We’ve spoken to the lovely Victoria Walters, author of the Glendale Hall and Dedley End series…
What was your journey to becoming a published author?
I actually began writing young adult books and I found an agent but didn’t land a publisher and then I had an idea for a story that I knew would work better as
women’s fiction so I began writing what became my debut novel. I changed agents and got my first deal with Headline for The Second Love of my Life. So, a lot of rejections along the way while I found my voice.
You write a range of genres, from romance to cosy crime – do you find it easy to move between them?
I do, and I think it’s because I just love all genres. I’ve been a bookworm since I was a child and I’ve read so many different books. I am a huge fan of romance and I love a happy ending so women’s fiction felt right to me but I’ve always had a soft spot for murder mysteries and I always wanted to write my own one. My crime books are cosy, they have a light touch, they are fun to write and hopefully fun to read so even though they are about murder and not love, I think my style and voice mean they’re not so very far away from my other books. I think if you enjoy my Glendale Hall series, you’ll probably enjoy the Dedley End mysteries too as they are both cosy just in different ways!
If you had to choose, which of your books are you proudest of?
Oh, dear. This is hard. I think that Coming Home to Glendale Hall is special because
it started my first ever series and I’ve just finished book five, Dreams Come True at
Glendale Hall, which will be released in September so I’m proud that people enjoyed
that book enough for me to be able to write four more set in that world. I also love
that I was able to change genres and have my cosy crime published – Murder at the
House on the Hill. I wrote that book just for fun but my publisher’s Hera loved it so
that was a wonderful moment too.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished my final read through of Dreams Come True at Glendale Hall so
now I’m picking back up my first draft of what will be my third Dedley End mystery. I
haven’t got a title yet but it will be published in spring 2023 and I’m really excited
about this story. It’s something that’s been in the background for the first two books
so hopefully readers will enjoy unravelling this mystery with my main characters –
bookshop owner Nancy Hunter and her grandmother Jane.
When you aren’t writing, what do you enjoy doing?
As you can probably tell from question two, I love reading. I’m always reading something! I also enjoy cooking, days out in Surrey where I live, I love a good stately home visit, and I love music and movies. I’m also really into fashion and vintage so shopping is something that I never need to be talked into. And I buy far too many mugs but let’s not talk about that…
What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
Read! Read as widely as you can. Read all genres and get to know what you are most drawn to. Reading really helps when it comes to creating characters and building worlds, and working out what makes a good story and how you can tell it in the best way. Perseverance is also key if you want to get published. Every writer is rejected. Don’t see rejection as failure but use it to improve and just keep writing. Don’t give up!
What five books would you recommend?
I have spent a long time on this question haha! Okay, as I’ve talked about reading widely let
me choose five of my favourite books that are completely different to one another but all
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
And Then there Were None – Agatha Christie
And one more because this was too hard! If you’re an aspiring writer, I thoroughly recommend
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found it really inspiring.