Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TBR welcomes Victoria Howard

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Victoria. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Victoria:   I was born in Liverpool, and trained as a medical secretary going on to work for the National Health Service here in the UK.  In 1980 I moved to Scotland and spent twenty years living on a croft in the Highlands.  While there, I managed a company involved in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.
When not working on a manuscript, I can be found curled up with a book, gardening, designing knitwear, traveling the world or walking my Border collie, Rosie.  I am member of Romantic Novelists’ Association.

TBR: Tell us about Ring of Lies and where it's available.
Victoria:  My latest release is Ring of Lies and it’s available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and ebook formats and from Smashwords in ebook format.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Victoria: When English accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident one rainy night, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief…and panic.  Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of the sheltered Grace.
Or so she thought.
She soon discovers Daniel kept secrets:  an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida….and a girlfriend who looks like Grace.
Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her.  But the price of her curiosity is peril.  Underworld figures stalk her.  The other woman has left a damning trail of evidence pointing her way.  And handsome, troubled FBI agent Jack West has crossed precarious paths with Grace before.  He could be her savior or her damnation.  All she knows for certain is that she longs to be in his arms.
With little to go on and danger at every turn, Grace must depend on Jack to help her navigate the criminal world of south Florida, and find the truth behind the Ring of Lies.
TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Victoria: Like most writers, I’m attuned to my surroundings. Ideas for plots and scenes can strike at any time.  I might hear something on the news, or read an article in the newspaper and think “that would make a good plot.”  Or I might be on holiday and the town or city I’m visiting might become the setting for a novel. 

For example, while on holiday in Florida, I sat on the beach admiring the multi-million dollar beach homes and started thinking what if someone left me one in their will?  And what if that person was my late husband who’d been killed in a road traffic accident?  How and where did the money come from to purchase it and why hadn’t he told me about it?  Thus the idea for Ring of Lies was conceived.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Victoria:  A little bit of both.  Once I have an idea for a plot and have given my characters names, and identities, I like to write a 3-5 page outline of the major plot points.  I don’t plot scene by scene as some of my writing colleagues do. I find that too restrictive. Occasionally, as with the novel I’m currently working on, my characters will take me off in a slightly different direction than I first intended. This can slow my writing down, as I have to re-think how to get them out of a situation. However, I’ve never yet had to delete more than a few pages to get back on track.  

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Victoria: I don’t listen to music while writing I find it too distracting.  However, when I get chance to relax I enjoy listening to jazz and anything with a mellow saxophone.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Victoria: I’d have to invite Jedediah Walker from Three Weeks Last Spring to dinner.  I’d find his background as a marine biologist fascinating.  As for the character I’d least like to invite that’s easy, that would be MacKenzie McKinnon from The House on the Shore. He’s just pure evil and I certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with him.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Victoria:  Writing is hard work!  It takes dedication and perseverance.  In order to write you have to be a reader too.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to know the genre you write for and to research agents and publishers requirements.

TBR: What's next for you?
Victoria:  I’m currently working on a fourth novel set in the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales here in the UK and centered around the Blue John Jewelry business.

TBR: Any other published works?
Victoria: I have two other full length novels in print: The House on the Shore which was a finalist in the 2009 Joan Hessayon Award presented by the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Three Weeks Last Spring, a Pushcart Prize Nominee.  I also have a Kindle Short, A Little Protection, and have contributed to three anthologies, With Arms Wide Open, Passionate Hearts, and Nature’s Gifts.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Victoria:   Like most authors I dread writing the synopsis.  How do you condense a 120,000 word story into just two pages?  I go through countless drafts and even then I’m not always satisfied!

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Victoria: Ms. Howard uses such passion and emotion when telling her story Thrilling until the very end, this book has a who-done-it attitude with such an aching tone of sensuality and love, it will keep you up all night just so you can finish this fantastic tale.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Victoria:   I don’t have one favorite author, I have many!  Daphne, Du Maurier, Jane Austen, Valerie Fitzgerald, Katie Fforde, Milly Johnson, Ken McClure, and Ian Rankin to name but a few.  As for what books influenced my writing life, I guess I would have to the classic love stories of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. 
I am currently reading The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez Reverte, translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Twitter:  @victoriahoward_

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Victoria:  What makes the perfect male protagonist?

TBR: Readers, Victoria is giving away a copy of Ring of Lies in ebook format to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner in one week and announce the winner here.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Victoria. Best of luck to you.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to TBR, Victoria. Excellent question for readers - looking forward to their answers!


Talk to TBR guests!