Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Journeys by Victoria Chatham


I have a cousin in Australia who loves to travel. She and her husband are currently in Vietnam, and the photographs she shares on Facebook are stunning. My daughter and her husband also love to travel. I have lost track of all the countries they have visited, which included Vietnam. I’ve been to Spain (several times) and have visited New Zealand, Mexico, parts of the USA, Western Canada, and much of the UK.

The harbour, St. Ives, Cornwall, UK.

Journeys are a bit like reading or writing a book. A is the beginning, and Z is the end, with all sorts of interesting bits between them. In the case of reading a book, I, as a reader, want to be swept along in a romance, intrigued by a mystery, drawn into the details of a historical novel, and entertained. I know by Page 5 if this is a book I will continue to read or put aside. If I keep reading to the end, I’ll know if that’s it or if it’s a book I’ll keep and read again.

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland

Writing any book is a journey, and to all who complete a book, thank you and well done. So many begin the journey and then, for whatever reason, fall by the wayside and never complete it. Some plain run out of steam, having lost their way in their plot. Others don’t realize how hard it can be to write a complete book with all the elements involved. At times, it seems like a juggling act of keeping characters, settings, plots, secondary characters, and sub-plots in the air.

While some writers are naturally gifted, others must work at learning the craft of writing, which sometimes seems like a never-ending journey. What is the Oxford comma? Should I use colons and/or semi-colons in my text? What is a mixed metaphor or a simile, and do dangling modifiers matter? Yes, they all do if you want to make your text smooth and not jolt your reader out of the story.

A fascination for the Regency era set me on my writing journey. A love for the elegance of Edwardian ladies’ fashions prompted me to set up a series of books in that era. I’ve written contemporary Western romance and will soon begin a new writing journey with cozy mysteries.

A Regency Lady's Bonnet

Much like the conundrum of an author using their real name for one genre and having a pen name for another, there is the thought that if an author starts out in one genre and changes to another, they could lose readers. The other side of that coin is that an author could also engage a new set of readers. It is all down to personal choice. I don’t read all one genre but like to mix it up depending on why I am reading. It could be a romance today and a thriller tomorrow. Likewise, much as I have enjoyed writing historical romances, I have also enjoyed writing contemporary Western romances. We’ll see where the cozy mysteries take me, but I believe my tagline, History, Mystery, and Love, covers each of those genres.

Victoria Chatham

            MY WEBSITE

NB: All images are from the author's personal collection.


  1. Writing in different genres can be challenging because most readers have strong preferences about them. But like you, I read and write in more than one genre. From contemporary romance to medieval fantasy and science fiction, it took me a while to brand myself. But the common denominator in my stories became obvious: "Strong heroines, brave heroes, romance with a kick." Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a wonderful bonnet! Yes--writing certainly is voyage for us, even if it's "all in our heads."

    1. This was in the Bath Costume Museum. There were several bonnets for visitors to try on but this was the prettiest - and didn't fit me or my daughter!

  3. Yes, there is a conundrum about switching genres and using the same name/pseudonym. We love our readers! Thanks, Victoria.

    1. I think if you are open with your readers about what you write and whey and don't try to con them, they are more prepared to keep following you.


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