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Confessions of a Literary Traveller – Victoria Hislop

  • Submitted: 23rd July 2019

Confessions of a Literary Traveller – Victoria Hislop

What do writers get up to when they’re not writing. What does Victoria miss most when on the road? What’s the funniest thing that has happened to her in a hotel? Asking the questions you’ve always wanted to know ( or not, but they’re funny literary tidbits anyhow)

BookTrail the locations of Those Who are Loved here

Victoria in Athens (c ) Victoria Hislop

Victoria in Athens (c ) Victoria Hislop

Describe how it feels being on the road as a writer.

I really enjoy my book tours.  And I will admit that there are so many places that I have never been before but I get the chance to visit them when I am touring.  This is my chance to meet readers – and it closes the gap between my life at my laptop and the outside world!  Every writer is happy if they see healthy book sales, but it’s much more exciting is to walk into a room and to actually meet those who have bought your book!  There is something really humbling about it – those readers have not only gone to a bookshop to purchase your book (believe me, it is a responsibility not to disappoint) but then they have made even MORE effort to come to an event.  It’s amazing really…

Visit the locations of Those Who are Loved here

Victoria in Athens (c ) Victoria Hislop

Victoria in Athens (c ) Victoria Hislop

What do you do and where do you go?

I think there are twenty or thirty events in the next few months where I will talk about Those who are Loved (and in the autumn I will be doing a tour in Greece with a similar number of appearance, plus some talks in France and Norway).  I like to do an interview on the stage (it feels more dynamic) and to show some of the photos I have of places relevant to the the novel.  Location is so integral to the story – and photographs play a key role for me as I write.

Then there has to be a Q and A session – it’s really important to make an event interactive and to give the audience a chance to speak too!  Then afterwards there is a signing, when I meet readers one-to-one – and there are definitely people who are too shy to ask a question in front of a big audience (and I understand that!) and this is their chance to ask me something.

Visit the locations of Those Who are Loved here

Makronisos (c ) Victoria Hislop

Makronisos (c ) Victoria Hislop

Do you get to see the places you stop at for literary events? Do you work at the same time?

I try to make time to see them – if there is time!  I definitely made a point of building it into my schedule to go the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth when I was there for a book event.  That was thrilling – Emily Bronte is my favourite author.  In between events I am always writing – for some reason I don’t get car sick on my lap top – but don’t worry I’m not driving at the same time!

What has been a good event?

A good event is when I have a good “connection” with the audience – I think it’s the same for any staged event – actors even say the same – that you need to narrow the space between yourself and the people who are sitting out there (sometimes in semi-darkness).  If I can do that, then it’s a good event.

What is the hardest thing about being away from home?

Not having my own pillow. I get neck ache… and I have been tempted to travel with it, but maybe that’s an eccentric step too far.

BookTrail the locations of Those Who are Loved here

(c) The London Library

(c) The London Library

Where do you find it hardest to write?

I am writing this on a train.  That’s a good place!  The only place I can’t write is on the beach – I just want to listen to the sound of the waves.  But planes, trains, automobiles, libraries, cafes – they’re all good.

Do you have a favourite writing spot?

The London Library – in St James’ Square – it’s paradise.

 Best food tasted during an event?

The Cheltenham Literary Festival did a Greek lunch for all my readers a couple of years ago – it was sensational!!

Funniest thing in a hotel?

Once I was handed my key and the remote control for a tv – they wanted to make sure that guests didn’t steal them.  It wasn’t in the UK…

How hard is it to write, travel, do events and still find time for family and for reading?

Sometimes tricky but it’s all to do with being organised!  And that’s something I am quite good at – and making lists is the key to being organised.  I have lists of lists!

 

Thanks for your questions and for inviting me to do this!  Victoria

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass:Those Who Are Loved

Twitter:  @vichislop  Web: www.victoriahislop.com/

 

 

 

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