Motivational Monday – Crime Writer
For the latest in our Motivational Monday alumnae series, we spoke to the best-selling author Victoria Selman, who left South Hampstead in 1995.
Victoria is now The Sunday Times best-selling author of Truly Darkly Deeply and the critically acclaimed Ziba MacKenzie series; she has been shortlisted for the CWA Debut and Short Story Daggers and is a host on the popular Crime Time FM podcast. She has been described by author Patricia Cornwell as “an exciting and powerfully fresh voice.”
By the time Victoria joined South Hampstead in Year 7, she already knew she wanted to be a writer – she completed her first novel aged 7, albeit just a few pages long. During her teenage years, she continued to keep a notebook, but writing took a back seat as life ‘got in the way’. She studied English at A Level, but her focus was on History, taught by Mrs Morgan, which she went on to read at the University of Oxford.
It was only whilst taking a pause from working to look after her two small children that she was persuaded by her husband to take up her pen once more. She enrolled in a creative writing course at the City Lit which changed her life. Victoria doesn’t believe you can be taught to be a good writer, but the course helped make her dream a reality by teaching her techniques and helping her to hone her writing skills.
After being shortlisted in 2017 for the Crime Writers’ Association’s prestigious Debut Dagger, and winning the New Voice Competition, she secured an agent; her debut novel, Blood For Blood, went on to become an Amazon #1 bestseller for five weeks, selling over half a million copies. Since then, she hasn’t looked back and, when we spoke, she was fresh from the excitement of signing a deal for the film and television rights for Truly Darkly Deeply with See-Saw Films.
My journey has taught me so much – not least to believe in myself and to never stop dreaming.
Victoria’s advice for pupils is to use their confidence and to be brave. Her next dark novel, All The Little Liars, inspired by a horrific crime and the ripple effects of murder on a perpetrator’s family, is out next August.