Yes, you read that right. The New York Times Best Selling, world-renowned romance author, Victoria Alexander is in the house! Having her as a guest for an author interview is a giant coup for me. A huge honor. Victoria is the reason I became a writer. I wanted to write great romances like she does.
I’ve read all of her books, and can’t wait to read her latest one, Same Time Next Christmas. My all-time favorites, that I read over and over, are from the Effington Series. So funny and romantic with good, old-fashioned heroes and wonderful heroines, the whole family comes to life on the pages. If you like romance, I highly recommend this author. She has over 40 published books, and all are worth a read.
I am pleased to introduce, Victoria Alexander.
Victoria, you’ve had such great success over the years writing romance. What drew you to write in this genre?
I’ve always been a voracious reader but I never really read romance. And I’ve always been a writer—my first career was as a broadcast journalist. Once I starting reading romance—I absolutely fell in love. Here were strong heroines and great heroes—the battle of the sexes in all its many and varied forms. How could anyone not love it?
Besides, I think finding love is the greatest story of all.
I agree with you. In my world, every story needs a little romance. With your background, do you consider being a romance writer a gift or a curse?
I think being a fiction writer, regardless of genre, is absolutely a gift. I get to go everywhere, do everything and be anyone. I’m limited only by imagination. And I get to take readers along for the ride. It’s the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve ever done—and believe me it doesn’t get easier—but it’s also the most satisfying and rewarding. There is nothing more wonderful than being able to tell a story and draw other people into that story with you.
What are you currently working on, and what is it about?
Right now, I’m working on the second book of my new Lady Travelers Society series. The first book—The Lady Travelers’ Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen—will be out next spring. Set in 1889, it takes place mostly in Paris where the Eiffel Tower has just opened and a very proper heroine wants to prove the very improper hero is up to no good. Book two takes us from London to Paris and on to Italy with a down on her luck, party girl widow, a missing painting, a flock of American heiresses and a hero who has secrets of his own.
That sounds awesome! I can’t wait to read them. When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Yes, to both. I know my characters fairly well before I start writing but I am always learning things about them as the story progresses. I get to know them better just as a reader gets to know them. Characters need to develop and change as the story goes along. I don’t think it would be any fun for the reader—or for me—if I knew everything from the start.
How much research do you do?
It really depends on what I’m writing but there’s always something to research. Sometimes it’s a tiny little bit of info like when gas street lights were in use in Paris. (1820) With the Lady Travelers series, I’m doing a ton of research on travel in the late 1880s. I’m using travel guidebooks from the time period to figure out how my characters would get from point A to point B and how long it would take, what sights they would see, where they would stay, what they might eat—just about everything. I’m also reading travel accounts from the time period to get a feel for the reactions of my characters to experiences like going up in the Eiffel Tower—the tallest man-man structure in the world at the time. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been time traveling. It’s great fun.
I love to do research for my historical romance stories. I get lost in the era and imagine myself there. Do you have any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
Avoid EBay, Numbers marathons and Photoshop projects.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Honestly, I have no idea and I really wish I knew. But I have noticed traditional publishers being more open to new ideas and plots that are are a little off the wall. I credit that to the success of independent publishing.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Oh, absolutely. Whether it’s online or on a shelf, I do think a cover is the first thing that attracts a reader. I know the cover is the first thing that attracts me to a book. Next is the cover blurb or book description. If all that grabs me—I’ll get the book.
How are you publishing your writing and why?
I am doing both traditional and independent publishing. I’ve published (with the help of my agent) one original novel—Same Time Next Christmas—as well as reissued some of my older works—Yesterday & Forever, Shakespeare and the Three Kings and Promises to Keep. The Lady Travelers Society stories will be published by Harlequin HQN.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think so but my opinion is based more on my experiences as a reader than as an author. I’ve found so many great writers because of free books that I might not have tried, or even known about. I can’t tell you how many series I’ve gone on to buy after getting the first book for free. I’ve found some fabulous reads and authors that I’m now hooked on.
What do you think of “trailers” for books, and will you create one for your work?
I love putting trailers together—it brings me back to my TV roots. If I have the chance, I probably will create one for the Lady Travelers. I think trailers are great fun but I don’t think they really sell books.
I like the idea of a book trailer, but I don’t really watch them and they don’t influence me to buy. I would love to ask a few personal questions like what is your favorite quote?
I love quotes and I have no one favorite. But the one at the top of my list right now is: Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.—Thomas Merton.
Love the inspiration in that, thanks for sharing. Who was your childhood hero?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Hallmark Christmas movies.
I know, right! They are so sappy, but fun to watch. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Petra in Jordan. I have no idea why but I really want to go there.
If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?
Agatha Christie, Amelia Edwards and Mark Twain because I think the conversation between Twain and these two remarkable women would be amazing.
I’d love to get in on that dinner! Thank you so much for taking the time to allow me to host an interview with you. This was fun, informative, and I can’t wait to read your new books coming out.
New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.
Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-four full-length novels and eight novellas. The Perfect Wife—originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008—hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With books translated into more than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance’s Writers of America prestigious RITA award.
For more information and an extensive bio, please click here.
Please visit here for a list of all her publications.
Victoria’s blog is full of fun stuff. Get to know her more, find out why she kills her husband in every story, and take a look at the character’s family tree.
My favorite books of all time, The Effington Series written by Victoria. You won’t be disappointed with any or all of them. Each book cover is an affiliate link to a 3rd party retailer (Amazon). If you purchase the book through the cover below, I earn a small portion from the retailer. I give you, The Effingtons:
You can also find Victoria on Facebook and Twitter.