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Listed below are the questions I am often asked about being a writer. I hope you enjoy reading the answers and find them helpful. Please click a question below to view the answer. Victoria x

There are three ways to become a published author.
1) Self-publish
2) Secure an agent who will represent you and approach a publisher on your behalf
3) Submit directly to a publisher, without an agent.

I self-published my first two novels as I found it difficult to secure an agent to represent me. In late 2016 I submitted my third book directly to an independent, award winning publisher. They loved it and expressed an interest in my previous two novels. This lead to a three book deal being signed in early 2017.

I have always enjoyed reading historical romances, so it seemed natural to write in that genre. Day to day life was so much harder in the past. The hurdles the hero and heroine have to overcome to be together can appear impossible to navigate, considering the class divide, the expectations of society and the inequalities in both law and society as a whole. However, the bigger the struggle to be together is, the more satisfying a positive ending is... and that can make a compelling story to read and to write. 

The length of time it takes varies with each book as some books flow easier than others. On average, writing part-time and including research, it is between one and two years.

I am a flexible planner. I plot out the story, from beginning to end, making notes regarding what I want to achieve by the end of each scene. I also create character profiles and select images to represent my characters. Although my plans are detailed, I will remove a scene, or change it, if the scene or the character's behaviour no longer feels right when I come to write it.

It starts with an idea and then, for me, the basic research phase begins as dates of actual historical events have to fit with the timeline of the novel.

Once I have the basics, I plot the story, undertaking more research as each gap in my knowledge arises.

The next phase is writing the story down. Writing has its highs and lows, some days the words flow easily, but there are days when it is difficult to feel motivated to face the blank page or a challenging scene. This is where I find plotting a novel helpful as it keeps me on the straight and narrow as I can see the progress I am making through the plot plan and where I am hoping to go. Having a plan is also helpful if I take a break as I can easily pick up where I had left off. Every writer has a different method, the most important thing is to complete the first draft of your manuscript.

The fourth phase is polishing the manuscript, editing and redrafting it until you feel it's the best it can be. Giving it to a beta reader, who will provide feedback which is truthful and constructive, can be helpful at this stage.

How the manuscript is submitted for publication will vary, depending if you are an aspiring writer or a seasoned author on a contract. Once the novel is accepted for publication with a traditional publisher, the waiting phase starts. It can take several months, even a year or more, before the manuscript is prepared for publication.

Preparing the manuscript for publication requires the author to work closely with a professional editor. There are several layers to editing, including character development, historical accuracy etc, but the basics of the process include the structure of the story, the grammar and the spelling.

As the launch date approaches, the book cover is designed and the acknowledgements, dedications and synopsis finalised. Finally Publication Day arrives and it is time to sit back and enjoy the celebrations! 

I am Cornish and have lived in the county all my life. The landscape is beautiful, but there is so much more to Cornwall and I want the readers to experience that.

Cornwall has its own history and language, food and music, myths and legends. The Cornish people have a pragmatic approach to life, with a unique, often hard to define, sense of humour. They work hard, but also enjoy coming together, having their own celebrations and festivals to mark the passing year.

I grew up on a rural farm, surrounded by a close-knit community who all knew one another. From an early age I listened to tales of my parents' childhoods and was made aware that my Cornish family tree stretched back to the 18th century.

Cornwall's dramatic and varied landscape makes the perfect setting for a story filled with drama and passion, but I also want readers to feel immersed, as if they are part of the community itself, watching the fictional story unfold as if they are standing no more than a few meters away. All these special elements, which are so unique to Cornwall, make it far easier to achieve that aim.

However, not all my books are set only in Cornwall. The protangonists in my Love in War series may have links to Cornwall, but war forces them to travel further afield which, for me as an author, is exciting to write.