Saturday, 17 October 2015

One year on

"Isn't it funny how, day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different...""

This time last year, I was a complete wreck. My book was due to come out on the 17th October but, in fact, dropped early on Amazon and ended up being out in the world on the 15th. (I still always class my release date as the 17th, though.)

I honest to God thought I was ready for whatever was ahead of me. I'd done the hard part, right? I'd completed the book and I'd gone through approximately 20 million edits to get it ready for release. I'd picked an author name (Surname after my amazing grandfather who passed away a few years ago and I miss very much) and I had a cover, so I was good to go.

I thought I could hop on to Facebook and Twitter, open up an author account a few weeks before and all would be well. The Road to Wonderland series was a work in progress, and my book, Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland, was the first one to go out there and get critiqued by the whole damn world. I had a team of authors behind me, all willing me to do well so that they could then release their character's books in the series further down the line. Izzy had to deliver. It was on me. She had to bring in the readers.

What I failed to realise at the time was just how much work would go into the whole process - how much work it would take for me to get those readers to Izzy. Just because I loved her and believed in her, it didn't mean anyone else did or would. The Road to Wonderland is a series that, until you experience it first hand, is HARD to categorise.

"What genre is it?" bloggers would ask me. 

"Erm, New adult/coming of age," I would answer followed by the whole verbal spewing of how the entire series would work, how it would all pan out, and how I had enlisted several other authors to write the other character's books.

"So they won't all be written by you?" some bloggers asked me.

"No, but that's the beauty of it. Each character will have such a unique voice. There won't be any trace of the other personalities in there."

"Sorry. Doesn't really sound like our thing."


I've had that conversation so many times, yet no matter how many people turned me away at the beginning, I always, always knocked twice as hard on the next door. Not for me. Not for Izzy. But because I was so bat shit fucking scared of letting Francesca Marlow, L.J. Stock, H.A. Robinson and Charlie M. Matthews down.

The whole Road to Wonderland series in book form had been my idea. I'd sold it to them based on a dream I'd had and somehow, I'd got them to sign up and agree to it. The pressure I felt to make it a success (and still feel to this day, actually) was immense.

So I made a promise to them all. I made a promise that, no matter what happened, no matter what it cost me, I would make sure they all succeeded. With a husband at home and two young children, it was always going to be hard to keep that promise, but I've tried my absolute hardest over the last twelve months to do so. I've worked on their edits, talked the authors through plot issues, where the storylines should go so that all the books weave in and out of one another perfectly. I've woken up at 6am to answer emails, sat at the laptop for 14 hours straight and not gone to bed until 2am because there's always been something to do. Whether it's been Paris' release, Ethan's, Max's, or Scott's... I've answered Whatsapp messages when I've meant to be taking breaks with the husband and kids, I've never been away from my phone or laptop for longer than five minutes and I've learned to function on very little food and very little sleep. Haha.

Woe is me or what?

No, actually. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Because even when I've been at my ABSOLUTE breaking point (and believe me, I have been there at least a dozen times over last twelve months) I've loved every second of it.There's a certain beauty to pushing yourself to your absolute limits. The amount of times my friends and family have all said to me: "You need to stop, you need to slow down. Take some you time. You're going to make yourself ill." It's only made me push to do more. 

In twelve months I've released Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland. I've written and released Without Consequence and Without Mercy with L.J. Stock. I've hit the UK Amazon Erotic Romance bestsellers list... TWICE! I've booked my first author signing at Leeds Marriott hotel for March 5th next year where me... little old me... will be signing books next to the likes of Samantha Towle, Kitty French and 60+ author ridiculously talented authors. All of which doesn't even seem real to me. I've edited 9 books (including my own), some of which I've been credited for, others which I've done because I want my friends to succeed as well as myself. I've almost finished my fourth book and hope to release that by Jan 2016 (touch wood) and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into Izzy and Ethan's joint RTW story VERY soon. I've made friends with some amazing readers, writers and bloggers over the last twelve months. I've learned a LOT. A whoooooooole lot about the industry. 

But more than anything, I've learned a lot about myself. 

I've learned that no matter how much I moan on my down days, I will never stop trying to help others get to where they need to be. I've learned how much can truly be accomplished in a single day. I've learned who my real friends are and who, after years of telling me to release a book, was actually fully of crap. I've learned not everyone is going to like me, and that's brilliant because I've finally learned not to give a damn. I've learned that dreams don't just land in your lap, they involve work like you've never, ever worked in your whole entire life. I've learned I'm able, I'm capable and I can do whatever it is I put my mind to. I've learned that I'm stronger than I ever knew I was, and before I started this journey, I was more sensitive than I realised, too. 

I've learned that those friends who will do anything for you should be treasured, and those friends who only ask of you should be ignored from time to time. It won't hurt them to wait. 

I've learned it's okay that I'm not like everyone else. I'm a little crazy, it's true, but my husband loves me, my children adore me, and my parents will always have my back... and that's all that should ever really matter to anyone.

I know this is long, and a little self-indulgent. I apologise for that, but I'm also not sorry, too. I say thank you more than most, and I am sooooo thankful to all those that have helped me or been a part of my journey (you know exactly who you are) but I think my biggest thanks is actaully going to go to me... for not giving up and for finally, after 33 years, learning how to be proud of myself.

This year has been something I will never, ever forget, no matter where the rest of my life takes me. I've been on my very own road to Wonderland... And I have no plans of stopping until I get there, no matter how many bruises and blisters I get on the way.

I have no idea how to do 'easy.'

So bring it. ;)

And thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

VLJ x 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Welcome to mine and Izzy Moffit's 1 year blog hop celebrations!

Below you will find a list of all the people that are taking part.

I hope you have oodles of fun and enter all the wonderful giveaways we have lined up for you. There are 37 FANTASTIC authors, bloggers and pages involved. Please feel free to stop by every single one and discover some new peeps.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Waffle, waffle, chirp, chirp. It's blog week! ARGH!

I am officially useless at keeping my blog page up to date. For someone who can talk people to sleep, you would have thought that I'd have enjoyed using this as an outlet to, well, bore you lot instead of all my long-suffering family and friends. However... that hasn't been happening.

Let's see if we can change that, shall we?

It turns out that I'm not very good at all this book release and self-promotion stuff, which is a bit of a major bummer considering that approx 80% of this business is just as much about harping on about yourself and selling your "image" to the world as it is about the actual words you've written. At least, that's the way it seems most days.

And I'm not even complaining about it, actually, not one little bit. Just more explaining how this is where I stumble a hell of a lot. Instead of taking to my Facebook, Twitter and TSU without thought or regard for anyone else, I tend to sit back and cringe at my own page. I write posts then delete them thinking why would anyone want to know that you just got half a Dorito stuck up your nose? I look at my profile picture and face palm, trying to ignore the way the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention because, for the 726th time that day, it's caught my eye and I've realised what an actual prize prat I look sticking my tongue out at the world. Should I post this, say that? That might offend somebody. Oh crap, did I spell that right? I should probably get an editor for my social media posts. Shouldn't I? I dunno... I would ask someone, but I don't want to pester. Let's just not say anything. Yeah? Yeah. *nods at self*

Soooo... In other news, last week saw the release of my third book, Without Mercy. This is my second co-authored novel alongside the amazingly talented L.J. Stock (and I can guarantee you now, it most absolutely will not be our last. We have waaaaaaaay too much fun being creative together to ever give that up) for the Babylon series. Without Consequence received some amazing feedback, and from what we've heard back from bloggers, betas, and those incredibly unbias family and friends, Without Mercy is getting the same love, if not that little bit more.How that is even possible, I do not know, but there we are. We made it into the UK's top 100 bestseller list in Erotic Romance on just the first day of WM going live. Holy Moses. 

This week is our blog tour week with the girls over at Bare Naked Words. For those who don't know what a blog tour is... welcome to my world. Hahaha. No, only kidding. It's actually quite simple, but basically our book goes out to reviewers and during the five days that the tour is live, those reviewers take to all forms of social media to give their thoughts back on the arcs (Advance readers copies) we sent out to them. My next statement might be a bit of a shocker, but bear with me when I say...

Man, do I dread blog tour week.

I really do, and I'm sure Claire and Wendy over at Bare Naked Words will be the first to confirm that L.J. Stock and I are probably the most over anxious clients they have to deal with. (It's okay, gals, you can admit it. Haha) No amount of words can say how grateful we are to everyone that chooses to review our books, post their reviews to the world, puts a nice shiny five stars on Goodreads and Amazon, etc, but there are also no amount of words that will ever be able to express the absolute nauseating fear that it instills in us as two (newish) indie authors on the scene. 

L.J. once told me she feels like she's waiting on death row for public execution, and I think I told her just today that waiting for reviews was on a par with sending my children off to school and knowing at some point, one of them was going to be bullied, and there was nothing at all I could do to stop it from happening. 

Drastic, right? 

Well, that's how much these worlds we create mean to us. I'm sure all the authors out there look as cool as cucumbers when they're thanking the world, but let me tell you, the majority (unless they're already raking in the squillions and don't really give two hoots what the world thinks while they're driving around in a nice shiny Aston Martin) are absolutely crapping themselves. At least I hope it isn't just us, or I'm in danger of making an epic mongoose of myself right now. 

To me, it's the strangest feeling. As an author of a new book, you have such faith, such belief and such a shit tonne of love for the characters and worlds that you create, you just know deep down in your heart of hearts that others deserve to share the magic. And you're proud of your shit, you know? There ain't any shame in that. Man... I've finished a book! Go me! But that doesn't strip away the fear - at least not for me, anyway. And let's face it, no matter how good your word baby is, there's some folk out there who just enjoy being a little bit nasty for the sake of being nasty. We're always going to get them and you know that the day they choose to read your book is the same day that they've just found their new dog chewing on their favourite shoe, or their husband dancing to Beyonce while wearing their expensive bra and knicker set. They're pissed, out for blood and you're in for it!


So what's the whole point of doing it if it makes us feel so... worried? Right? 

Like I explained to a lovely blogger lady from BFDU earlier this morning, I honestly sometimes wish I had a choice about doing what I did, and in some ways I do have that choice. Everyone does. But writing chose me, I didn't choose writing, and this is all part of doing what we do. Creating worlds, shipping them out, rocking in a corner with worry until we end up talking to ourselves on a blog page just to get some clarity *winks and thumbs own chest* That's my life now, and I must have more masochist in me than I realised, because I bloody love it.  

I wouldn't change what I do for anything. It might not always be viable for me to write as much as I do, but I will always, always write. I will always complete my novels. I will always hit that publish button once I'm happy with my material. I will always push and push and push and push and push through those nerves and that self-doubt, no matter what happens. I will always try and be better, do better, act better.

Because, as corny as it sounds, I think this was where I was always meant to be... and I'm so lucky to have the most fabulous people by my side out in both the real and the virtual world. Especially those guys in my street team. Woah. They work so freakin' hard and their support is like magic medicine every time I'm/we're having a wobble. 

I guess what I really need to say is...

Bloggers, thank you for all that you do for us indie authors.
Readers, thank you all for trusting us with your hard earned pennies.
Writers, thank you for all the mutual support that goes around.
Corona... thank you for keeping me calm(ish).

And even though I'm not very good at the self-promotion - and I've definitely got a hell of a lot of work to do when it comes to self-belief - I am here. I plan on staying here for a while. And I appreciate how lucky I am to be where I am, even if where I am is only on the couch, sat in the living room of my modest home with two young boys attempting to hit my head repeatedly with a lightsaber while screaming 'Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! Muuuuuuum!' with absolutely no regard for the fact that I/we've sent our other baby out into the world and are currently biting our nails down to the wick. 

It's kind of a cool place to be. :)

Have a good week, everyone. 

Vic x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

So it's been over two months since I posted on my blog. In that time, we released Without Consequence to unbelievable reviews and feedback from those that took a chance on us as new indie authors.

It was all kinds of crazy, but during the hype of the Drew Tucker/Ayda Hanagan love fest, L.J. Stock decided to refocus quickly, to knuckle down, put pen to paper and start the sequel, which we have called... *drum rolls*...

Without Mercy.

The release date is set (4th May, 2015) and it's full steam ahead now for project "Oh wait... this series is really happening, ain't it?" *laughs*

This isn't much of a post because as it stands to date we're in a media/no-news lull. The blog tours have been done, Without Mercy is almost finished and the dreaded editing stage awaits us. *wails* I never thought I'd hate anything more than I hate having to do the school run three times a day, but editing pips that by a mile.

BUT... once that is over, it will be promo overdrive once more. Part of me feels sick at the thought of putting ourselves out there like that all over again, another, slightly more masochistic side of me can't wait for it to happen.

So bear with me. I'm here but not. Always on social media.  (Facebook/Twitter/And the rest)

Keep on keeping on.

Vic x x x x

P.S. I can't believe Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland came out almost four months ago now. Where oh where does the time go?

Friday, 5 December 2014

Without Consequence ~ Cover reveal, via Bare Naked Words book blog.

Without Consequence is happening in a matter of TEN days! I'm so excited, I can't contain myself.

Check out the cover reveal we did via the ladies at Bare Naked Words.

Hope you enjoy,

Vic x

Undercover Book Reviews: Without Consequence Cover Reveal

Undercover Book Reviews: Without Consequence Cover Reveal: Book: Without Consequence Author: Victoria L. James and LJ Stock Genre:Contemporary M/C Romance     Goodreads Book Link ...

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland.

Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland is my debut novel that was released on 17th October, 2014. (Actually, that was the official release, but Amazon and I did not gel all too well together the first time around, so it actually uploaded two days early.) The journey I took with Izzy Moffit is one that will probably make very little sense to the majority of people, but to a few... a few who took that crazy train ride right alongside me... it was the start of something completely magical.

Entering the world of Twitter was a little daunting for me. I originally started a fan based page on there to spread some love for authors and share some appreciation for the book boyfriends they wrote about. What started out as a simple bit of "fan-girling" soon turned into something completely different. I was introduced to the world of RP and, as someone who had been writing in secret for many years previous herself, I fell in love with the idea of live writing to an audience, with no restrictions, no script to follow, no immediate fan base, no nothing. It felt free. It felt liberating and above all else, it allowed me to be creative.

A good friend of mine soon joined twitter with me and the two of us began our own little world which, without much thought, we called our very own Wonderland. What began then as the two of us playing around, developing characters and having some fun... well, it soon morphed into something much, much bigger. Before we knew it, people were actually paying attention to what it was we were doing. We had, for want of a better term, fans and followers who were glued to the story of Izzy Moffit and Paris Hemsworth. That following grew and grew and grew until it just seemed to make sense for us to do something more with it all. It was at that point (after a crazy dream one night where I saw a row of novella's stood on a shelf, each one with all our characters names upon the spine) that the idea to write a book on each member was formed. 

We started out as two girls. Less than a year later, we had a family of more than ten and it was growing all the time. 

Twelve months down the line, whilst still RPing on twitter almost every single day, the first book in the series was finished. 

Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland.

We, as a group of writers and me, as someone who had always wanted to release my very own book, were excited, nervous, scared, bouncing around and just a general pile of mixed emotions. 

We had NO idea if the rest of the world, outside of twitter, would 'get' what all this was about... but after almost two months of the first novel being out there, the debut has gotten some great reviews and I could not be more proud of my little baby, Izzy Moffit, than I am right now.

With an average rating of 4-5 stars (the 5 stars outweighing the 4's on both Amazon and Goodreads) everything now seems a tad too good to be true. 

I'm in love with Wonderland. I'm in love with all the characters and I'm also in love with all the writer friends that hopped on board and joined us. 

Francesca Marlow, L.J. Stock, H.A. Robinson, Charlie M. Matthews and Grace A. Wood, I thank you for always being there for me and for being Izzy's biggest supporters out in the big bad world of reality. 

I'll always be on the road to Wonderland. 

No matter how long it takes to get there. 

Vic x 

Buy Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland - US
Buy Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland - UK