Welcome to author Victoria Twead who has kindly agreed to take part in Q & A author interview.
Hello Victoria, thanks for visiting my blog today, please could you tell us a bit about yourself
Hello Caryl, thank you for inviting me! I’m just a silly old fool who used to live up a Spanish mountain and owned the most dangerous cockerel in Spain.
Your memoir book series that started with Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools were amongst the first books I read when I first had a kindle. I absolutely loved them. They became hugely popular around the world and gained many fans. What made you decide to start writing them?
Life in our tiny Spanish village was wonderful, and we were so lucky to be accepted by the villagers. We came to depend on our wonderful neighbours who supplied us with plenty of advice and even more homemade red wine. Our social life consisted of sitting in our neighbours’ tiny kitchen while Carmen cooked something delicious on the open fire and Paco advised us on the finer points of raising chickens. I couldn’t wait to write about it all, capture all the hilarious and heart-warming events. It was like seeing in colour for the first time, and the first book, “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools”, bubbled in my head.
Did you intend to write a series about your time living in a Spanish village or was the first book so successful that it prompted you to write more?
The success of “Chickens” came as a complete (but awesome!) shock to me. When I started to receive regular fan mail, I was hooked, and began planning the sequels. “The Old Fools” series was born and I was officially a writing addict.
I hear that you’re branching out into crime fiction now.
How has your switch of genre been accepted by fans of your memoirs?
Yes, I started writing the Sixpenny Cross series, inspired by my childhood memories of Dorset, a sleepy, leafy county in the south of England. I love inventing plots that will surprise the reader and describing characters that pop up in all the books. I was extremely nervous when the first one, “A is for Abigail” was launched, but my readers have been very kind and say they enjoyed it.” B is for Bella” followed, and “C is for the Captain” is a work in progress.
You formed the very popular and friendly We Love Memoir Facebook group with fellow author Alan Parks. I’m a member of this group, enjoy it very much and enjoy reading the books written by group members. Did you ever dream that the group would grow as it did?
No! Never! We wanted to create a little community where readers could chat with authors without authors pushing their books, something we’d noticed and heartily disliked in other groups. We Love Memoirs really took off, and now our members are chatting about memoirs and setting up meet-ups all over the world. I believe it’s the friendliest group on Facebook and I love it!
Your life has changed dramatically and you now live near to family in Australia. This must have been a huge upheaval but there are a lot of positives for you.
Do you ever miss your life in Spain?
Yes, it was hard leaving our home and friends in Spain, but it was the right thing to do or we would have missed watching the grandchildren grow up. Of course we miss the laid-back life style and quirkiness of Spain but we made the right decision.
One of the many things I enjoyed about your memoir series were the recipes you included. Have you ever considered writing a cookery book?
Funnily enough, I already have, but I don’t advertise it much. “Mouth-Watering Spanish Recipes” has more than a hundred Spanish recipes, many of them donated by the village ladies. Gayle Macdonald, an expert chef, tested every one, and her husband photographed the results. Now you’ve made me feel hungry and miss Spain!
Oh sorry Victoria! I hadn’t realised there was a recipe book but have just found it on Amazon.
What sort of books do you enjoy reading?
That’s easy! Memoirs, naturally! I’m basically a nosy person who loves reading about other people’s lives.
If you could choose one place in the world where you could spend a writing holiday, where would it be?
I thought hard, but it has to be home, where Joe and I can discuss ideas, he can make me endless coffees and I am interrupted frequently by Lola, the naughtiest puppy in Australia.
Lola is beautiful!
Thanks for visiting my blog today Victoria , it’s been interesting and some of your replies surprised me.