Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guest Post & Interview with Victoria Howard & Giveaway

Id like to welcome Victoria Howard to Page Flipperz today.

Victoria Howard is the author of three romantic suspense novels, The House on the Shore, a 2009 finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award, presented by the Romantic Novelists' Association, Three Weeks Last Spring, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her latest release, Ring of Lies.
Id like to thank Victoria for popping into Page FLipperz to answer some questions and share with us her latest release Ring of Lies. Two lucky readers today will win e copies of Ring Of Lies. Check out the bottom of the post to find out how . I have reviewed and read Ring of Lies and throughouly enjoyed it my review can be found Here at goodreads  .
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 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. And handsome, troubled FBI agent Jack West has crossed precarious paths with Grace before. 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.
Describe yourself in five words  

Creative, thoughtful, kind, caring, and funny. 

How long have you been writing for?

I’ve been writing professionally since 1990, although my first book wasn’t published until 2006. 

What inspired you to be a writer and have you always wanted to be one?

 Like most children my ideal career changed from week to week.  After flying for the first time I wanted to be a flight attendant, jetting off all over the world.  It seemed such a glamorous life!  When I started grammar school, or high school, as it is sometimes called, my thoughts turned to teaching.  I actually had a place at teacher training college but changed my mind (yet again) just weeks before term was due to start.  Instead, I trained as a medical secretary and it’s something I’ve never regretted.  Since then, I’ve worked for the National Health Service, and managed a company involved in the offshore oil industry here in the UK.

However, 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.

What inspired you to write and any advice you can give to aspiring authors?

 A very good friend suggested I try my hand at writing a novel after reading my account of a trip to the island of Eigg off the west coast of Scotland. If it wasn’t for her encouragement I would never have tried.

I would offer this advice to new authors. Learn your trade.  Read everything you can about creative writing, and how to format a manuscript. Never submit a manuscript until you are sure it is as near perfect as it can be. Check your manuscript to ensure your time line is correct, that Ann on one page doesn’t become Anna on page two! Spell check was invented for a reason, so use it. Edit, not once, not twice, but as many times as it takes to refine your work into a well-honed story that will have the reader waiting for the next twist in the plot. You’d be surprised how easy it is, during the course of a long manuscript, to make simple errors that could mean the difference between rejection and acceptance. And talking of rejection and acceptance – remember it’s nothing personal. Publishing houses on average, receive upwards of three hundred manuscripts a day, so a good query letter and synopsis is essential. And lastly, never give up!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a fourth novel set in Derbyshire here in the UK.  It centres on burnt out aid worker, Nate Long, who returns to the small village of Castleton in the picturesque Derbyshire Dales, to fulfil a promise he made to his dying mother to find his father.
But Andrew Thomas is dead, killed in what appears a tragic accident.  For years, Andrew, a cavern guide and the survivor of a mining accident in the Derbyshire Hills that claimed the lives of four other men, has kept a secret.   Andrew’s made plenty of enemies and has recently claimed to have found a new vein of the semi-precious stone, Blue John, but had refused to say where.  Everyone knows Andrew has a fondness for the bottle and mainly worked to support his habit.
Nate arrives in to Castleton, finds Andrew dead. He does some investigating, and hears villagers grumbling about Andrew supplying Alessia Hardcastle, a jeweller, who runs one of the shops in the village selling Blue John jewellery and wonders if they are involved in Andrew’s disappearance. Half Italian, Alessia is a relative newcomer to the tightly knit community, and its known that she had a soft spot for old Andrew, even though he'd abandoned his own family years before, was kindly and fatherly toward her, had confided his regrets about leaving his family.
Who designs your covers?

The covers for all three of my novels have been designed by my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I enjoy listening to music – anything from classical to jazz.  I’m also a keen gardener, although I don’t have as much time to indulge the hobby as I would like.  I love to travel, and again don’t do nearly as much as I would like.  I also enjoy going for long country walks with my Border collie, Rosie.

How does your normal day start?

I tend to go to my office around 10 -00 am.  I read all the emails that have come in overnight.  If I’m still researching the background for a novel, I look up various links on the Internet or visit the local library. If I’ve completed all the necessary research I like to read over the previous day’s work, before moving on to the next.  I probably don’t start doing any actual writing until mid-afternoon, early evening, when housework and preparing meals is out of the way and the other member of the household has settled down to watch TV!

 Anyone that you know that has inspired you to write, a book a story?

I can honestly say that one person has inspired me to write a book or short story, however, places are a different matter.   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.

Ok some fun questions.

Tea or coffee or poison of choice:   

Tea and red wine, but not together!

Dark, chocolate or white chocolate:   

Milk chocolate. 

Muffins, cakes or slices:
Favourite film:

You’ve Got Mail

Fav book

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Colour of choice?


Celebrity crush?

I can honestly say I don’t have one, although I wouldn’t turn down dinner with Rupert Penry-Jones.

Night or day

Day, most definitely.

Paperback, hardback or e book


Victoria can be found at her Bookpage - website

Ring of Lies can be purchased from Amazon here is the link to Victoria Howards Amazon page where the links are avaible and more information on her other novels. Victoria Howard Amazon author page

Giveaway time, Please leave a comment telling me your favourite Genre to read if you have one if not what do you love to read about. Comp will be drawn in one week. Two e books will be given .

Thanks for popping on by !