Interview with Valerie

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington in 1945. This was during a time when abuse was NEVER talked about and considered a family problem. My family refused to acknowledge the abuse, allowing it to continue. My mother turned a blind eye to the problem and I was left to raise myself. Realizing I was a child raising a child continues to amaze me. The fact that I survived to write a book about it, surprises me even more.
When did you first start writing?
Two weeks after my mother's death in May of 2004. She wanted me to write my story but the terrible relationship we had prevented me from agreeing to her request. I told her I could never write a book about my childhood because I would have to portray her as the terrible mother that she was. She laughed and said, "I was a terrible mother, so get over it." I eventually agreed to write the book, but only after she passed away. She passed away the day I agreed to write the book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is my autobiography. But I like to think of it as a love story between a mother and daughter.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Learning that I could write was both the greatest joy and biggest surprise. Receiving positive feedback has to be the best part of writing for me.
What do your fans mean to you?
I began writing on a website and made many friends of people who love writing. I have made so many friends that have helped me with my writing that I could never list them all here. I have been a member of FanStory since 2008 and continue to use it as a sounding board for my writing.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a series of short stories about living in Mexico. Most are humorous and should provide a lot of helpful information for anyone brave enough to consider moving to a foreign country.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The sunlight shining through my bedroom window.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. I love to read.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of my friends are writers and I read their books and I also just search a subject I am interested in and find an ebook that way.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it became the first chapter of my book, Celebrate the Dandelions. It is called The Big Red Rooster.
What is your writing process?
An idea will pop into my head or I have an interesting experience and feel the need to write about it. Sometimes I write it out in long hand, but usually I just sit down at the computer and start writing. I edit and re-edit a lot and when satisfied, publish it on my writing website.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I didn't learn how to read until the seventh grade. I had dyslexia and didn't know it. The first story I read was about a baby deer that had lost his mother. To this day, it is the best story I have ever read.
How do you approach cover design?
As a painter you would think I would paint my own, but that has not been the case. I occasionally just pick one from the site or purchase one from an artist.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Crime and Punishment, I just love Dostoyevsky. A Tangled Past, Margaret Snowdon, probably one of the best new writers I know of. Aliza, Margaret Snowdon, for the same reason, Don Quixote, reason is obvious, The Count of Monte Cristo, just love the tension and intrigue in this one. I have to add, The Hunchback of Notre Dame..who doesn't love this one? Dean Kuch is one of my favorite new writers. His ability to write horror in such an entertaining way is mesmerizing. I would recommend him to everyone.
What do you read for pleasure?
I spend a lot of time my my favorite writing site, FanStory and read a tremendous amount of books and poetry there.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I currently use a Kindle that I had installed on my computer. If I sell a lot of books, or win the lottery, I plan to buy one I can carry around with me.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you? So, I guess my answer would have
This is something I am completely new at and still have a lot to learn about marketing. So, I guess my answer would have to be so far, I have no marketing techniques.
Describe your desk
I don't really have a desk. Just a place for my computer, a couple of pads of paper and a small space for my coffee cup.
Published 2015-04-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Celebrate the Dandelions
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 93,830. Language: American English. Published: March 30, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Abuse / general
Celebrate the Dandelions is written from the POV of the child as the abuse occurs, not from the therapist's couch thirty years later. The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions as she deals with the abuse and her family's refusal to acknowledge it. Diagnosed with PTSD she gets the help she has been looking for only to learn she has breast cancer. Material suitable for young adults.