Author Spotlight: Serenity Valle
Serenity began writing short stories when she was 7 years old. She illustrated these stories as well, even though now she admits she can’t draw. Her parents would buy her extra school notebooks to write her stories in and her favourite place to write was under the carport during a rainstorm. She would sit at the picnic table and write for hours during summer storms. While still in high school, Serenity had nearly finished writing a full length novel. Unfortunately, the notebook fell out of her backpack during her Junior year (she believes on the bus) and was never found. Devastated, she turned from writing and threw herself into drama. For many years she participated in school musicals and community theater. She even had a very small (uncredited) part in the 2001 Tim Burton film “Planet of the Apes”. She did get to meet Burton though and said he was “eccentric but very nice”. She also did some modeling in the past few years and continues to pursue that venue as well.
During this time she began writing again for an online RPG game based on the show “La Femme Nikita” (one of her favourite shows of all time). Slowly, she began to have ideas for her own stories again but always found that the middle of the story was missing. She wrote the beginning and left it until her block was defeated. In 2013, Serenity started writing again full force.
Serenity is the wife of an author. She is mum to 3 boys, currently aged 21, 17 and 2. Serenity graduated from Cerro Coso Community College in 2002 with two Associates Degrees in Social Sciences and Humanities, then went on to graduate in 2005 from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Latin American/Latino Studies. She is a proud Banana Slug and a proud sister of Sigma Pi Alpha Sorority. In the little free time she has between family and writing, she enjoys gardening, reading, crafting things, henna art, and watching such shows as “Burn Notice”, “Covert Affairs”, “Warehouse 13″, “Law & Order SVU”, “Touch”, “Kitchen Nightmares” and others.
1. Briefly tell us about the book(s) you have published. Happily! My first book is “The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories about what could be… but not quite is”. It is a contemporary fiction collection, novel length, with five short stories revolving around a young woman named Serenity. The stories all tie in together, but I don’t want to give too much away. I’ve gotten great reviews on it, so I do recommend it to everyone who likes a fun read! My second book is “The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue”. This one is a companion novella to the first book and is a contemporary romance. Wonder what happened to Serenity after the events of the first book? THIS book tells all! Epilogue also has been highly rated by reviewers. My upcoming book is one I am super excited about! Acquittal is a paranormal mystery/crime novel, the first in a series of five. Krizi and Kenzie are college students who get thrust into the middle of a missing persons investigation. During this time, they meet a spirit with another mystery for them! There is mystery, culture, crushes, fun, action, scary parts and best of all funny catch phrases! Ok, maybe not *best* of all, but I do so love a good catch phrase (and puns… I love puns!)
2. What motivated you to write your book(s)? I’ve been writing since I was a young girl, however, I’d only ever had one poem published in an anthology prior to the first Fantastical book. My husband is also an author and it was his writing of his book that motivated me to rework some short stories I had started on a few years ago. The first Fantastical book came from those and then all of a sudden I just couldn’t stop typing!
3. What do you think your book(s) offer to your readers? Fun, escape, among other things. guess it depends on which book is being read. My first and second books were similar to one another, but the third is a completely different genre, so it offers different things.
4. Who is your favorite character from your book (s)? Why? Uh… blank stare. I truly don’t think I can answer that. I like many of them. Most of my main characters are based on people that I care about, so it is hard to pick!
5. Do you prefer pen/paper or the computer when you write? I use the computer, though I keep paper on me at all times in case I get an idea to write down. When I started writing, we didn’t have computers in every home, so I used to write everything on paper. Frankly, I type faster than I write so typing works for me.
6. What do you do to get yourself to focus when you’re writing a scene? (music, location, etc) No music! I love to sing and if I play music while I write, I will start singing. I’ve caught myself typing lyrics in the middle of a scene, so I’ve had to stop listening to music. I will listen to a song prior to writing if it fits a scene, to give me ideas on where to go with it, but turn it off before I start writing. I must have coffee by my side and that’s pretty much it. I have a toddler, so focusing isn’t necessarily something I can do for long periods of time anyway.
7. Do you prefer reality or fantasy? I like a balance of both. I use real world events in my books, even if they are supernatural or fantasy.
8. Who are your favorite authors? Maggie Shayne, Annette Blair, Anne Rice, M. Jet.
9. Out of all of the books you’ve read, which books have “stuck” with you? The Outsiders, The Witching Hour, I don’t know… I’ve read so many books in my life, there are some I still think about but don’t even remember the titles!
10. What type of advice would you give other indie authors? Network! Get to know people. Word of mouth is our best PR, so put yourself out there and GO!
11. Have you had any regrets regarding this writing/publishing/marketing process? Is there anything you would do different? No. While I might consider going with a publisher, if contacted, I would have to think about it. I love having complete control over my books.
12. Since you started this journey in writing, what are some positives and some negatives you’ve encountered? I’ll start with the negatives. It is hard to get your name out there. Hours must be spent to get people aware of you. It’s rough to do it all yourself and is great when one has friends to help. Everything else I see as a positive.
13. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I like to watch movies with my toddler, garden, sing, act, hang out with my teen and do henna art.
14. Tell us your most memorable or proudest moment. Having my kids, marrying my soulmate, and my first 5 star review!
15. Tell us something interesting about you that your readers may not know. I am part Calo, which is a branch of the Romani people. Many people call Romani “Gypsies”.
16. Finally, if you could say something to your readers, what would it be? Without you, I get nowhere. I appreciate each and every one of you! Read my books, tell your friends, I’ll never forget it! ❤
Links to buy!
Autographed paperback: http://serenityvalleauthor.wordpress.com/autographed-copies/
Thank you for being our guest today, Serenity. We wish you all the best.