Friday, 3 February 2012

Thank You to the Romantic Novelists Association

I'm utterly delighted to be interviewed on the Romantic Novelists Association blog today.

I first joined the RNA back in the mid-noughties, a little diffidently, not really sure what direction to take as a novelist. Nonetheless I made some excellent friends that year, including the marvellous Katie Fforde, whose advice was to follow my heart and write the kind of fiction that appealed to me as a reader. But perhaps because I had three very young children at that stage, and my head wasn't quite in the right space to begin a new novel, I fell away from the RNA and forgot about commercial novel-writing for a few years.

In 2010, with my kids all having started full-time school, I rejoined the RNA. I was bursting with fresh energy and ideas that year, and determined to begin a new career as an historical novelist. And the friends and contacts I made there were so helpful and encouraging, I can recommend the RNA to new or returning writers as a place where dreams do come true.

Within less than a year of rejoining the Association, I'd signed with Luigi Bonomi - deservedly Literary Agent of the Year in 2010 - and landed a three book contract with Transworld. Soon afterwards, I signed another three book contract, this time with Random House Children's Books for a Young Adult paranormal Tudor series (launching this summer with Witchstruck).

Two years on, I'm over the moon to have The Queen's Secret coming out this month, plus an interview on the RNA blog, and to feel I've finally 'arrived' as Victoria Lamb. So many thanks to everyone at the Romantic Novelists Association for continuing to support writers like me and tirelessly promote women's fiction to the world.

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations! This must be such an exciting time for you, it's fantastic when hard work finally pays off.

    Just how much research, on average, do you carry out for a project?

    Also how hard or easy was it to find an agent and them find a publisher?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jo!

      I'd been researching the Tudor era, on and off, since about 1999, and once I decided on my plot, then spent a further six months in more concentrated research, visiting Kenilworth Castle and its environs, chatting to the expert staff there, and of course reading some of the important primary documents relating to my story - in particular, Robert Laneham's "Letter", which is a boon to anyone writing about the 1575 festivities, as it details the lavish spectacles put on by Leicester, plus the Queen's daily activities over almost her entire stay.

      I also continued to research whilst writing the book, as often you don't know for sure what you need to know for a particular scene until you're writing it.

      Re literary agents, I was extremely lucky, and I'm the first to admit it! My previous agent had sadly retired and I was querying my late mother's agent for suggestions, as he didn't at that stage represent many historical writers. To my surprise and delight, he asked to represent me himself, and when I sent him the first quarter of my novel, he found an interested publisher almost immediately. I then happily went off, finished the book with the advice of my new editor, and the rest is history.

      Hope you enjoy it!

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  2. Thanks Victoria for the reply.

    Some things are meant to be and I'm glad the process was relatively smooth and stress free for you.

    I will be purchasing myself a copy of The Queen's Secret and Witchstruck for my Daughter, then of course I will pinch hers for a read also!

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Many thanks for visiting my website and commenting! Victoria.