PG-13 + M What’s Not True has several sex scenes and some bad language.
With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?
But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.
Though a standalone novel, What’s Not True is the sequel to What’s Not Said (September 15, 2020).
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.
Tell us about the WHAT’S NOT Series.
Currently, the series consists of two books—What’s Not Said (September 2020) and the recently-released sequel, What’s Not True. The series takes the reader on a journey with a middle-aged couple whose marriage has gone well beyond its expiration date. When Kassie, the wife, decides to escape with a younger gent she met in Venice, her husband’s unexpected illness derails her plans. Thus, she must decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own. Once that decision is made, Kassie switches her focus away from the two men in her life to her career, embracing a dream that she can have it all. Not so fast. A woman from her husband’s past has other ideas, forcing Kassie to fight for what is legally and rightfully hers.
I have made a commitment with my publisher for the third and final book in the series. Release date to be determined. But it’s coming!
What challenges did you face in writing a series?
I created What’s Not Said as a standalone novel. It was only after several early readers asked what was going to happen next in the story and to the characters was I motivated and inspired to write What’s Not True. Because I hadn’t planned to write the series originally, I had to go back to What’s Not Said and check some of the details, especially when describing the characters. I also read the first book again to be sure I maintained the character’s voices.
Needless to say, I was all in on the series by the time I was writing What’s Not True, and thus, I was able to lay some groundwork for book three.
On reflection now, I wonder what would’ve changed in What’s Not Said had I had the forethought to plan a series from the very start? We’ll never know!
What reactions/feedback are you receiving from readers?
One thing I’ve learned as a writer is that not everyone loves our books. But there are 85 million mature women in America who are looking to read characters they can relate to. So there is an immense audience out there even if the book isn’t for a handful of readers!
I’m gratified, though, that both What’s Not Said and What’s Not True are being well-received. As a series, conventional advice from readers is that people read What’s Not Said first, so they get to know the twist and turns of the plot and the motivations of the very flawed characters. Then, I’ve heard a number say that when they read What’s Not True, it’s like sitting down with your best friends and having coffee or a martini!
Most recently, I’ve discovered readers buy both books at the same time, especially because they’ve developed a reputation for being a fast read. Readers want the whole experience in a short period of time! I’m thrilled to have been able to give it to them!
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Between writing sessions, the story is always on my mind. I play out different scenarios of what comes next, so by the time I sit down to write, I’m off and running. So, I’d say writing energizes me and excites me. If you’ve seen Diane Keaton in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give, where she’s a screenwriter, the scenes where she’s jumping up with glee in her chair? That’s me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
One writing quirk I have is that I truly have conversations with my characters as their deeds flow through my mind and fingers onto the computer screen. I constantly ask, “What If?” In that way, they can take me down multiple paths until I, as the author, choose which is best for the story.
The other quirk I have surrounds jewelry. When I write, I can’t wear a watch, rings, or bracelets; but I must wear earrings. Now that’s a real quirk if I ever heard one!
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Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative.