Muddy Meets: Victoria Cornwall, Author
Author Victoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots right back to the 18th century, which makes her perfectly placed to write historical Cornish fiction. But where does she love the best? We caught up with her to find out.
Victoria Cornwall, from Wadebridge, is one of 9 finalists in The Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award category for her novel Daniel’s Daughter, published by Choc Lit.
Daniel’s Daughter is set amongst the white clay tips of Cornwall at a time when clay production was competitive and dominated the area with its ‘Cornish Alps’. It is a period in history which is often neglected by fiction writers and it felt right for Victoria to highlight Cornwall’s fading past, which can still be seen by hills of spoil camouflaged by vegetation, if you know what to look for. Victoria’s uncle used to work for the clay industry.
In her novel, heroine Grace Kellow has a strong sense of who she is, until she discovers a dark secret which will tear her family apart. When Talek Danning offers Grace sanctuary, they soon discover that secrets lurk everywhere and telling the truth is just as hard as hearing it.
What’s your favourite place in Cornwall?
Cornwall has many faces – it has acres of wild moorland, quaint coastal villages and many historic buildings and monuments, however my favourite place to be is on the coastal path on a sunny day. The cliffs are dramatic, the sea ranges from turquoise to deep blue in colour and there is always something new to discover beyond the next cove.
What’s your writing set up like? Where do you work and did you change this in lockdown?
I wrote Daniel’s Daughter sitting on a bed, propped up by four pillows and surrounded by research and plot notes! Fortunately, my writing space has improved since then. I now have a study, with shelves for my research books and a filing cabinet for my notes and paperwork. The first lockdown affected my writing and I found it difficult to write, but this second lockdown has been quite productive and having an organised space where I can write has been very helpful.
Why do you think people love any kind of Cornish connection? What is it about Cornwall that is so special / engaging?
Cornwall is a popular holiday destination so I think many people have either visited, or would like to visit, Cornwall. Over the years it has certainly featured on many television programs, which has brought the county right into people’s homes. However, despite the familiarity one might feel for the county, there is still something a bit different about Cornwall. It is steeped in history, has its own myths, legends and unique Celtic identity, and can boast of miles of coastline and beaches. It is a perfect place to escape to, whether in reality or just within the pages of a book.
Where do you recommend people head if it’s the first time they’re coming to Cornwall?
There are so many places. If you like cycling, I would recommend the Camel Trail. It is a cycle route, which is 17 miles long and follows the route of a disused railway track.
If you enjoy looking around National Trust properties and locations, I would recommend Lanhydrock House and Rocky Valley, which is near Tintagel.
If you enjoy visiting film sets, I suggest taking a trip to Port Isaac (of Doc Martin fame) or Charlestown – below- (of Poldark fame).
If you enjoy walking, I suggest a walk along the coastal path or across to Rough Tor, near Camelford. The scenery is breath-taking.
Why did you choose to set the novel in Cornwall?
There are many authors who write stories set in Cornwall, but I don’t know of many who are Cornish, born and bred. I am and can trace my Cornish roots back to the 18th century. I’ve lived in the county for most of my life, so it felt natural to set all my novels (to date) in a place I know well.
We’ve a copy of Victoria’s novel, Daniel’s Daughter, to give away as one of a set of six romantic novels set in or written in Cornwall – enter here to win the lot!