I’m really pleased to be joined by an author published by one of my favourite publishers ChocLit. ChocLit publish women’s fiction and edgy thrillers all with romance at their heart. Victoria Cornwall’s debut novel, The Thief’s Daughter, was published as an e-book in January this year and is historical fiction: you can order a copy online by clicking here.
Thanks for joining me Victoria. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Thank you for having me on your blog. I’m delighted to be here. I grew up on a farm in Cornwall and still live in the county today. Although I have always wanted to write a book, my first career choice was nursing. I worked in intensive care for many years and then later in a minor injury unit. Eventually, I moved out of the acute setting into the community. After 25 years, I gave up nursing. The change in my career finally gave me the time to write.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was a child I was an avid reader and I always felt that there was something very special about creating a book and having your name on it. I used to love writing stories at school and it was the only homework where I felt I was in my comfort zone. As an adult I went through a spell of feeling that I could do better than some of the books I was reading. I think we have all had a spell of picking the wrong books to read and feeling disappointed in our purchases. I had always wanted to write a book, so thought it was time I stopped moaning and try doing it myself. I am glad to say that my grumpy phase is now over and that I am reading some amazing books again. However, I am glad I went through that phase, as it gave me the impetus to try and achieve my dream.
Tell me about your journey to publication
After completing my first manuscript I submitted it to agents. The rejections hurt. I now know how hard it is for a debut author to secure an agent and how best to present your manuscript. I was very naïve at the time and knew very little about the book trade. I had no writing background and had never been on a creative writing course. I entered the first three chapters of my second manuscript to the Festival of Romantic Fiction and it was shortlisted for the New Talent Award. At the award ceremony I learned about the Romantic Novelists’ Association and their New Writers’ Scheme. I submitted my third manuscript to their scheme. After it was assessed, I was encouraged to submit it to agents and publishers. This time I had learnt a lot from the RNA and my submission was successful. The Thief’s Daughter was accepted by Choc Lit and published in January.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
The Thief’s Daughter is an 18th century story of Cornish smuggling, love and betrayal. It tells the story of one woman’s struggle to reconcile her love for her brother and her employer, which challenges her moral integrity, her loyalty and ultimately, her trust in both.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Jenna is a good woman who was brought up in a family of thieves. She tries to distance herself from her family’s bad reputation, but it taints her life. The Thief’s Daughter seemed to sum up her plight. The story is about her, but her family’s “profession” still effects her and she is judged by it.
How did you celebrate publication day?
I always imagined publication day would be about popping champagne. The reality was very different. I spent the day glued to the laptop sharing the news on social media and responding to all the lovely messages I received. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, although I had not moved from my chair. My husband and I ended the evening by sharing a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate. I think I was still in a bit of shock as I couldn’t quite believe that my book was actually published.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
Yes, I am writing something at the moment. I am pleased to say that Choc Lit has acquired my previous two books and another one which I have written since; making The Thief’s Daughter the first in a Cornish based series. Therefore, I do not feel too pressured to produce another book quickly as three are waiting to be published.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
I have been reading a lot of Choc Lit books over the past year. I normally read historical novels, however Choc Lit has a wide variety of romantic fiction and I have really enjoyed reading outside my comfort zone. I don’t want to choose one over the others as they are all amazing. I have learnt that reading outside your comfort zone can be an enjoyable experience. It is the writing and plot that matters, not the era that it is set in.
What are you reading just now?
I am reading Margaret James’ book Girl in Red Velvet, which was published in April, 2017
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
I would take Winston Graham’s Poldark series. I love his writing and have read the series so many times. If I had to choose only one of them, I would take Demelza.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I am on various social media sites and would love to connect with readers. I also have a newsletter which readers can sign up to. I only send out a newsletter every few months as I don’t like spam myself and would hate to spam others. They can also unsubscribe at anytime.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I have enjoyed answering your questions. I really appreciate the blogging community and the support they give debut authors like me. This is a whole new world for me, and I am learning about it one page at a time.
My pleasure Victoria – that’s what bloggers are for!