Victoria Purman is a South Australian author whose debut novel is the first of a trilogy, which means three books straight up – absolute dream come true material right there. The trilogy is set on the south coast of South Australia so nice and close to home for me these days. I can’t wait to read Victoria’s debut but in the meantime I was able to ask Victoria some questions and find out a little more about her.
Hi Victoria, welcome to Beauty and Lace. Thanks for talking to us.
Thanks so much for having me!
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer because I’ve always loved reading and I thought that being able to write for a living – and have people love your books – would be heaven on a stick. But I put that secret dream away for many years while I forged a career, got married and had three sons. But the dream wouldn’t go away and last year I bought my own computer – one the sons can’t share – and got serious.
I read that Nobody But Him will by launched by the premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, at the South Australian Writers Centre on September 27. How did that news make you feel?
I was so excited that the Premier agreed to launch my book. (I actually worked for him for four years, so I had an “in” there!)
Can I ask how you felt the first time you saw Nobody But Him in print?
It was like every wish, birthday and dream coming true all at once! I still have those days when it feels like that ‘Victoria Purman’ on the cover is someone else! It couldn’t possibly be little ole me!
Nobody But Him is your debut novel, can you tell us a little about your road to publication?
Once I got that computer home and plugged it in, I got serious about writing. I attended a workshop at the SA Writers Centre by Trish Morey on romance writing and took lots of notes! Trish is a Mills +Boon legend, having sold more than three million books around the world, and it’s so fantastic that newbies like me get to sit at the feet of people like her and learn! After that workshop, I wrote “Nobody But Him” in six months – every night and both days on the weekends during that whole period. I had a deadline: I knew I wanted to pitch it to a publisher in August at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, and it had to be ready. I pitched to Harlequin Australia and they immediately asked to read the whole book. By Christmas I had a three-book contract for my Boys of Summer trilogy. There wasn’t enough champagne in the world that day!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
The secret of writing a book is… listen up… typing. It takes lots of typing! And by that I mean, finish your book. Don’t give up. Write what you love to read and search out advice. Find your local Writers Centre and do a workshop. Join Romance Writers of Australia (if you write romance, that is!) and you’ll find a wonderful world of support, advice and like-minded writers, both published and on their way.
Can you tell us a little about Nobody But Him?
“Nobody But Him” is the story of Julia Jones, who ran away from her small town of Middle Point in South Australia as soon as she turned 18. But when her mother dies, she has to go home… where she runs smack bang into the man whose heart she broke fifteen years before. Will she listen to her heart and stay? Will she go back to Melbourne? Will she be able to say no to the gorgeous Ryan Blackburn a second time? You’ll have to read it to find out!
How did you choose the Middle Point setting, and is it based on any actual South Australian coastal towns?
My book is set in a fictional town on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula that I’ve called Middle Point, but readers who know that part of the world will recognize some of the other places along the coast. When I was writing the book, I realised none of the existing towns had a pub looking out over a surf beach, so I had to invent one! The views are spectacular!
This is the first book of a trilogy, are they all Middle Point based?
All three books in the Boys of Summer trilogy are based in Middle Point, with characters who come and go from some of Australia’s biggest cities. If readers buy “Nobody But Him”, they’ll notice there’s a sneak peek of the second book as a special bonus.
Can you tell us a little about your writing process – do you plot? Are there any things you must have around you? Do you have a favourite place to write? Do you edit as you go or draft and go back to read through?
I’m not a plotter in any aspect of my life! I started writing “Nobody But Him” with an opening scene and the location, and that was it. I was as surprised as anyone at the plot twists and turns I came up with. I like it that way, actually. Too much planning ahead and I get a little bored. I like to be as surprised as the reader when they turn a page.
There’s not enough room in my house for me to have a study (too many sons!) so I have a very small desk in the bedroom. I have a stack of books on one side, postcards of surfers on the wall near me (as you do) and an inspirational quote from Barbra Streisand stuck to my Mac.
It says, “You’ve got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.”
I love that quote!
Do I edit as I go? A little – I always try to read what I’ve written during the previous session so I can keep the twists and turns fresh in my mind. Once I finish the first draft, I print it all out and have it bound, and then sit down with a pen and edit that way. It starts to feel like a book then and I find it easier to read. When you’ve looked at things the same way too many times, you start not to see your mistakes.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Independence. Power. And being lucky enough to write romance for a living. Oh, and staring at pictures of gorgeous men all day in the name of research.
Thanks for your time Victoria and good luck with the trilogy.
Thanks you so much for having me!
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!