I know it’s going to be a good guest blog post when I get carried away reading it rather than preparing the blog! This week I’m joined by an author who doesn’t live too far away from me, although her new novel, Snug in Iceland is set much further away! Victoria Walker is here this week to tell us three lesser-known and fascinating facts about herself. Over to Victoria …
Huge thanks to Morton for inviting me onto her blog today! I am a fellow author and member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and have just released my first novel, Snug in Iceland. Writing for blogs has been a relatively new thing for me and I love thinking about what to say, it’s a real treat to be able to write about yourself once in a while!
Three Lesser-Known facts about me
I was the founding president of my local WI
10 years ago, I was quite keen to join the WI. I think it was from watching the BBC series Jam and Jerusalem, although disappointingly the first thing the WI elders said was ‘It’s not all Jam and Jerusalem’. As that was exactly what I wanted, our WI quickly became known for being the ‘modern’ one locally. Having just wanted to learn to make jam and meet with like-minded people, I was surprised what the WI had to offer. As well as a couple of highlights when I met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2012 and going to the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, a hugely uplifting gathering of thousands of women that I felt proud to be part of, I now have valued friendships with women of different generations to myself but am still rubbish at making jam.
I taught knitting at Liberty London
My mum and I used to own a knitting shop. It was one of the first cool ones and we became quite well-known in that world. When we sold the business on, I had the opportunity to teach for Rowan, a prestigious yarn brand. I loved visiting different knitting shops, meeting people who loved knitting as much as me and basically talking about knitting all the time. Then, after a couple of years, I was allowed to teach at Liberty. I had terrible imposter syndrome – it doesn’t just affect writers! – and was in awe of the fact that I had to enter the store through the staff entrance, through tunnels under Kingsley Court, and taught in the wood-paneled board room. The lighting was terrible in there, but nobody really cared because we were secretly knitting in a room just off the sales floor and that felt amazing. And the best thing was that a full cream tea was served in the afternoon. Yummy.
I haven’t really left the knitting behind. I constantly have something (more than one thing if I’m honest) on the go and I wrote a pattern so you can actually knit the bobble-hat that my heroine knits in my novel, Snug in Iceland.
I used to be a cinema projectionist
When I was at University, I joined the film society and learned how to be a projectionist. It was a way to watch the odd film for free and I quite enjoyed the jeopardy – there are numerous things that can go wrong. When I graduated and needed a job, the local cinema was advertising for a projectionist, and I got the job. I think they were amazed that anyone local already had experience. As part of the job, I had to help out in the theatre which ended up being the best bit. It sounds great being able to watch the films all the time but the same film for a couple of weeks gets boring quite quickly although I did get a lot of knitting done. It’s also massively anti-social if you have a partner who works nine to five which is ultimately why I gave it up.
But the theatre part was brilliant. Hard work because you have to literally carry the set in every week and assemble it and then pack it away again late on a Saturday night, but the camaraderie was the best I’ve ever had at work and the late-night drinking and curries with famous people was so much fun.
The experience has come in handy as I’ve just written a book about a small cinema which opens again after many years. It probably has too much technical detail in it which will get edited out, but it was nice to reminisce!
About Snug in Iceland
Snug in Iceland is my first novel and was inspired by a holiday to Iceland. I loved it there. I’d only just started thinking about writing a novel and had been reading a lot of books that were set in New York. I thought I ought to have somewhere just as iconic and typically romantic as a location and straight away I knew Reykjavik was perfect. The days were very short when we went which adds to the cosy feel of the place. There are fairy lights in all the trees, we went swimming in a hot pool in the dark and everywhere is warm, cosy and conducive to romance. Plus, there are so many locations to set the action; just like New York, it gives an author plenty to work with.
Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be. When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived. As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…
About Victoria Walker
Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.
To keep in touch with Victoria you can use the following links:-
Thank you for joining me this week, Victoria and for your enthralling facts. I also spend a lot of the time when I’m not writing moulding wool to patterns, having rediscovered crochet and in particular learned mosaic crochet over the last couple of years. We’ll have to have a “writers with wool” meeting sometime as I know several other authors who knit, crochet and weave 😄
International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here