Victoria Fox was born in 1983, went to boarding school in her teens and studied English at university. While there, she wrote her first (unpublished) bonkbuster: The Hardest Part. Despite not getting published, the genre for Victoria never lost its sheen, and she continued to work hard at it. After being a long term admirer of Jackie Collins, she often wondered what it would be like to be a bonkbuster author and after working in publishing for a number of years, she decided to quit and see if she could make it as an author. Her first book was called “Hollywood Sinners” which was then followed by her second book “Temptation Island” which was released in June 2012.
- Your latest story “Temptation Island” tells the story of three girls all from different sides of the tracks and an island that hides a terrible secret. What inspired you to write this type of story?
Bonkbusters have a special place in my heart and I wanted to write a big, bold, sexy book that was genuinely shocking and exciting. I want to make my readers gasp! I think the canvas always has to be big in a bonkbuster so I chose an exotic, far-flung setting and let my imagination run wild on a number of different storylines that collide in a scorching denouement. “Temptation Island” is a real holiday book and the kind of thing I love to read while lounging by the pool and soaking up the rays.
- To the readers of the website that may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
Becoming an author was always the dream but one I didn’t think I’d pursue until later in life. After studying English at university I moved to London and landed an editorial job in publishing, where I learned a great deal not only about how books are produced but also about the women’s fiction market. I saw a gap for a sexy celebrity bonkbuster, the kind of thing that would appeal to readers of Heat and Now, and the bug to try one of my own caught up with me. I wrote a partial manuscript (about 30,000 words), submitted it anonymously to an agent and when she agreed to represent me I quit my job, wrote the novel and managed to get a deal.
- If “Temptation Island” was to be adapted for screen, who do you imagine would play your leading ladies?
Love this question. My favourite actresses are Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Lawrence from The Hunger Games. Casting the men would be more fun, though, as they’d have to take their tops off for the beach scenes. James Franco, Leo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling. Naturally I’d look after the auditions.
- Your writing reminds me of fellow British authors Louise Bagshawe and Lulu Taylor, what authors do you admire?
That’s a great compliment. I adore Bagshawe’s and Taylor’s books, and in the bonkbuster genre I also enjoy Rebecca Chance, Aita Ighodaro and J J Salem. My all-time ultimate, though, is Jackie Collins: she’s a legend. I devoured her novels as a teenager and she’s influenced my own books massively.
- Who is your favourite literary hero that you wish could whisk you off your feet?
Jake Lovell from Jilly Cooper’s “Riders”. With his gypsy vibe and dark, brooding looks, he’s gorgeous. A tortured soul is always an irresistible fantasy.
- What part of the writing process do you least enjoy?
The same part that, on a good day, I most enjoy: being by myself. To write you have to like your own company, and that means taking the good times with the bad. Sometimes, if I’ve had an unproductive day, it’ll be frustrating not to be able to share it with someone, and a novel gets so detailed that it becomes difficult to describe what part of it is troubling you and to bounce ideas off friends. That said when it comes together there’s a great sense of personal achievement, so like anything it’s swings and roundabouts.
- If you weren’t an author, what do you imagine yourself doing?
When I was little I wanted to be a vet, so despite being dreadful at sciences I’d like to imagine I’d be doing that. Otherwise I’d run away with the circus and learn how to trapeze, or join NASA and become an astronaut.
- I always thought the opening lines to The Lovely Bones were quite memorable, are there any opening lines to books that stuck out to you?
It’s not quite an opening line because it comes at the end of the first chapter, but Shirley Conran’s “Lace” has one of the best ever. A young film star gathers together four women, old-time friends, who we know share a history but we’re not sure yet what. She sweeps in and demands, ‘All right, which one of you bitches is my mother?’ Amazing.
- If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
“The Magus” by John Fowles, a brilliant book about a young man who enters a psychological labyrinth on a remote Greek island – I first read it when I was fourteen and it changed the way I thought. “Sacred Country” by Rose Tremain: she’s one of the best writers alive, and this book is full of ideas so beautifully articulated that you find yourself reading particular sentences over and over again. I’d also take an encyclopaedia so I could learn a fact a day – I’d be the cleverest person ever once I was rescued, even if I did need a shower.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
Every author says it because it’s true: persevere. Not just with the submission process but with producing material in the first place. Lots of people say they want to write a book but few actually sit down and slog out 100,000 words. If you want to write a book, write it. Only then, whatever the initial standard, will you have an entirety to work on, edit, polish, and eventually show an agent and publisher.
- When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
My favourite mug, full of tea. It’s a Penguin Classics, white and purple: Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.
- And finally, Victoria, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
At the moment I’m hard at work on my third book, which is a glamorous, sexy revenge thriller set in the music industry. It’s coming out next summer, so watch this space!