Back at my desk …

After four glorious weeks in Scotland, I am back home sat at my and eager to work on my novel. We had fantastic weather, so don’t believe anyone who tells you it only rains in Scotland!  And as for the famous Scottish Midge, as I was staying near the coast I avoided their biting, itching presence!

Usually my trip to Scotland takes place in September to coincides with the annual Wigtown Book Festival. Visiting earlier in the year has its advantages as the woods were full of bluebells, in fact, I don’t recall ever seeing so many. The scent occasionally combined with wild garlic was overpowering.

Of course, no trip to Scotland is without some research for my next book, including a visit to Portpatrick, the village in Galloway I have based my fictional village on.

 

Glenwhan, a garden created over a period of 30 years out of open moorland and bracken, has not only solved an issue I had with my hero’s occupation, but also given me an idea for another book.

I’ve not been completely out of touch with the publishing world while away. Some of you may be aware of the Trademark issues that are taking place across the Atlantic, where a romance author has trademarked a single word in order to protect ‘her brand.’ In doing so, she has created a furore that so far has seen three people in court and resulted in Amazon removing books from its website. After  intervention by the Romance Writer’s of America and the Author’s Guild, Amazon has reinstated the novels affected pending the results of the ongoing court case.

Fortunately, an application has been filed to have the trademark in question overturned. I hope it succeeds, because as things stand, it has far reaching consequences for writers of any genre. ***

Words are frequently repeated in book titles, as indeed are titles themselves. I know of one book with the same title as my novel, The House on the Shore. Did I threaten to sue the author, or they me? No.

Trademark law works differently to copyright law, which protects the contents of a book. I won’t bore you with all the legal details (this article explains the issue) other than to say that Trademark law indicates a source of goods;  ie., a brand such as Apple Computers.

Like many authors, I am concerned that these applications for trademarks may set a precedent. While lawyers fight it out in front of a Judge on the other side of the Atlantic, I shall continue to  work on my next novel.

Until next time,

Victoria

 

*** Since writing this post I understand another application has been made by a different author to Trademark the words Dragon Slayer, Tamer, Destroyer and Star Justice. If granted, these would affect Paranormal authors and Science Fiction authors. This application is also being challenged.

 

Spring Update

As the first three months of 2018 draw to a close, the good news is that work on book four is progressing, albeit slowly.

On the 16th March, as part of Write Radio, Sheffield Live, I took part in a discussion for Valentine’s Day .  The podcast is available by clicking on the following link.  Write Radio Valentine’s Day Special  I can be heard chatting to Jane Armstrong, discussing whether Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, is a romantic hero or an anti-hero.

The following week, 22nd March, I was a guest of Fishlake Women’s Institute.  I had a lovely time chatting to the members, although I do wish they had warned me about the VERY narrow and somewhat rickety bridge that leads to their village.

Not only will I be taking part in the 3rd UKIndie Lit Festival in Bradford later this year, but you can also find me on Sheffield Authors‘ stall at the South Yorkshire Festival, at Wortley Hall, near Penistone on Sunday 12th August.  It promises to be a great event with craft and food stalls, as well as books by local authors.  I do hope you will come along and say hello.

 

Until next time,

 

Exciting News …

My 2018 diary is already filling up with various talks, and there are two very special events I would like to share with you.  Firstly, I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to take part in Hull University’s 3 day English Literature Festival organised by The National Collaborative Outreach Programme. The Festival starts on the 6th February 2018 and is aimed at raising aspirations of students aged 13-18 across the Humber region by increasing their knowledge of careers in writing, publishing, illustrating, marketing, public speaking and much more.  A selection of panels and workshops are planned and full details will be available shortly on the website: www.force-higher.co.uk and on the Twitter feed @Force_HE  #ELFHumber2018.

Secondly, Bradford UK Indie Literature Festival is returning for a third year on the 28th July, and is once again being held in the fabulous Kala Sangam in the centre of the city.  This is a free event, with 40 authors in attendance, so there is sure to be a book to suit all tastes.  Details on where to obtain a ticket are on the UKindieLitFest website.

As it is the holiday season, I have reduced the price of the Kindle version of my romantic suspense novel, The House on the Shore, until 3rd January 2018.  You can download a copy from Amazon for only 99p/99c instead of the usual price of £2.99/$2.99.

The audiobook versions of The House on the Shore and Ring of Lies are garnering good reviews.  If you have never listened to an audiobook and would like to do so, I have a six vouchers available for a free download from Audible.co.uk, and Audible.com on a first come, first served basis. If you would like one, just send me an email via the contact form on my website stating which recording you would prefer.

 

 

2017 is nearly over, so I would like to thank everyone who has attended an event or purchased a book, a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.  I hope to see you again in 2018.

 

Author Events

Although it is some time away, I am pleased to announce that I am taking part in a multi-author signing in event at the Red Rose Steam Society Ltd, Astley Green, Manchester, on Saturday 13th August 2015.

 

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Authors of all genres will be in attendance.  So, if you are an avid reader, why not make a note in your diary and come along?  I shall be posting more details, including how to obtain tickets, nearer the time.

In the meantime, visit the Facebook page for readers.

I hope to see you there.

York Afternoon Tea

On Saturday the 5th September, I had the pleasure of joining over ninety fellow romance authors and members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association at an Afternoon Tea held in the fifteenth century York Guildhall.

 

Interior York Guildhall

 

 

Organised and hosted by the Yorkshire Terrier Chapter of the RNA, this was the first time such an event had been held outside of London.With a glass of Prosecco in hand it was time to circulate and chat with friends old and new, assisted by our name badges, before taking a seat at one of the tables.

Grace was said by Kelvin Woolmer, husband of RNA Chapter Liaison, Jean Fullerton. Then tea was served on delicate vintage china. The caterers did themselves proud, supplying copious amounts of tea, sandwiches, savouries, and cakes.

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Multi-published author, Milly Johnson entertained us with an hysterical talk on the habits of ‘The Northern Bird,’ and how she differs from her southern sister. Milly concluded with her own variation of the well-known Robert Burns poem, with her ‘Address to the Scone,’ after which we appropriately tucked into scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. Yum!

It was a lovely afternoon, spent in great company.

 

The House on the Shore Audio book released.

I am a little bit late announcing this, however, I am delighted to say that my novel, The House on the Shore has now been released as an audio book.  Narrated by the wonderful and very talented Ruth Urquhart, it is  available from Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

 

The House on the Shore audio book cover
The House on the Shore audio book cover

 

Terror haunts a Scottish glen:

Heartbroken Anna MacDonald leaves Edinburgh to find peace at the edge of a Scottish loch. Safely ensconced in her late grandmother’s cottage, she can finally heal her heart and write the novel that has burned inside her for years.

Her peace is short-lived. When debonair artist Luke Tallantyre’s yacht gets stranded in the loch, he seeks help at the nearest residence – Anna’s croft. She finds him annoying. He instantly dislikes the stunning but cranky hermit.

But there’s indisputable evidence that a hit man is on the prowl in the village. Is he after Anna? And what is Luke keeping from her that could deepen the danger? Against their wills, they join forces and embark on an adventure neither ever imagined…including a chance at true love.

July Update

July was a busy month; hence the lateness of this update.

Over the weekend of 11-13 July, two hundred and fifty novelists gathered in glorious sunshine for the annual Romantic Novelists’ Association conference at Harper Adams University. Set in the heart of the Shropshire, Harper Adams is an agricultural college complete with cows, pigs and sheep, and yes, all the associated farmyard aromas.

Harper Adams University

 

As usual, the conference content was superb, with a mixture of workshops and talks on traditional and self-publishing, as well as technique. My main problem was choosing what to attend. As workshops run concurrently, I rushed from one to next, only pausing for a quick cup of tea and chat with a friend.

 

Sue Moorcroft leading one of the panels.

The highlight of the weekend was the gala dinner on the Saturday evening, during which Janice Preston was presented with the Elizabeth Goudge Prize for the best short story written by a conference attendee.

Rosemary Gemmell at the Gala Dinner
Rosemary Gemmell at the Gala Dinner

The following weekend, I took part in the Penistone Literary Festival, along with my friend and fellow novelist, Milly Johnson. Arriving early, I had the opportunity to listen to Michael Fowler talk about his crime novels and life as a former police officer.

Michael Fowler
Michael Fowler

 

Milly Johnson and me comparing notes at Penistone Literary Festival
Milly Johnson and me comparing notes at Penistone Literary Festival

As for the rest of the month – I’m pleased to say that the audio book version of The House on the Shore is underway and will be available to download from Audible, Amazon and iTunes later this year!

I’m also involved in an interesting project with fellow American author, Brenda Hill, but more of that later.

In the meantime, it’s back to working on the next book. Are you curious what it’s all about…?  Well here’s a small clue…

Castle Stalker courtesy of Erin Garrett
Castle Stalker, photograph courtesy of Erin Garrett

 

Penistone Literary Festival 19th-20th July 2014

A full programme of events has now been released for the inaugural Penistone Literary Festival.  Headlined by one of the best poets of his generation, Simon Armitage, and best selling author, Milly Johnson, supported by Andrew Macmillan, crime writer M J Fowler, and other local poets and authors, it promises to be a fun-filled two-days for young and old alike.

 

PenLit Program

 

There are events for children, Penny the Sheep Children’s exhibition, a vintage tea room, a Bookshop and the chance to purchase a Penny the Sheep Mug!

Penny the Sheep mugs

 

So, pop along to the Penistone Literary Festival Website, and book your tickets now for a great day out.

 

 

 

Ring of Lies audiobook receives a 5star review

The audiobook version of Ring of Lies has received it’s first review on  Audible.co.uk and I am delighted to say it’s been given 5 Stars!
Aaron P. Lazar  wrote on 10/02/2014
Overall:  5 stars
Performance: 5 stars
Story: 5 Stars

“I Didn’t Want to Stop Listening – Great Suspense!”

If you could sum up Ring of Lies in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing, page-turner, well-written

What other book might you compare Ring of Lies to, and why?

I would say this genre is simliar to Mary Higgens Clark’s books – and just as well done! The writing flowed seamlessly, the dialog felt completely natural, the suspense never let up, and the action scenes were riveting. I loved listening to this book!

What does Michelle Ford bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I fell in love with Michelle Ford’s female English accent. It was gorgeous, and reminded me of a grown up Haley Mills based on my childhood memories of PollyAnna. (Not that this book is anything like PollyAnna!) Her voice is lyrical, warm, and simply beautiful. Ms. Ford’s American male accent was a bit “nasal” sounding for all of the American men in the story, and once in a great while she slipped from one accent to the other in the wrong places, but it was rare and didn’t bother me. I could NEVER do what this amazing narrator did, which is hold up a conversation with a Brit and an American all the way through the book. I imagine it might be very difficult to do, and I bow down to her immense talent.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

An innocent woman discovers shocking secrets about her husband after his death, aided by an FBI agent she can’t resist, and who has his own share of troubles to hide.

Any additional comments?

I really loved the main character, Grace. She was well-rounded and quite believable. Jack…well, I’m a guy. At first he ticked me off because of his situation at home. I believe in family first and no fooling around! But then more came out about Jack’s true situation (no spoilers here!) and in the end I empathized with him and was cheering him on.

I particularly loved the action scenes – there is a swamp scene where Grace and Jack are on the run from villains, dashing through the cold swamp waters…phenomenal! Also thoroughly enjoyed the description of the house in Florida. Wouldn’t mind going there right about now!

 

 

Audiobook Version of Ring of Lies Released

I’m excited to announce that my novel, Ring of Lies, has been recorded as an audiobook.

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Produced by Dave Giorgio of BookRite Books and narrated by the amazing Michelle Ford, it is now available from Audible and Amazon, and iTunes.

Even though I regularly listen to audiobooks, I hadn’t realised how much work goes into making a really good listening experience. It is an art form in its own right. A good narrator must also be a skilled actor, and ‘play’ all the roles in the story, giving each character a different voice. Just reading the words on the page is not suffice.

Michelle’s audition for Ring of Lies was amazing. When I heard her utter the words ‘Grace Elliott followed her husband’s coffin down the cobbled path…’a chill ran down my spine. I knew I had found the right narrator. Michelle’s narration brought the book to life. You can feel the character’s happiness, their anxiousness, and even their pain. Those of you who have read the print version know that the story crosses International borders and includes characters from the UK, America, and Mexico.  Michelle handled every accent beautifully.

Dave Giorgio, did a sterling job of  producing a crystal clear recording, and for liaising with Audible so it was available in time for Christmas 2013.

Listening to Michelle’s interpretation was a heady experience and I could not be more pleased with the result. So, even if you have read Ring of Lies, I think you will enjoy listening to the audiobook.  If you’ve never listened to an audiobook before, this might be a good time to give it a try.