Saturday, 15 February 2014

A shamefaced return, and interview with Victoria Lamb

Hello, and a very belated New Year! As you may have guessed, I did that extremely annoying that bloggers sometimes do and stopped posting due to burnout. Basically, I wasn't completely happy with my job, and writing after a long commute became a little like homework.

Things have changed a little since then though. Since the date of my last post (October), I have left my old job, started a new one, and moved to a completely new area. I'm now working as an editor for the finance section of a graduate careers advice website, and do a lot more writing. They say that writing as much as possible is like turning over soil and making the imagination more ripe - this can only be a good thing, I guess! I've still been reading a lot of YA, of course, so hopefully I will have some new reviews up for you soon. I won't be posting as often in case I overdo it again - it's all about the love, not views, haha!

Back while I was still blogging regularly, I sent an email to Victoria Lamb asking her to answer some questions. I actually thought I'd already written about her two current books, Witchstruck and Witchfall, but I must have been waiting until the interview was ready to publish, oops! I'll re-read them and have them up ASAP, but rest assured I loved them, and they're well worth a read, especially if you love supernatural/YA/history stories with a bit of romance mixed in!

Having captured much of the public’s imagination, the lives of most people with even a simple connection to the Tudor court are fairly well documented. Who has been the most intriguing person for you, as a writer, to develop a character from? 

Probably Elizabeth, who is known as the 'Lady Elizabeth' in these books, as her title of Royal Highness was stripped from her as a young child following her mother's execution. To have been born into the ruling family and yet be treated as an outcast, a second-class royal, even considered illegitimate because of arguments over how Henry VIII had married her mother while his first wife was still alive - the Pope, of course, famously refused to grant him a divorce, so Henry founded his own Church of England and granted it to himself! All of that must have made Elizabeth a very complex and difficult person to know. So trying to depict her character truthfully in these novels, and not hide negative points about her (as queen, Elizabeth was known for pinching and slapping her ladies-in-waiting when they displeased her, and even locking them up in the Tower of London!) was both fun and problematic. I can understand why she had a difficult temperament, but many readers have found my portrayal of her less than sympathetic. I rather like the fact that they've been challenged by it, as films tend to depict Elizabeth as very regal and fair-minded, but what we actually know from history paints a less complimentary picture of the real Elizabeth.

It seemed to me, having gone over the subject of the witch trials briefly at university, that the character of Marcus Dent was based on Matthew Hopkins, the real life Witchfinder General. I love how you humanised his obsession for catching witches (rather than just simply being a psycho!). When writing the character of a person such as Dent, does it all come from your imagination, or do you base certain traits on the research you’ve done on the historical figure they’re based on? 

Nearly everything, where it's not based on historical fact, comes from my imagination. I didn't actually start researching Hopkins and his kind until after I had written most of Witchstruck. In fact, the original plan behind Dent's character was far more complex than it came out, following editorial changes, and I regret that. I can't spill the beans too much, but Dent was almost a rival for Meg's affections in the early drafts of Witchstruck, and that slightly dangerous relationship was glossed over as revisions happened and the book was shortened. If I had to do it again, I would dig my heels in and fight to keep my original plan. So Marcus is not as complex a character as I originally envisaged him to be, but I hope some of what happens in book three will counteract that.

Is Meg Lytton completely fictitious, or is she based on one of Elizabeth’s servants? 

Completely fictitious!

From the cover of the books, Meg looks gorgeous, obviously. How much influence do you have over your books’ front covers, and if so, what do you think is the most important thing about it? 

Almost no influence at all. And much of that is about marketing and getting the readership right, so to interfere might be dangerous. Probably if I hated something I would make a fuss and try to get it changed, but in fact, I am not a designer and covers don't matter much to me as a reader, so I stick to what I'm good at - the writing - and leave art work and marketing to the experts.

If you weren’t writing about the Tudor/Jacobean periods, what do you think your books would be based on? Is there another era you’re fascinated by, or would you be writing something like sci-fi? 

My first novels were contemporary, and I would like to return to that - though probably under another name! I do enjoy fantasy fiction, and love to watch sci-fi films and television shows, so I haven't ruled out writing that. My first rough attempts at novel-writing as a teen were all fantasy.

Astrologer John Dee features in the stories as someone who can tell the future from the stars. If you went back in time and he offered to read your stars, what would you want to know about? 

As a double Scorpio, 'how can I improve myself?' would be my first question. Though of course I have some training myself as an astrologer - I hold a Certificate from the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London - and often study my own transits to get a fix on general trends in my life. Astrology is enormously complex though. Many people don't realise that and think there are absolute answers to everything. And in Dee's time many astrologers thought there were absolute answers; it was more like a science then, and taken very seriously by those in power. But reading a horoscope is more like planning a novel: you may know roughly what's ahead, but can't pinpoint exactly how things will happen or how your characters will react to changing circumstances. So astrology today is about working to your strengths and improving your weaknesses, not about whether you'll marry or have kids or whatever.

If you had a ‘voice of power’ like Meg’s, who would you use it on and what would you want from them? 

My kids, probably. "Tidy your room!" would be my first command. And occasionally, "Please be quiet!", which seems to have limited success in my normal voice. Or "Fetch me snacks!". That would be a good one.

I read on this blog post that you love translating Latin for fun. What’s the best phrase you’ve come across (and its meaning)? 

'In saecula saeculorum' is a satisfying one to say, it just sounds fabulous on the tongue. It basically means 'forever and ever' and is religious - it's often tagged on the end of prayers, for instance - and I'm not at all religious, despite having a would-be priest for a hero in my books. But the neat repetition with variation of this phrase is wonderful. It's like music. I do love Latin, yes.

So... 5 children. Phew, I’m tired just thinking about it! What do their ages range between, and do you have any favourite stories you loved to read to them? 

My eldest is 26, and has a three year old son, so yes, I'm a grandma now. And my youngest is just nine years old and still at primary school. In between I have twin boys of 11, and another daughter of nearly 23. I also have a step-daughter who's in her late teens. So that's 6 kids really. And a bit, LOL. I don't read to them now, but when they were younger I read poetry to them mostly. My mother taught me nursery rhymes and poems as a young child, and that really helped me develop an ear for language. My husband, who is rather more patient, used to read to them from Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series at bedtime. We all love fantasy and sci-fi fiction in this house.

As you told me on Twitter, Witchrise, the next Tudor Witch book, is out in mid-2014. Can you tell us what to expect? Personally, I’m trying to think of a way around Alejandro’s priestly vow of celibacy, haha!

Ah, but Alejandro's order of priests allows him to marry! (This is actually true, it's a medieval order of priests that still exists today.) As to the rest of the story, Marcus Dent of course is still at large and there's a major showdown beween him and Meg. The final battle, perhaps. But things may not turn out precisely the way a reader might expect ...

Thanks for the interview, Victoria! Sorry it's so late...! Witchrise will be released on 31st July.


  1. Thank you for the great piece, we are exited you are back to writing and you write more than before as we are all exited as we lookinhg forward to read more of your articles that inspire.

  2. It is a great informative interview ,I realy enjoyed to read its post . thanks for posting a lot of information .

  3. The data you gave is sufficiently very, But I am additionally searching for more related data, Could you please support me.

    visit here

  4. Keep on posting such substance. I would never move again from supporting you. Altruistically do some assessment on this point and let the structure know. Instagram Followers

  5. How might somebody move back his hands from composing some grateful stuff about your article. I offer you to get a digital book as a prize from me.

    cheap likes

  6. สล็อตออนไลน์ ที่ดีที่สุดในตอนนี้ แนะนำเพื่อนมาเล่น รับ 20%
    ของยอดฝากเพื่อน คืนยอดเล่นเสีย 20% ทุกวัน ด้วยระบบ ฝาก-ถอน อัตโนมัติ 24 ชั่วโมง %

  7. In the blog is useful for me about Art of Self-Discovery. I am happy to realize that the article is actually quite acceptable. I am acknowledge in the work. A debt of gratitude is in order for partaking in the data.

  8. This Is Really Amazing Blog Which Provide Quality Information. I Really Like To Visit This Website On Daily Basis.
    buy Instagram followers

  9. Amila Silvester is Social Media marketing manager at Our company is a social media marketing agency who provides SMM services at affordable prices, with the help of buy tiktok likes uk you can easily grow your business .


  10. I have a tough time describing my thoughts on content, however, I felt I thought to hear. Your article is admittedly nice Click Here . I favor the means you wrote this info.

  11. Outstanding inspiring article. Thanks for sharing such a nice and informative post. I really appreciate your work. visit also Buy TikTok Likes

  12. The luminous effect is much more ideal than using direct current. Therefore, the two electrodes should be as consistent as possible from material to processing. Because the neon lamp is a vacuum electric light source, it is necessary to pay attention to vacuum hygiene during the whole production process. The materials and production are strictly in accordance with the technical requirements of electric vacuum, so as to ensure the quality. Production process editing voice In terms of the production process of neon lights, whether it is a bright tube, a powder tube or a color tube, the production process is basically the same.

  13. The #1 online furniture shopping in North East. Discover a large selection of products by top brands ✔ Low Prices ✔ Big Discounts ✔ Fast Shipping ✔ Genuine Brand. For more information's and details to visit us:

    A neon sign can be purchased by a business to advertise a restaurant or bar. Or it could simply be decorative purposes. This trend has been very popular in recent years and you might be missing out if it doesn't catch on.

  15. . LED Light Tapes For Stage Design Lighting
    Any event needs stage lighting. Stage lighting is crucial for any event. Because they can be used for many purposes, LED light strips are an excellent way to illuminate stages. They are energy-efficient and last hours. These light strips can reach places where traditional sources of light cannot.
    click here

  16. Pure Lino - Wholesale Made in Italy Clothing UK Online shop - Latest Italian linen lagenlook dresses suppliers Manchester, Made In Italy summer floral tops - Pure Lino fashion clothing website, Latest lagenlook Plus size Italian clothing, Adore your new season with new lagenlook styles and new looks with Pure Lino Online fashion clothing latest collection. For more information's and details to visit us:

  17. Shop sign with led neon
    This is a practical and creative video about RGB lights in a room.

    What you will need:

    For wall lighting with LED strip light strips, we recommend 3528 CCT Adjustable Strips to recessed lighting, 573 LED Strip for surface-mounted lighting, and a 4-in-1 5050 RGBW strip for decorative lighting.
    Depending on how bright the light is, you can use 60 to 120 LEDs/m.
    The wall's measurements will determine the length of the strip. To connect the strips together and connect them to a power source, you can use connectors for LED light strips.
    click here

  18. Misture conteúdo patrocinado com postagens pessoais

    Outra dica que você deve lembrar é que o conteúdo deve ser equilibrado. Seu conteúdo patrocinado não deve superar suas próprias postagens que não geram receita. Se seus seguidores sentirem que você está sempre tentando vender algo, eles não confiarão em você. Certifique-se de planejar cuidadosamente seu conteúdo, para não forçar seus seguidores a ver muito conteúdo patrocinado. Você pode obter mais curtidas no Instagram criando um plano de publicação.

  19. The #1 online furniture shopping in North East. Discover a large selection of products by top brands ✔ Low Prices ✔ Big Discounts ✔ Fast Shipping ✔ Genuine Brand. For more information's and details to visit us:

  20. The #1 online furniture shopping in North East. Discover a large selection of products by top brands ✔ Low Prices ✔ Big Discounts ✔ Fast Shipping ✔ Genuine Brand beds, sofas, bed room, lighting, accessories, living room, mirrors, dining, seatings and pictures. For more information's and details to visit us:

  21. Create the Palette

    There are colors, patterns and designs online, but the images are only a rough representation of what the actual items appear to be. When you can, get samples of fabric swatches, color chips and sample materials to make certain that the final product will meet your expectations. "You can order samples from most vendors, and it's always best," said Mr. Kleinberg. "Some colors blend together," when seen on a monitor the expert said, adding that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish cool from warm tones.

  22. Do you have a loyal customer base, but few followers on Instagram? Make a discount code for your product or service that is exclusive only to Instagram followers. You can also create unique discount codes for each of your influencers.Especially for big brands, holding such a live event on social media with the CEO or influencers is always remarkable. You might not just get some publicity but the level of participation will certainly be above the charts.With Instagram Reels you can create entertaining 30 second multi-clip videos using effects, audio and other innovative tools. Utilize Reels to work with influencers for ads to ensure that you are seen.

  23. To utilize any social network efficiently, you must have an organized plan.Getting greater Instagram followers is an ideal target to begin with. However, it's not enough to give you an effective Instagram account. It is essential to make gaining followers part of a bigger plan that is linked to your company's plan and your social media marketing objectives.Think about the main reasons you'd like to increase your Instagram followers. What do you want to achieve? Perhaps you're looking to improve the visibility of your brand, increase sales for your products and increase visitors on the website.Staying focussed on these objectives will ensure that you maintain your Instagram account's consistency. It can help you create a compelling stories about your brand that entices new users and help create (and keep) an engaged following.

  24. Instagram DM Capsules

    If you send between 50 to 80 DMs every day, you'll be OK. Make sure you're not spamming your followers with sales pitches, or you'll damage your reputation and place yourse

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. One alternative is drawing floor plans the old-fashioned method, using pencil, paper and the ruler. However, most professional designers use drafting software like AutoCAD. Between those two extremes, there are apps which aim to allow home owners to draw basic floor plans (some even allow automated measurements using the camera of your smartphone However, double-check that the measurements are correct) These include Magic plan Floor Plan Creator and Room Scan Pro.

  27. By doing this, you will give your company an edge over competitors and allow you to remain competitive within your industry.The process of SEO CopywritingNow that you've prepared your self for SEO copywriting, now it's now time to start the actual procedure of it.Keyword Research Start with the initial step, which is perhaps the most crucial one that is keyword research.Before you begin any action it is important to take a seat and dedicate time to study the keywords you would like to be ranked for.A common mistake entrepreneurs make is to rank for keywords they believe their customers would search.To avoid this mistake it is important to spend some time researching.

  28. The Washington Post is one instance of a news organization making use of TikTok effectively. Their tagline is "We're A Newspaper'. Their TikTok profile has already accumulated 1 million users (and increasing). Their aim? To attract new readers and establish trust through short-form video and other viral content. buy 500 twitter followers uk


Thanks for commenting!