Welcome to my stop on Victoria Connelly’s One Last Summer blog tour with Love Books Tours!

One Last Summer tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Victoria Connelly…..

One Last Summer Victoria Connelly

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a teenager. It’s my job and it’s my joy. I love writing stories about people who are trying to find their place in the world. Many of my characters are trying to escape difficult pasts or situations. And I always set my books in beautiful locations – manor houses, medieval castles or country cottages. I truly love the English landscape.

My new novel, One Last Summer, is set on the Somerset coast in an ancient priory which my heroine, Harrie, has hired for herself and her two best friends. But the holiday isn’t all what it seems because Harrie has been keeping a secret…
Where did/do you get your ideas from?

– All sorts of places. A piece of junk mail inspired my novel, Molly’s Millions. But most of my novels are inspired by my own interests and passions – my love of Jane Austen inspired my Austen Addicts series, and my love of old houses and gardens has inspired a lot of my settings, and my obsession with books helped me write my Book Lovers series.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

– Not exactly. I wanted to write about the effects of illness because I lost a very dear friend last year. But the character of Harrie in One Last Summer is fictional. However, there are elements of Audrey that come directly from me – I’m a bit of a workaholic and have had a few health issues that have made me slow down a little this last year!

How do you pick your characters’ names?

– I love choosing character names. When choosing the three friends in One Last Summer, they all had to be different and yet fit together well. ‘Harrie’ sounds so sweet and friendly, ‘Audrey’ sounds more serious and ‘Lisa’ has a light-hearted feel – all perfect for the characters. But the name I love the most is that of the stonemason: Samson Haverstock. I wanted something strong and unusual – something my heroine, Harrie, could poke fun of!

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

– I try to write two novels a year plus another shorter project like a novella. When I’m writing my first drafts, I aim to write 1,000 words a day. I work best in the mornings and I often use voice recognition software as I suffer from RSI if I type too much. I don’t plan my stories in any great detail. For me, that would take the fun out of the process.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

– H E Bates, Miss Read, Rosamunde Pilcher, Debbie Macomber and – a new discovery of mine – Mary Alice Monroe.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

– Debbie Macomber – her output and her sales are astonishing. I’d love to ask her how she organises her time. She’s also an amazing business woman, running reader weekends and even cruises! She’s a real inspiration to me and I’d love to have a tour with her of her home town – the setting for her lovely Rose Harbour Inn series.

Were you a big reader as a child?

– Yes! I was a huge fan of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, but I always wanted Anne to have a summer romance. You could tell I was going to become write romantic novels one day! And I remember my excitement at buying my very first book with my own pocket money: it was Watership Down and it was £1.25. A great investment.

When did you start to write?

– I started writing my first novel when I was fourteen, using a manual typewriter and copious amounts of Tipex. I used to take it into school for my friends to read and that early feedback got me hooked, I think!
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?

– Ending change: Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It’s just too sad! Tess has already been through enough without that ending too!

– The book I wish I’d written is H E Bates’s The Darling Buds of May – I love this book – the characters, the setting, the lyrical language and the pure joy of it all.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

– I have actually written three short autobiographies about moving from London to the Suffolk countryside – the first book is called Escape to Mulberry Cottage and is followed by A Year at Mulberry Cottage and Summer at Mulberry Cottage.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

– I would love to meet Ma Larkin from The Darling Buds of May, but could I go to hers for tea instead? I would love to sample some of her baking and see Home Farm!
What are you working on right now?

– I’m writing the fourth novel in my Book Lovers series. I know readers have been eagerly awaiting Josh Nightingale’s story. I’m also writing my first screenplay which is very exciting. It’s quite a different process from writing a novel, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

Tell us about your last release?

Here’s the blurb:

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?
Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.
First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?
Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.

Do you have a new release due?

– The fourth Book Lovers novel should be out in the autumn. Do sign up to my newsletter via my website to be the first to hear about it.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

– I’m usually already deep into writing the next book! But we’ll often have a day out and my husband spoils me with my favourite rose or violet cream chocolates!

How can readers keep in touch with you?

My website is at: http://www.victoriaconnelly.com where readers can download a free novella.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312085782631729/
Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy
Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor
Is there anything else you would like us to know?

– One Last Summer is my twentieth published novel so this is a real celebratory year for me and I’d love to take this opportunity to thank every single reader who has read and reviewed my books. I couldn’t do this job without my readers!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Victoria 🙂

One Last Summer cover

Blurb

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes. 

Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2J2RbnU

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Her website is www.victoriaconnelly.com where readers can download a free novella.

 

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312085782631729/

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor

 

 

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