Living the novel

One of the fun things about writing a novel is the research and the Jane Austen trilogy I’m currently writing is proving great fun.  In April, I had a trip to Lyme Regis where I spent a week really getting to know the setting of the second book.  I’ve been to Lyme before and love it but it’s quite a different experience to go there when you have a novel in mind.  And we now seem to be hooked on visiting because we’ve just been back again.  I got lots of writing done but hubby struggled with his painting because it was the windiest week ever!  Still, it was good fossil hunting weather and we headed to Monmouth Beach in search of ammonites.

Monmouth Beach

And we had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Carol Drinkwater whilst she was on tour for her latest book, Return to the Olive Farm.  I adore Carol’s books.  She writes beautifully and passionately about life on her farm in the south of France.

Carol Drinkwater and Victoria Connelly

There was also a quick day trip to Bath which is the setting of my third Austen addicts book.  Molly and I took a walk up Lyncombe Hill – a walk Jane Austen would have known well.  The views across the countryside were beautiful and we then descended back into town to enjoy a sit down in a peaceful square by the abbey.

Bath Abbey

But this month hasn’t been all about research.  There’ve been parties too!  My dear writer pal, Janet Gover, had a party to celebrate the launch of her new book, Girl Racers.  Janet and her partner are leaving for New York City in a few weeks so this was also a chance to say farewell.  But what they didn’t tell us was that there was yet another reason to celebrate: they’d just got married the day before!

Here I am sandwiched between the happy couple, Kelvin and lovely writer friends, Julie Cohen, Jean Fullerton and Henriette Gyland.

The Gang

Love in the afternoon

When four romantic novelists get together, there’s always lots to discuss especially when we’ve been booked to talk about our favourite subject: love!  The venue was Waterstone’s in Uxbridge – the first outing for our Let’s Talk About Love group. 

Here I am with fellow authors Juliet Archer, Janet Gover and Jean Fullerton.  You can find out more about the group at our website.  We’re booking lots of other events so watch out – we may be visiting a books shop or library near you soon!

Let's Talk About Love group

Back to the novel now and I’m half way through – chronologically that is.  It’s a nice settling feeling to be in the middle of a new story but I’m equally aware of all the work that is yet to be done.