Interview and Contest with Victoria Howard

Jen: We are excited to have Victoria Howard as our guest today. Victoria, will you please share a short bio with us?

Victoria: I was born in Liverpool, at a time when the Beatles were becoming popular. I trained as a medical secretary and worked for the National Health Service for a number of years. I moved to Scotland in the early 1980s and spent the next 20 years living on a croft on the outskirts of a village in the Highlands. While living there, I managed a company involved in the offshore oil industry.

In October 2000 I moved to South Yorkshire, and until recently, I worked for Britain’s National Health Service. I have always enjoyed writing, mainly in the form of short stories and letters to friends. I am an avid reader, my hobbies also include travelling the world, designing knitwear, gardening, and walking my Border collie Rosie.

Jen: Tell us about Ring of Lies and where is can be purchased.

Victoria: Ring of Lies is an action-packed romantic suspense about one woman’s efforts to survive the remnants of a marriage built on deceit, and one man whose job it is to help her escape its underworld consequences.

When accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief…and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of her.

Or so she thought.

Grace 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 her. Grace flies to Miami to claim the house. But the price of her curiosity is peril. Underworld figures stalk her. And Jack West, the handsome, troubled FBI agent assigned to protect her, has a history with her. Surrounded by danger and with little to go on, Grace must learn to trust Jack to help her navigate the criminal world of south Florida, and find the truth behind the Ring of Lies.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Victoria: I’ve always enjoyed writing, although I think my English teacher might be surprised by that statement! As I child I found the task of writing essays on a given subject boring, and it was only when I started writing to friends, sharing travel adventures with them that the idea of writing a novel came about. In May 2000, I travelled to Seattle and that’s where I got the idea for my first novel, Three Weeks Last Spring, which was released in 2008

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Victoria: Not as far as I’m aware.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Victoria: I like to write a detailed outline and develop my characters fully. I find plotting each scene and/or chapter too restrictive. I prefer to give my characters freedom and see where it takes them. Sometimes that involves a few wrong turns and I end up having to re-write a scene or two.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Victoria: I suppose it’s the satisfaction I get from physically crafting a story and the knowledge that it will bring enjoyment to someone else.

Jen: Would you still write novels even if you didn’t get paid?

Victoria: Most definitely. While the royalty checks are nice, it’s not all about money. I came to the conclusion very early on in my writing career that very few authors make the best seller lists, and it’s not easy to get a publishing contract when you’re the new writer on the block. Coming up with a good idea is only half the battle. It takes determination, dedication and a certain amount of self-belief.

Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?

Victoria: I have to let them go once the manuscript has been submitted to my publisher and move on to the next novel.

Jen: If Ring of Lies was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Victoria: I’d pick Ed Quinn for the role of Jack West and Rachel MacAdam for Grace Elliott.

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?

Victoria: Opened a bottle of champagne!

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Victoria: What free time??? By the time I’ve walked the dog, tidied up the house and decided what to cook for dinner, it’s mid-morning and time to sit down and write.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Victoria: I’m currently working on an idea for my next novel, set wholly in the UK. I’ve been busy with research – taking photographs of the village I plan to use for the setting and reading about the semi-precious stone, Blue John found here in Derbyshire.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Victoria: I have a website, www.victoriahoward.co.uk. I also have a blog, www.authorvictoriahoward.blogspot.com. I’m also on Twitter @victoriahoward_ and Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Victoria-Howard/118902898181284

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Victoria: What is most important to them in a romantic suspense novel – the love story or the suspense?

Contest details:

  • Victoria is giving away 3 ebook copies of Ring of Lies.
  • The contest is open to everyone
  • You must fill out the form (contest has ended, form is no longer available) and answer the trivia question correctly for entry.
  • A bonus entry can be earned by leaving a question or comment in the comment section of this interview.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, June 26.

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