(Victoria) I’ve been writing most of my life. I write poetry, song lyrics, short stories, children’s stories and novels. I have an inquisitive nature. My career choice was journalism. But marriage came first, then kids. So I did the next best thing. I started writing fiction. I write poetry and children’s stories under Victoria Valentine. Horror, thrillers, and romance as January Valentine.
All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(Victoria) I’ve never suffered writer’s block, until this current book I’m working on. I think it’s because of the change in genre. I’m writing something unfamiliar to me, which I believe was the cause. I normally write 24/7 without a problem. My projects interrupt my sleep (in a good way), keeping me writing constantly. I had a bout of writer’s block for several days about a month ago. It was horrible. I was so cranky, my family wanted to eject me from the house. The strangest thing happened during that time. I’d awaken during the night with great ideas, narrative, and dialogue. But in the morning it was all gone. So I knew it was still there, inside my head. I let the story percolate for a few days, rerouted it, and the dam broke. I think the worst thing to do would be to stress. Stress can definitely curb your creative juices. Just relax, turn off all thoughts, and let it flow naturally. Don’t force it. Don’t worry. Creativity will return. I find if I have to “think” about what to write, it’s not going to happen. It has to just gush out on its own, with its own voice, like automatic writing. A friend said, “We’re the conduits. The words just flow through us.” It’s so true.
Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Victoria) I’m probably one of the most “unstructured” individuals you could meet. But I do have somewhat of a routine. I get up, have a light breakfast, spend at least an hour on the treadmill. I start writing over a protein shake, then take a relaxing whirlpool bath, which is when my head fills with great ideas, of course. No paper and pencil, no digital recorder in the tub. So I have to try to remember the highlights. Then I go back to writing for the rest of the day. When I write I listen to all kinds of music. I drink diet pepsi and gallons of flavored seltzer. I grab a quick bite for dinner, then back to writing. I clean the house during writing breaks, LOL. So as you can see, writing is my priority. After I’m finished for the night (usually when my eyes can’t take it anymore) I have to watch a movie to unwind. Usually horror, my first love. Horror actually relaxes me. If not horror, romance/romantic comedy. I do this seven days a week. I write every day – even weekends and holidays. I sometimes continue to write or edit on my Chromebook at night while winding down with a movie. I’m probably one of the few writers who doesn’t read many books. I don’t have much spare time. Every Wednesday evening at 7 pm EST, I host my blogtalkradio show: Away With Words. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1
This is my downtime. I love it. I get to meet so many fantastic and talented writers and personalities. We have a blast. I also publish books for others on occasion. I published literary anthologies and poetry journals for over ten years. I dabble in Photoshop, and like to create youtube videos for my books. I love anything creative. I wish I had the ability to be an artist.
I know many writers, such as Dirk and myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Victoria) My family knows I write. They’re used to my absence at the dinner table – and seeing my promotional pens all over the house. They all support me, but my daughter, Phaedra, is a tremendous support. She’s my inspiration, my critic, my editor. On occasion I am able to gather everyone together for “story time.” I love reading to them and getting their feedback. When I’m stuck for technical info, or need to fill plot holes, my son and husband come up with amazing ideas. My son, Tom, is an incredible source of information and trivia. This helps with those little nuances every book needs.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Victoria) As I don’t read much anymore, I don’t have many favorite authors. I’d rather watch the movie than read the book 🙂 I can say this much. My inspiration for my first horror novel was Robert C. Wilson “Crooked Tree”. I also like Dean Koontz. To keep current on what’s new and exciting in our world of writing, I read tons of Amazon Kindle previews and sample chapters. I’ve found so many exciting indie writers who are incredibly gifted. I would have to say, any one of them could become a favorite.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Victoria) I would have to pick the current project I’m working on. It’s a paranormal, sci fi, romance that takes six teens on a freaky adventure. I can’t say too much about it, as I’m still working on book one of the trilogy. But I think it would make an exciting movie. My male protagonist would be someone like Zac Efron. Female: Amanda Seyfried.
I’ve written three other novels, Love Dreams contemporary romance, Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer, and Head Over Wheels, steamy new adult romance. I have to say, while I’m working on a book, it’s all consuming. But when I’m finished, it’s out of my mind, put to rest, and I’m on to the next project. I don’t read my finished books or give them much thought.
Turning 21 hasn’t proven very fruitful for Jewelia Delarosa. Still, one lost boyfriend & two failed classes haven’t gotten her down. She’s got her sights set on a career with the NYPD, and is on course … until she meets an irresistible and unpredictable Med Student who contradicts everything she thought she knew about Life, Love, Commitment … and Sex.
Whether on the front seat of his Wrangler or his kitchen counter, her reserve is low, desire higher than the roof of the isolated A-frame in Maine where the two enjoy a weekend with friends, and take romance to the next level.
Who’ll be there to catch her when she’s falling Head Over Wheels?
(Victoria) As stated above, I’m working on book one of a paranormal sci fi romantic adventure. Book one is almost ready for final edit, pending release in June or July. My cover and video are ready. I’m chomping at the bit to reveal them. Creating covers early on is inspirational for me. Book one is more sci fi adventure than paranormal, as readers will come to know the characters, their situations, and the location. Book two will be more paranormal, as the teens find themselves in the thick of things, struggling for a way out. Book three will return to the sci fi angle. All three books contain romance. I’ve written tons of horror, thriller and romance. But sci fi is entirely new for me. And it was an accident. Books write themselves. It’s said to write what you know. Well … that didn’t happen in this case. These characters are taking me on a wild, new ride. What began as a YA romance, evolved into a paranormal, then sci fi adventure. Pushing the publish button on this one is going to be stressful. LOL
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Victoria) Love Dreams and Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. Head Over Wheels is in the Amazon KDP program. All are in paperback and are available in online stores and in my bookstore: Water Forest Press Books.http://waterforestpressbooks.miiduu.com/
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Victoria) I absolutely love feedback and encourage readers to contact me with questions, comments and requests. I can be reached at:
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Victoria) I would like to thank you, Kam, for this opportunity, and for helping to spread the word. It means a lot to me. Writing is the easy part. Marketing and Promoting are the hardest. Writers helping writers, the support we receive from one another, is a blessing.
I’d also like to thank my readers and fans who are the most important part of this fiction writer’s world. I write as January Valentine and Victoria Valentine. All of my books can be found by googling either name.
Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed our interview with Victoria Valentine/January Valentine. If you have any questions or comments for her, by all means, leave Victoria/January a message below. Thank you in advance for your visit!