Cheshire based author Victoria Johns writes racy romance and has a legion of followers, eagerly waiting for her next book. She says:
“I love a fairy tale; a badass fairy tale where a beautiful real girl meets a protective guy who will move the earth and stars to give her that happily ever after. My kind of fairy tales are full of girls with life-long friendships, hot guys, twists and turns, oh and the odd villain or two!”
With new book Survivor recently published and flying off the shelves I tracked her down and over a cup of coffee found out about the author behind the books…
Tell me a little bit about yourself…
I’m a little bit crazy! I have a wonderful husband and son, who keep me on my toes and indulge me all my writing endeavours. I sometimes have to pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m living the dream! I love to sew and am having a blast learning the techniques required to master the art of dress making. I’ve made lots of friends in the crafting community, who understand why I love writing, especially with the crazy topics of conversation that can spring up across a sewing table. When I’m not sewing or writing I try to get out and see some of Cheshire’s country side on my bike and am a member of a local cycling club.
When did you first realise you were going to be a writer?
I look back and think I’ve always had a touch of flair for this kind of thing, although my family would call this drama! The stories that I’ve created have been bumbling around in my head for a while and I set out to achieve getting a book published before I hit the age of 40. I did it with six months to spare and have just carried on because it is an achievement to be proud of and such good fun!
How do you go about researching detail and ensuring your books are realistic?
When I wrote the first draft of my first book, I had a specific place in setting and community in mind. I wanted my characters to have jobs that were nothing like anything I’ve ever done, because I figured it would be a great chance to learn something new. Where I didn’t have a clue about a character’s job, I researched using the internet or by getting in touch with people or organisations who did have the knowledge. The town I’ve created, it a fictional place, with fictional people and it’s my dream town… but that’s possible because it’s full of sinfully hot guys!
Do you have a special place for writing and dedicate a certain number of hours per day and are you self-disciplined enough to stick to it?
I do have a writing room, I call it The Cave. If I’m pressing towards a deadline, I will hole up in there but a lot of the time I will follow the sun, the view or the peace and quiet. I write long hand, in pretty books with lush pens, so I love seeing the flow of words. I try not to get bogged down by setting a target number of words during a session. If I have an idea, I will go for it or make notes until I have time to explore further. If the story has gone to place that I didn’t expect, I’m OK to sit it out and wait for the inspiration to find me again.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
I love to read books in the genre that I write, that’s why I love writing the stories that I do. I’m a member of a book club and make a point of not suggesting a book, I find it refreshing to have someone else who prefers a different genre, give me something that I probably would never normally choose. As a result, I’ve read some great historical fiction, thrillers and titles by authors I’ve not come across. I love the surprise of it, I don’t read the blurb, I just dive right in and love the story for the surprises it delivers.
Is it true that you should never say anything interesting to an author because you’re bound to see it in print eventually?
In some cases yes, although you do hear the phrase ‘I’ve got a great story for you…’ a lot when you go out for a drink. I tend to find myself using phrases, descriptions and characteristics of people I meet in my stories rather than their experiences themselves.
Do you feel sad when you’ve finished writing a book?
It’s always a mixture of emotions. Sad that you’re time with those characters are over, joy that you’ve got the end and then fear… that all those tiny words will not mean as much to someone else as they do to you at the very moment.
Why did you start to write?
I made the mistake of saying, “I’ve got an idea for a series,” to a friend, who just said, “well get on with it.” With the opportunity to self-publish, I just went for it.
Do you know the ending to your book when you start to write it? Have you ever changed the ending after you started to write?
I write sexy stories, so I know who will end up with whom, but how they actually get there is a mystery! I don’t plan in a structured creative writing sense, I find that restrictive. E.L Doctorow says, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” When I read that for the first time, I knew it was my creative style being described.
How do you come up with your characters, are they based on people you have met or events that have happened in your life?
Some of the characters are based on people I know and love and I’m one of them! I didn’t know I’d carry on after I started writing the first and thought if I only write one book, I’m going to be in it!
What’s the new book SURVIVOR about?
A girl with a troubled past is on the run and trying to start again, whilst keeping her secrets hidden. We all know that past troubles usually come looking for you and when they do, they need a guy with specialist skills to keep them from dragging her back down again. The problem is, her secrets come with their own specialist skills, and these are ones that put them both in harm’s way.
And the series?
The Soul Mates Series is a spin off from the original Soul Sisters Series. People, who love the first series, will have the chance to catch up with their favourite original characters as their paths cross over. The Soul Sisters were all around the leading ladies getting the guys that can keep them out of the trouble, this new series, centres on a new set of guys who trip across that one special person when they least expect it. The new book Survivor can be read as a standalone novel, or slots into the original series at any point.
If you could chose to be a character from ‘Survivor‘, who would you be and why?
The lead female, Lacey. She’s young, vibrant and not afraid of fighting for what she wants. She’s had a difficult childhood and worked hard to be the best person she can be… and she gets to fall in love for the first time, a truly wonderful feeling!
Twenty words on why Survivor should be a reader’s next read…
It’s a badass fairy story, the happily ever after is hard fought for and it’ll bring out your wild side.
What do you like to do when not writing?
Sewing, cycling and sneaking cuddles from my son who is too cool to hug his mum!
What’s next for Victoria Johns as a writer?
As most writers will tell you, there are always stories bubbling in their heads, demanding a life of their own. I can’t wait for them to come to life.
I’ll be attending the Manchester Author Event on August 13th and the Sandbach Author Event on 5th November. I would love to meet as many people as possible who get involved in our wonderful book world, if you’re going please come along and say hello!
Download SURVIVOR here: SURVIVOR
You can contact the lovely Victoria Johns here: