May 2013


Victoria Connelly is the author of Molly’s Millions, The Runaway Actress and a trilogy for Jane Austen addicts. Her latest novel, Wish You Were Here, has just been released. She has worked as a teacher and lives in rural Suffolk. (Interview by Jade Craddock)

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  1. 1. Tell us about Wish You Were Here?

    Wish You Were Here is a romantic comedy about a Plain Jane who makes a wish on a statue of Aphrodite – the goddess of love – whilst on holiday on an idyllic Greek island and then finds herself irresistible to men! But is that really the best way to find true love?

  2. 2. Was it fun to write?

    Indeed! I had so much fun writing this book because Alice gets herself into all sorts of trouble after making the wish. It also has one of my favourite ever heroes – handsome Greek gardener, Milo Galani, and one of the most romantic endings I’ve ever written.

  3. 3. It’s set in part on a Greek island, did you do any travelling as research?

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit Greece as part of my research. We’d just moved house and everything was a bit chaotic with boxes and animals everywhere but I have visited Italy’s stunning Amalfi coast and the beautiful island of Capri and both were inspirational to me when I was writing this book.

  4. 4. What’s your favourite holiday destination?

    I really hate flying and so I much prefer loading our car up with the laptop and the spaniel (and the husband!) and holidaying in the UK. One of our favourite destinations is Dorset and Devon. The coast and countryside are glorious and I love striding out across the cliffs and along the wild footpaths over Dartmoor. Oh, and the cream teas are very good too!

  5. 5. Stella and Alice are really different characters, who was the most fun to write?

    I love writing characters that are so different from each other and ‘love to hate’ characters are always so much fun. I have quite a collection of them now from bossy Mrs Soames in A Weekend with Mr Darcy to double-crossing Alec in Mr Darcy Forever. But Alice was special too because she’s a truly good person who is often overlooked by those around her.

  6. 6. Where did the idea for the wish plot come from?

    I’ve always wanted to write about a Plain Jane whose inner-beauty is often overlooked. And haven’t we all made wishes? I’ve always wondered what would happen if one came true ...

  7. 7. What was the hardest part of the writing process for this novel?

    Getting the balance right between Alice’s time on Kethos and her time at home in the UK. I had two distinct settings to juggle and I was worried about getting the right feel for the book.

  8. 8. I can imagine this book as a film. Who would you cast as Alice, Stella and Milo?

    Ooooh! I’d love to see Gael Garcia Bernal as Milo. He’s so gorgeous and such a great actor. Romola Garai would make a wonderful Alice – I loved her sweetness of character in I Capture the Castle. And Stella? I think Emily Blunt would be brilliant.

  9. 9. It’s a nice escapist read. What’s your favourite escapist book?

    H.E. Bates’ The Darling Buds of May is sheer perfection and Miss Read’s Fairacre stories set in an idyllic English village. Both writers’ books are filled with wonderful descriptions of the English countryside and have larger-than-life characters you can’t help but fall in love with.

  10. 10. Which writers do you admire?

    H.E. Bates is my favourite writer and I admire how he was never pigeon-holed by publishers but wrote everything from short stories to full-length novels, autobiography to books on the natural world. He followed his heart and is a true inspiration to me. In fact, it’s because of him that I’ve just released my first non-fiction title – Escape to Mulberry Cottage - about our recent move from the London suburbs to rural Suffolk with ex-battery hens in tow!

  11. 11. What’s the best and worst thing about being an author?

    Best – you’re your own boss and you can work from home, making up your own timetable.
    Worst – I suffer from RSI if I do too much. I just can’t stop writing and it sometimes hurts. Ouch!

  12. 12. At what point do you know an idea is going to work?

    When you can’t stop thinking about it and just have to write it down. It nags and nags at you and won’t go away. That’s when I know!

  13. 13. What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about publishing?

    That nothing is permanent. I’ve had four agents in the UK now which I never imagined would happen. Editors change all the time too and publishers change their mind about what they want. An author must be flexible and independent and know what they want from the business and not be afraid to change with the times.

  14. 14. Do you have any other books in the pipeline?

    Oh, yes! September will bring another Austen Addicts novella – Happy Birthday, Mr Darcy! And there’s going to be another short ebook in the Mulberry Cottage series. And I’m working on my next novel too which is set in a big country house during a long hot summer in rural Norfolk.

  15. 15. And finally, if you could be granted one wish what would it be?

    That my husband and I would have a long, happy and healthy life together doing what we love most – painting and writing!

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