances too?

The Thief’s Daughter is my first traditionally published book, but in actual fact it is the third I have written. The first two were self published historical romances which were both nominated for the RONE Indie and Small Published Book Award in America. The second was also short-listed for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction in England.

Excellent! What are you working on now?

I’ve just completed another book and am researching the next one. I would love to tell you about them, but can say very little for now, other than they are all set in Cornwall.

Cornwall is the best! I would say that though wouldn’t I? How long does it take you to complete a book?

It takes me between 8 to 12 months to write a book as I also have a day job too.

Where would you like to be career wise in five-years?

A few years ago I would have said where I am now, with a traditional publishing contract. However, writers are terrible for moving the goal posts and wanting more … an award … a best seller … enough money to give up the day job etc. It would be lovely to have all of those things, but most importantly for me I just want my books to be available to a larger audience, for readers to enjoy my books so much that they recommend them to their friends.

I’ve always said that I would like to see my book in someone’s grocery trolley, wedged between a tin of baked beans and a bottle of ketchup, as it would mean my books are mainstream and a part of everyday life. I think that wish, or perhaps I should say goal, still holds true today.

Oh I would love to see that for mine too! One day I hope. Thank you so much for joining me today and best of luck with The Thief’s Daughter!

Thank you for having me, I’ve really enjoyed it.

The Thief’s Daughter is out now.  Grab one today!

Find out more about Victoria here:

Twitter: @VickieCornwall

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