Tag Archives: Victoria Virgo

Happy Birthday to Me – A Free Gift for You

It’s My Birthday Month – Happy Birthday to Me!

To celebrate my birthday I thought it would be fun to do two things. One, is to offer you a Birthday Gift and two, is to take a trip down memory lane and look at the things I did over the last 12 months.

A Birthday Gift for You – 2 Free Books!

To celebrate my birthday, I have placed two of my short stories on a FREE PROMOTION. Please take this opportunity to download your free copies and enjoy. The links can be found at the end of this post.

What a Difference a Birthday Year Makes – What I Got Up To

I checked through my diary and found that my activities could be summed up under the following categories:

  • Writing
  • Theatre Trips
  • Films
  • Books
  • Travel
  • Special Events

Writing

Wow – As a blogger, I didn’t write as many blog posts as I would have liked but as a fiction writer I did really well. I published 8 short stories and compiled two bundles of my work. I am over the moon with the progress.

I still have plenty more stories to write and publish. I currently have three stories in draft mode and I should get at least one of those published by the end of this month. Yippee!

Here is a list of the books I published since my last birthday:

  • Felicity Falls in Love – Free to Download
  • Gabrielle Falls in Love
  • Helena Falls in Love
  • Isabelle Falls in Love
  • Josephine Falls in Love
  • The Love Series – Volume One
  • Kimberly Falls in Love – Free to Download
  • The Love Series – Volume One & Two – 10 Book Series
  • Louisa Falls in Love
  • Melinda Falls in Love

Theatre Trips

I saw 12 theatre productions. Some were musicals, which are my favourite, and the others were plays. The highlights were:

  • Dreamgirls
  • Harry Potter & The Cursed Child
  • Billie Holiday at Emerson’s Grill & Bar
  • Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
  • Peter Pan Goes Wrong
  • The Girls

Films

I only went to the cinema 4 times over the last 12 months. There wasn’t really that much that I was interested in seeing on the big screen. The films I watched were:

  • Fantastical Beasts
  • La La Land
  • Hidden Figures
  • Girl’s Trip

Books

The books I read can be easily divided into two camps – romance and self-help books.

  • For Now and Forever
  • Her Sweetest Christmas
  • Once Upon a Set-Up
  • Beautiful & Other Stories
  • A Spoonful of Spice
  • One Last Summer
  • Statistically Improbable
  • Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses

Non Fiction

Travel

I got to fulfil the biggest wish on my bucket-list. I travelled to Cuba! It was amazing. It was a dancing holiday so I got to salsa dance all day and all night and there was also a bit of sight-seeing thrown in.

It was a truly amazing holiday that I had been wanting to take for years.

Other places I travelled to were Spain – Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.

I also went to France and Holland.

Special Events

I visited Harry Potter World. This was a birthday gift to my sister as she is a huge Harry Potter fan.

Other special highlights of the past year include my first ever visit to The Olivier Awards Ceremony where I got to walk the red carpet.

I also had a bit of a splurge and treated myself to a brand new MacBook Pro laptop. I love it. It was time to ditch the little netbook so I upgraded and I am so happy I did.

I enjoyed a fantastic reunion with Uni friends. We have now known each other for over twenty years! One friend lives in Rome, another in Beirut and another in Oxford.  It was wonderful to get together in London with my old housemates and talk and laugh about the good old student days 🙂

Any Lessons Learned?

I learned that it is so important to live life to the full and to do things that really make you happy. You have to be brave, make the time for yourself, have fun and create beautiful memories so you can look back and be happy with how you have spent the precious time that we have.

I want to write and publish more stories. I want to see more countries, I want to see my friends more often and I want to create new memories.

My Birthday Gift to You – 2 Free Books!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I would like to celebrate my birthday by giving you the opportunity to check out two of my short stories.

These two books are FREE TO DOWNLOAD from Amazon. Just click on the links below and enjoy 🙂

Click Here to Download Courtney Falls in Love

Click Here to Download Isabelle Falls in Love

These two stories are Free to Download from Wednesday 19th – Sunday 24 September 2017

If you enjoy theses stories, I hope that you will pop back to Amazon and leave a lovely little review. Many thanks and Happy Reading 🙂

Have You Say: Do you think you have achieved a lot since your last birthday? What has been the highlight for you? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Me, My Books and I – Introducing The Fiction Writer & Blogger

Victoria Virgo aka Audra Bell - Fiction Writer and Blogger

Me, My Books and I

I thought I would write a post about who I am and where I am in life at the moment. This is for those who are interested in finding out a little bit more about the person behind this website and behind the romance fiction writer known as Audra Bell. Enjoy 🙂

Who Am I?

My name is Victoria Virgo and I am a romance fiction writer. It is my dream to make a full time living from my writing. I want to be able to be self sufficient, location independent and to make money from doing the things that I love.

I have started the journey of making this dream a reality and I am excited about the possibilities.

How I Ended Up Writing Fiction

Writing has always been something that I have done. Over the years I have written song lyrics, poetry, short stories with no endings and I have started various diaries that I abandoned.

After I did the sensible thing of getting a business degree, I worked for a couple of years then thought about my passions. At the time it was acting and singing, so I did a few part-time courses and ended up completing a one-year musical theatre course. I absolutely loved the time. My days were filled with dance classes in the mornings, acting lessons in the afternoons and learning new songs in between.

After the course, I got a variety of acting jobs, mostly theatre stuff. I did Christmas pantos, I toured with a children’s show, I got to lead workshops, which were challenging and fun. I got to play the role of Cinderella. I did a really great, moving play for Black History Month, And I sung some great songs.

The problem with acting is that you never know when you are going to get your next job. You spend the majority of your year doing other work to make money to pay your rent. This was ok for a few years but when I realised that I wanted to be able to plan for holidays, plan to get a mortgage and to basically live life to the full, I knew it was time to make a choice. I bid farewell to the acting and hello to full-time employment and security.

Fast forward a few years and after dabbling with various online endeavours, I found a way to channel my creative energy. I started writing again. Amazon’s self-publishing programme makes it really easy for anyone to publish their own work so once I figured out how to do that, I published a few short stories and non-fiction books.

When I decided that I wanted to make fiction writing not just a passion, but a way to make a full-time income, I started to focus and made a plan, sort of.

My Fiction Writing Author Name

I write my fiction under the lovely author name Audra Bell. I decided on a pen name for several reasons. I wanted to keep the books that I had already published under my own name but they are not in line with the contemporary fiction I am currently writing so choosing a new name was a good solution.

I also wanted to create a brand that was consistent so all the books would have similar covers and styles.

I chose the name Audra Bell because Audra begins with the first letter of the alphabet. It is also the name of the wonderful actress and musical theatre performer Audra McDonald. The surname Bell just seemed to fit nicely.

My Author Website

I created an author website where I could write about the books that I have published. The website is called audrabellwrites.com. When I remember to, I also include upcoming promotions.

Having the website is a great way for new people to discover my fiction writing and there is also a link where people can subscribe to receive my newsletter were I talk about what I am up to and and any discounts that are coming up.

Click Here to Visit Audra Bell Writes

My Books & Short Stories

I knew that I needed a strategy in order to get started. I decided to write short stories with titles that started with the first letter of the alphabet. That meant I knew that this series of books would consist of 26 separate stories.

I also decided on writing short stories because they are easier to complete. I expect to extend my stories so that they are full-size novel lengths but as a beginner, I wanted to ensure that my projects would get completed.

Writing short stories means I know the end is in sight and there is less opportunity for procrastination. Oh, but I still find ways to procrastinate, of course. However, knowing I have 10,000 words to write as opposed to 40,000-80,0000 words helps me a lot.

Click Here to See Books Currently Available

I Have Free Books for People to Read

One way to get people to sample your writing is to offer something for free. I knew that I would be doing this so I wrote shorter sample stories and published them.

These are available to download from Amazon and various other online stores. The free stories currently available are:

There will be at least two other free books in this series. The names will begin with P and U. Look out for those.

I also offer a micro-short story at the end of these free books, in order to get people to join my mailing list.

If people enjoy the free offerings, I hope that they will be happy to pay for the other books in the series.

I Created Box Sets to Offer Value for Money

Each short story costs $0.99 / £0.99 to download (or they are FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited) and I have bundled them into 5-book volumes and a 10-book set where I have been able to offer these stories at a discount rate.

Some people prefer to buy the individual books and others see the value in the bundled offerings and go for that. There is something suitable for different readers and I am happy to be able to provide different options.

Click Here To See Books Currently Available

I Write a Weekly Newsletter to Stay Connected with My Audience

If you join my mailing list, you will receive an email from me once a week, sometimes more if I am running a special promotion. It is a great way to keep in touch with people. There are three main things that I share in my newsletter.

I like to share a little something about what is going on in my life and if I have a picture then I will include that.

I like to share details about any free book promotions that I am involved in. It is a great way to let my subscribers know about other free offerings from other authors. Sometimes these are within the romance genre, other times, it is promotion featuring books from a variety of reading categories.

I also share my own book writing schedule or book discounts that are coming up. It is great to be in the position to offer discounts, especially when there are people who love books but are living within a budget.

I use Mailerlite to set up my mailing list. It is really easy to use and it’s free if you have less than 1,000 subscribers.

I am Building Up My Subscriber List to Grow My Audience

I am very grateful to the people who have chosen to sign up to receive my weekly emails. It is nice to know that people are interested in hearing from me.

I am building my subscriber list by doing the following things:

  • I add a Subscribe Link at the back of each of my books
  • I have a Subscribe Link on my Author Website
  • I add subscribers using Instafreebie

These are working well at the moment. The most important thing is to keep up with my fiction writing so that I have something of value to offer readers who like my style.

So This is Where I am At

So this is my fiction writing journey so far. It will be very interesting to see how far I will have progressed a year from now. Will I be able to make my dreams come true? Will I succeed in creating a full-time income from my writing so that I can be self sufficient and location independent? We shall see.

Wish me luck 🙂

Have Your Say: Do you dream of becoming self-sufficient and creating your own income on your own terms? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

20 Random Things About Me

I thought that a really great way to get to know the person behind the blog VictoriaVirgo.com was if I shared some things about myself.

I have put together a little list of 20 random things about me that I hope you find interesting, amusing and fun. Enjoy.

20 Random Facts about Me

A Random Collection of 20 Things about Me

  1. My name is Victoria and it is my dream is to make a full-time living from fiction writing and blogging. So watch this space.
  2. I was named after the character Victoria from a TV Western programme called The High Chaparral. It ran from 1967 until 1971. My mum loved that show.
  3. My Author name is Audra Bell. I wanted a way to separate my romance writing from my non-fiction stuff, which is under my real name, so I created a beautiful pen name. I chose the first name because it begins with the first letter of the alphabet and because I love the American actress Audra McDonald. I chose Bell because it begins with the second letter of the alphabet and I thought it had a nice ring to it  Audra Bell.
  4. My first record was “My Camera Never Lies” by Bucks Fizz (1982).
  5. After watching the episode of The Walton’s, where their house burned down, I used to have nightmares.
  6. When I was 22 I went to Australia. I went to a pub on my own, bought myself a celebratory birthday drink – Southern Comfort & Lemonade – and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
  7. During a school trip to Ramsgate, a seaside town in England, when I was about 7 years old, I fell over on the slippery moss covered stones on the shore line, soaking my uniform, and ended up spending the rest of the day walking around in my shirt and underpants.
  8. I drank so much crap cheap red wine when I was an au pair in Germany, that I have been put off it ever since. I am slowing trying to learn how to drink red wine again by drinking something called Tinto Verano, which is chilled red wine mixed with lemonade – a popular drink in Spain.
  9. While working as an au pair, I took the day off due to a bad migraine, but proceeded to go to a Sting concert later that evening.
  10. However I returned home at midnight with no keys, and rather than wake the whole household (and their mad barking dog), I ended up sleeping in their car, which was fortunately open but it was freezing. Karma certainly bit me on the ass!!
  11. I hate custard.
  12. I took part in a secondary school demonstration in support of teachers pay. The students refused to go back to class for the rest of the day. Hurrah!
  13. I took up smoking at aged 14 – it lasted 3 days. I just couldn’t see the point.
  14. I got a job in a clothing store. I lasted 2 days as I was so bored out of my mind that I just didn’t go back. 4 weeks later the company sent me a cheque for the days I worked which was an unexpected surprise.
  15. After 10 years of wishing and hopingI finally realised my dream of visiting Cuba. I went on a Salsa dancing holiday to Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in the country. It was amazing.
  16. I have a teaching qualification. I am qualified to Teach English as a Foreign Language. I got my certification but have not had a chance to use it yet.
  17. In my teens, I experimented with make-up and wore a lot of electric blue mascara – on a black girl? – what was I thinking! Hehehehe.
  18. I have been to Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Florida and on a Disney Cruise and had a fabulous time. (my sister used to work for the company).
  19. I have problems pronouncing the word reconnaissance.
  20. I love Victoria Sponge Cakes.

There are quite a few more things I could add to this list but I will leave that for another time. I hope that gives you a little insight into who I am.

Have Your Say: I would love for you to share one random fun fact about yourself. Leave a comment down below.