Victoria lives in my corner of the world.
|Photos courtesy of the author|
|Exciting trilogy from Victoria|
1. Tell us a little about your latest novels.
The Runaway Actress is my latest novel out in the UK. It’s a romantic comedy about an actress called Connie Gordon who swaps Hollywood for the Highlands in an attempt to find out who she really is. It was so much fun to write – kind of Notting Hill meets Monarch of the Glen!
And I’ve just released It’s Magic on Kindle. It’s a collection of three rom coms which all have a magical twist so expect naughty guardian angels, a magical Venetian mask and an opinionated eighteenth-century ghost. These three books were all published in Germany and the first, Flights of Angels, was made into a film which was incredibly exciting but this is the first time they've all been published together in the English language.
2. Your bio says you have lived in the city and countryside and your heroine in THE RUNAWAY ACTRESS flees Hollywood for The Highlands to retreat. She found there were problems with the retreat such as the lack of coffee shops. Which do you prefer - city or countryside?
I was brought up in villages in rural Norfolk and I'm a country girl at heart. My husband is a Londoner and I spent 11 years living in the London suburbs but I was never happy there. Last year, we made the decision to move away and we now live in a 200-year-old cottage in rural Suffolk. There are fields full of horses at the front and cherry and apple orchards at the back. We have a beautiful garden full of fruit trees, roses and ex-battery hens and I love it! I feel as if I have found my true home.
3. What are you working on next?
My next book out in the UK is called Wish You Were Here. It’s about a Plain Jane who suddenly becomes irresistible to men after making a wish on a statue of Aphrodite whilst on holiday in Greece. It's out in the UK in April 2013 and I have just seen a first draft of the cover and it looks beautiful. I can’t wait to share it with everyone and I’m just doing the rewrites on it now.
I’ve also been doing a blog tour for It’s Magic which has been enormous fun – it’s so great to meet new readers. And I’ll be launching Christmas with Mr Darcy in October. This is the novella sequel to my Austen Addicts’ Trilogy and it’s been so lovely to catch up with all the characters and see what happened next.
4. What books are on your bedside table?
I don't have books on my bedside table but I do have them in most of the other rooms around house. At the moment, I am reading Out of the Valley by Ronald Blythe - he's a Suffolk writer and he writes beautifully about rural life and the changing seasons.
Other books scattered around the house waiting to be read are: A Passion for Roses by Peter Beales, Amber Scott is Starting Over by Ruth Saberton, The Thrifty Forager by Alys Fowler and Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom.
EXTRACT from Christmas with Mr Darcy
There were few sights more beautiful in Hampshire than Purley Hall in the snow. The faded red-bricked Georgian manor house stood proudly in the middle of the white landscape as if it were at the centre of a snow globe and the fields surrounding it were smooth and sparkling under the December sunlight.
The little village of Church Stinton looked like a Christmas card. Thatched roofs had been dusted with icing sugar-like snow, and the church was postcard-pretty, its great yew trees looking ethereal under their white cloaks.
The south of England had been surprised by the first snow of the year but it hadn’t been hit as badly as the north of the country and, after a week of commuter chaos, the snow was beginning to disappear. Still, as Dame Pamela Harcourt looked out of the great hall window, she couldn’t help feeling anxious.
‘Can you believe that more snow has been forecast? You don’t think it will put people off coming do you?’ she asked her brother. She’d been hosting Jane Austen conferences for several years now and not one had been cancelled before.
‘Pammy, earthquakes and tornadoes couldn’t keep Austen fans away,’ Dan said from his position at the top of a ladder as he threaded a long garland of golden stars around the Christmas tree.
Dame Pamela’s twitchy fingers reached up to the pearl choker she was wearing. It was ten o’clock in the morning but, with her billowing red velvet tunic and peals adorning her ears, throat and wrists, she looked more suitable for a red-carpet event than a morning at home.
She moved to stand under the enormous Christmas tree which had taken four men to place in the entrance hall. It was to be decorated in red, green and gold, and it was going to look perfect with its twinkling lights and heap of shiny, beribboned presents stacked underneath.
‘Pass me the baubles,’ Dan said a moment later and Dame Pamela handed him the first of the glass baubles. They gleamed like fat rubies in the light of the hall and she watched as they were placed oh-so-carefully at intervals around the tree.
‘You really are very good at this,’ she told her brother.
‘I should be after the number of times I’ve done it,’ he said, turning around and smiling at her.
‘My wonderful little brother!’ she said. ‘What would I do without you?’ She looked at his handsome profile and his shock of red-gold hair. She adored him and had been absolutely delighted when he’d married young Robyn – one of the attendees of a past Jane Austen conference. She smiled. She had a lot to thank Jane Austen for. Not only had it provided her with an adorable sister-in-law but she had done wonders for her career too because Dame Pamela had had the privilege of playing Elizabeth Bennet and Marianne Dashwood in TV adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels in her youth, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Fanny Ferrars Dashwood in her latter years. And then there were the conferences which she so looked forward to. It had started off with an annual conference in the autumn but that had proved so popular that she had decided to host a special Christmas conference too and no expense was going to be spared.
Every guest bedroom had been decorated with evergreen garlands over the fireplaces and picture frames. A new dinner service had been bought: white plates edged with gold. There were crystal wine glasses too and enormous flower displays threaded with fairy lights. Great green garlands adorned the enormous front door and lights had been placed in the trees lining the driveway. Dame Pamela had also insisted that the temple on the island should be decorated with lights. Purley Hall had to look its very best for Christmas.
Christmas with Mr Darcy – coming to Kindle in October 2012