This week LifeOfWriters.com is super excited to share our interview with author Victoria Cooke. She is the author of The Secret to Falling in Love and her next book The Holliday Cruise you can pre-order now on Amazon to your Kindle. Victoria got published already when she was 8 years old by her class teacher with a story of an invisible man. Ever since she has had a passion for reading and writing.
- What does your typical writing day look like for you and do you use a word count?
My children leave for school at 8.40am and that’s when I have my first coffee of the day. I can’t function without that wonderful ten minutes of peace and quiet.
If I’m writing, I set goals, sometimes it’s to complete a scene and sometimes it’s based on word count or chapters. It really depends on the section I’m writing. Word count wise, I have written up to 10,000 words in one day, but a more realistic figure for me would be about 2,000 because of school pickups, coffee drinking and snacking.
It really depends on the section I’m covering and how much research is needed. In The Secret to Falling in Love, most of the story was based around my home city of Manchester, which of course I’m familiar with, but my second novel is set on a cruise ship with many gorgeous scene locations. When I wrote a chapter set in Rome, it took me a whole day to write just 1,000 words because of all the fact checking I needed to do.
- Do you write longhand or are you typing away with the 10 finger system on your computer?
I do a lot of planning by hand in note form, but generally when I start I barely refer to the notes and just go for it. The notes help me to form the story in my head and I tend to look at them afterwards to see what I’d missed. My first drafts are fairly skeletal and I tend to add a lot of the meat (humour / emotion / character quirks etc) later.
- How long did it take you to write your book The Secret to Falling in Love and did you plan it before you started writing?
All in all it took two years, but only because I wrote it in my small pockets of spare time. I had a brief plan of scrappy notes that revolved around the theme of going technology free and I did put a spreadsheet together to organise my chapters but mostly, I just wrote scenes in as they came to me.
-What is the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
It’s one you hear a lot but it makes more sense to me now than it ever did before and that’s – Keep writing. A first draft will generally be a bit ropey, but one of the biggest things you can take away from the first draft (apart from having a story) is really knowing your characters inside out. That’s when it all gets to be quite fun – you become their puppeteer. I love altering scenes because, I have the benefit of hind sight. You can see a character would never say or do what you’d originally planned for them and change the dialogue / actions to fit them.
- How often do you read and what do you read?
I read a little every day and set a little time aside specifically. I love thrillers, romantic comedies and various women’s fiction.
- If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and why?
I think Marian Keyes would be great fun but I think if I could only choose one, it would be Stephen King. I’m so intrigued by that mind of his.
Get to know more about Victoria Cooke on her social media: