This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Known for her glamorous and very sexy celebrity bonkbusters, Victoria Fox’s latest novel, Power Games, is everything you’d hope it would be. Here, the author shares her writing routine, inspirations and offers advice for aspiring novelists.
Celebrity magazines are a great source. When I’m plotting a book, I’ll take a scandal I’ve read or heard about and weave a fiction around what might be unfolding behind the scenes. That central idea acts as a platform for the rest of the cast and story. And it gives me a ‘work research’ excuse to read Heat and Now every week!
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Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
I’m most productive in the mornings, so I’ll get up early and do an hour before breakfast. I try to achieve 2000 words a day, so if I make a good start I’ll feel on top of things. Keeping nine-to-five, Monday to Friday, is important so I feel in tune with the rest of the working world. Sometimes I’ll be writing a sex scene at some glitzy party in LA, while outside the rain’s lashing against the window and I’m bundled up in a jumper – it’s a happy way to spend a few hours!
When you are writing, do you use any famous people or people you know as inspiration?
Celebrities are the keystones of my books, so, yes, I definitely use them as inspiration. But while they lead lives most of us can only dream of, they’re still human beings. I often borrow mannerisms and details from friends or people I spot in everyday life – being an author is about being observant, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate this into my books.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
Lovers and Gamblers by Jackie Collins. It’s no secret that I’m a massive Jackie fan, and this was the first of hers that I read. It’s both a love story and a thrilling, sexy adventure and it got me hooked on her books for ever more.What female writer has inspired you?
All the bonkbuster greats of the 80s and 90s – Jackie, of course; also Jilly Cooper, Shirley Conran and Judith Krantz. They showed me that a woman writing about sex is a powerful thing.
I’ve read some fantastic novels this year. The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson is a masterclass in top-calibre women’s fiction, Beauty by Louise Mensch is enormous fun and an ideal holiday read, and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is superbly original.
What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
My first process is to get the words down! I’m normally on quite short deadlines so I try not to read back and just head for The End. Then, once the story has a fixed beginning and end and I know the framework I’m writing in, I dive back in and make changes. I always plan but never too rigidly – normally a paragraph per chapter to get the keynotes into place and ensure the plot is on track, but fluid enough to let the scene take over a little. Planning too strictly can lead me into all sorts of dead ends – characters decide where they want the story to go.
What was your journey to being a published author?
I worked in publishing for several years before deciding to try my hand at women’s fiction. I wrote a partial manuscript (40,000 words) in my evenings and on weekends, then submitted it anonymously to my dream agent, Madeleine Milburn. She called me up the same day and invited me to meet and then agreed to represent me. I quit my job and finished the book. When it was ready, every publisher we sent it to turned it down…except one. One is all you need.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That every day is a haze of literary lunches and champagne – every so often those days do come along, and they’re fabulous! But most of the time it is hard work, it can be lonely, and you need a lot of drive and determination to reach your goals.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Read. Read books in your market and outside your market, read as many stories and styles as you can and figure out what you love and what you wish to deliver in your own books. Authors constantly surprise and excite me and make me push my own writing to the next level.
What are you working on at the moment?
My next novel, which is out Summer 2015. It’s about two sisters torn apart by fate, and unfolds between Hollywood, Europe and Argentina.