Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Thursday, 5 July 2012

Veronica Henry and The Long Weekend

Today is publication day for Veronica Henry's new novel, The Long Weekend. I'm a great fan of Veronica's multi-viewpoint, multi protagonist books and I'm delighted she's agreed to answer a few questions. For more about her, go to http://www.veronicahenry.co.uk/

Are your books plot driven or character driven?
Well, a good story needs both plot and character, but I firmly believe that the plot should come from the characters and the decisions they make, rather then have things happening to them.  So that they are driving the story rather than the other way round.  In other words, they are active rather than passive.  And it's often the small things that happen in life that trigger a good story, rather than the huge things, although the emotional stakes need to be quite high to really engage the reader and make them want to know what happens next.



How important is setting to you?
Setting is very important to me and it's the first thing I decide upon when I start a new book.  I tend to write about places I have loved being or would like to be.  So for example The Long Weekend was inspired by The Old Quay House in Fowey, after I'd had a few stolen days away.  As I sat on their harbour-side terrace I began to wonder about all the guests and why they were there - not just for a weekend in the sun, I was certain!   A setting does not a story make, however - you need to people it with characters pretty quickly in order to get a narrative going - but a setting is often inspiring.  My next book is set on the Orient Express - need I say more?


Why do you write multi-protagonist viewpoints?
I worked in television before I wrote novels, on multi-protagonist dramas such as Holby City, so I was trained to juggle a lot of characters and storylines and having them cross-pollinate, so I suppose it's just what I'm used to.  I'd love to try a single protagonist piece though, one day.  In fact, the book I am writing at the moment contains part of a diary, and I'm really enjoying writing it.  


Is there a bit of you in every book?
Well, I suppose so.  Not consciously, but I guess my core values and belief systems are embedded in what I write.  And there's always a lot of food, and wine, and cocktails ...  And I like to dress my characters in clothes I would like to wear, and decorate their houses with things I would love to have so ... there's your answer!



21 comments:

  1. An interesting author interview. I love all of Veronica's books and I'm looking forward to reading this one - it sounds like a great summer read. Thanks Jenny! xx

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    1. Hopefully my copy is winging its way from Amazon as we speak - can't wait!

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  2. A fascinating interview, especially what Veronica says about multi-protagonist viewpoints and using a setting to trigger the story. Oh, and the food, wine and cocktails!

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    1. Yes. So clever to pick The Orient Express for the next one too – because of course, that research just has to be done!

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  3. what a great insight, thank you for sharing

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  4. I confess I have never read your books, Veronica - but will now seek them out. Good luck with this one! An exciting day!! x

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  5. Great to see you on this blog, Veronica. I'm proud to say I was between the covers of the charity anthology, Sexy Shorts for Summer with you.
    TLW is on my TBR pile....:)

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    1. SSfS - there's one I missed, Linda!

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  6. I have not read any of Veronica's books either yet but I do like multi points of view and strong characters so this is another author to search out. Thank you.

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    1. My copy has now arrived and I'm well stuck in already. Loving it!

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  7. I also recommend The Beach Hut - brilliant storytelling.

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  8. Enjoyed the interview, Jenny and Veronica - I do so agree about plot coming from character. I've had one memorable journey on the Orient Express and it sounds a great excuse for more research!

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    1. Go for it Rosemary - but the real one, not the UK substitute!

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  9. Thank you for an interesting interview, Jenny and Veronica. I really admire writers who can sustain multi points of view in their novels. All best with The Long Weekend.

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    1. I have a feeling tonight is going to be a long one, as my copy has now arrived and already I can't put it down!

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  10. Truly interesting interview, concise and to the point. I haven't read anything by Veronica Henry yet, but I definitely will now. Thanks for posting this.

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    1. I'll be interested to know what you think...

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  11. Great interview - I look forward to reading The Long Weekend! Also the next book as I've been on the Orient Express ...

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