I am thrilled to have Victoria Alexander in the virtual offices today! Please give her a warm welcome! After we chat about her new release, What Happens At Christmas, you can enter for a chance to win His Mistress By Christmas!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Victoria Alexander] An original blonde w/ a passion for travel, cooking, entertaining, comedy, dogs, and books. I firmly believe a good read should be fun.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about What Happens at Christmas?
[Victoria Alexander] Camille, the widowed Lady Lydingham, has met a prince she thinks would be perfect as her next husband. She’s always wanted a prince after all. So, she decides to give him the perfect Charles Dickens’ Christmas with the perfect English family. Unfortunately, eccentric is a more accurate description of her family than perfect. What’s a girl to do?
The only solution is to hire a troupe of actors to play her family, which might well work out quite nicely if only her first love doesn’t reappear in her life determined to help her little charade—or so he claims.
And, as brilliant as Camille thinks her plan is originally, from bad acting to fake orphans to surprise guests, nothing goes quite as expected. And Christmas was never like this.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Victoria Alexander] I got the idea on my treadmill; I have no idea why. But it seems to me Christmas is when families get together and what better time is there to introduce your family to someone you’re involved with? But no matter how much you love your family, no matter how well you all get along, the holidays are always fraught with drama and crisis and the unexpected…and, oh yeah, lots of laughter.
As to where the characters came from—who knows? I knew Beryl (Lady Dunwell from My Wicked Little Lies) had a twin sister—Camille. I also knew she and her sisters were brought up to marry for money and position, and they did. Now, Camille and her youngest sister are widowed and Beryl is on her second husband and has—shockingly enough—fallen in love with him. Of course, she does expect that he will be prime minister one day.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Camille?
[Victoria Alexander] Intelligent, impulsive, and creative.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Camille would never have in her boudoir?
[Victoria Alexander] Cheap perfume, last year’s fashion magazine, and anything that reminded her of Grayson.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Grayson had a theme song, what would it be?
[Victoria Alexander] “Mama Mia”—at least when it comes to Camille.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Grayson’s most prized possession?
[Victoria Alexander] A photograph of his late parents.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Victoria Alexander] Lois Lane comics and old romantic comedies. I love old movies like No Reservations (Claudette Colbert & John Wayne), The Great Race or Move Over, Darling…any comedy really with Marilyn Monroe, or Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Victoria Alexander] I always have the television on for background noise. I can’t work if it’s too quiet.
Something to drink—coffee, coke zero, iced tea, or water.
My bearded collies—Louie and Reggie. If they’re not under my desk or plastered against the air conditioning vent in my office I find it hard to work. Because if they’re not with me—they’re doing something I won’t like. Eating a sofa pillow, counter surfing in the kitchen, creating chaos, that sort of thing.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Victoria Alexander] It takes a lot to knock my socks off.
In terms of non-fiction, I absolutely adored The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe by Tony Perrottet. I love the way Perrottet tells a story.
In fiction, Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep absolutely blew me away. To the point where I now have to have every one of her Mythos Academy books the moment I can get my hands on them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Victoria Alexander] Usually, I’m catching up on everything I let slide when I was writing. I like getting together with friends and I love throwing parties. I garden in the spring when I’m still optimistic that I can actually keep plants alive. My husband and I love to travel and we’re always planning the next trip, but for the most part, when I’m not writing I’m thinking about the next book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Victoria Alexander] Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Alexander/238022460756
I’ll also be speaking at the Emerald City Writers Conference books and signing books on Oct. 27th at the Westin Hotel in Bellevue, WA.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can purchase What Happens at Christmas from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.
Want to win a copy of Victoria’s His Mistress By Christmas? Just fill out the widget below. Extra entries for following. US shipping addresses only, please.