Interview with Vallory Vance

Published 2013-09-12.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Mississippi and attended Catholic school from 1st through 12th grade.

Does this influence my writing? Yes, it does.

The language of my work is very Southern and I'm not talking about the characters saying 'y'all'. There is a sweetness to my erotic romances that comes from the way in which I was raised to speak. I learned fairly early on that "Bless your heart." could be the same as, "F*** you!" It's just nicer to say it the first way.

But I was bored out of mind in Mississippi and moved to New Orleans for college. I often say that I was born in New Orleans. The music, the food, the people and the language shaped the woman I am today.

Does this influence my writing? Yes, it does.

My experiences in New Orleans made me bold enough to attempt self publishing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Not only Deja Vu, but the entire Rose Gold Collection was inspired by a real life event.

I was on the train into work the day before Valentine's Day. Seated in front of me is an older White man maybe in his early sixties. I notice him because as I walk by, his briefcase is on the seat next to him and I had to sit behind him. How rude is he?

Anyway just as the train is about to depart, an older African-American woman gets on.

Well, now the man moves his bag saying, "Didn't expect to see you this morning."

"Oh, I had to go downtown today," she says and sits next to him.

I'm reading but I'm listening to their conversation at the same time. They talk about their grandchildren, senior events in our north Texas town and then this...

"Did you have a chance to try that recipe I gave you?" he asked.

"I did. I'll have to make it for you one day."

"Well what are you doing tomorrow?"

"Hmm," The lady next to me and I grunt at the same time. Then we look at each other and giggle for our blatant eavesdropping.

So the idea of romance at any age was born. I opened the journal app on my tablet and began writing. There was Darcey, approaching thirty and already outpacing her senior sales manager for generating new business. There was Lenore, in her forties with two college daughters and ready to start a new life. And there is Catalina, a recent college grad facing life on her own for the first time.

It's been fun finding love for these three.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I turned forty and realized I couldn't wait to be deemed worthy by a traditional publishing house. If my dreams of being a writer were going to come true, then I needed to do something about it. I'm pleased to see so many authors self-publishing and following the lead of indie musicians and indie filmmakers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I received my first acknowledged fan and first review on Smashwords! This is a great place to start, but you have to work at success and I'm not there yet.
What do your fans mean to you?
Honestly, I'm so surprised and awed that I have them.

There have been several times that I've felt I wasn't good enough to continue in this writing journey and someone will post to my Facebook wall or send an email saying they've enjoyed my work. That means the world to me and I forge ahead to my next piece.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a mom of a teen, a tween and a toddler so you can find me sitting outside of a movie theater waiting for a group date to end, at a Girl Scout meeting or in Mickie D's on a play date. I'm also a genealogy addict so I'm often in the library pouring over microfilm (yes, it still exists). I have a hubby that I sometimes get to spend about ten minutes alone with, every now and again.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have tagged my favorite authors using either Facebook and Twitter so I know when their new releases come out. I also have a great group of friends and trust their recommendations on what to read next.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I sure do and boy did it get me in trouble. I wrote a story about a girl who ran away from home because her parents didn't let her go to a sleepover. The parents were so upset that they couldn't stop crying. The father lost his job and the mom couldn't cook another meal so they starved. If you couldn't guess, it was the memoirs of a ten year old who hadn't gotten her way.

My mom found the story and I was lectured about the parent -child relationship for an hour.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is important for the sale of a book. I want to say that first because as a new writer I didn't know that. A professionally designed cover is best and Smashwords has a list of designers willing to work with you at reasonable prices. There are also pre-made covers available from a variety of sites for even lower amounts. That being said, I have had to design my own covers due to budget concerns.

Whether my own design or a professional one, I try to capture an aspect of the book. I write erotic romance so I want it to be sexy but not over the top. I tend to choose photos where the male and female aren't actually posing together.

Of course, my 2012 Swirl Award for Best Cover (In the Moment) was of a couple posing together. So what do I know?
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Okay, here goes...Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King.

Now on to the why? I can't say. They touched and moved me as a person.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a romantic short that I hope to have published by the end of the year.

Right now 2014 is solely dedicated to finishing The Rose Gold Collection.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Déjà Vu
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,450. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
One week has passed since Darcey St. Claire, a sales manager for a posh French Quarter hotel, broke the cardinal rule of hotel sales - you don't sleep with your client. And against her better judgment, she takes the former quarterback up on his offer for a real date to take place over the weekend. One date turns into more than Darcey and Vincent expected and changes the course of the their lives.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,650. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Darcey St. Claire is thrilled to be working on New Year's Eve until she meets her arrogant client, Vincent Guidry face to face. And then, she can't reach the front doors of her favorite getaway fast enough. But Vincent has his own plans for ringing in the New Year with the feisty sales manager and neither her ire nor her age will deter him.
A Night at the Wesley
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,640. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
In this short story, Connie Atkinson's plans for a luxurious post-divorce spa vacation are derailed by a freak snow storm. Forced to spend the night in the lackluster Wesley Hotel, her evening suddenly becomes interesting with the appearance of her former college study partner who offers her a salaciously named cocktail.
After Party
Price: Free! Words: 2,720. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Erotica » Interracial
(4.25 from 4 reviews)
Leslie Weir describes her husband as a solid columnar mass of a man who once provided her with mind blowing experiences. Since the birth of their son, he has become the most gentle of lovers and Leslie has grown tired of his carefulness. In a night of gentle teasing, she hopes to reignite his passion.
In The Moment
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,900. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Interracial, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
(3.33 from 3 reviews)
When Amber Grayson meets Kevin Miller, the handsome renovator, it's as if the cowboy from her fantasies has materialized. Kevin is more than willing to play the part in any fantasy the towering Beauty can dream up as long as he can get her out of her conservative black suit.