Interview with Audrey Valiant

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about a sword fish having an identity crisis. He ended up getting a job as a toothpick and living happily ever after. This coming from a six year old is deep stuff.
What is your writing process?
Typically I dabble with free writing - but only once I've done some outlining and research. If I get writers block, I write a book cover blurb, and from that I can turn it into a synopsis. The newest technique from there has me running the synopsis through story structure rules, to see if I'm following them. The story is so much easier to write after that.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first novel I ever read was The Littles, which was about mice-like little people that live in a wall. It was so vivid in my imagination that from there I couldn't put down books.
How do you approach cover design?
That's a tough question. At first it was "what image sticks in my mind" after I'm done writing/editing a story. Then it switched to what symbolizes my writing and stories the best. I've reduced that to a theme, and now, as of Beautiful Stranger, we're exploring that.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love all genres of books provided the writer is skilled in strong story and well fleshed out characters. It's really all about those two things in the end. From old Stephen King to Jennifer Crusie, to recently KA Tucker.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't own one, and refuse to on principal. I love paper books. The feel, the smell, the look. But in a pinch we use the Audible Ap and the Kindle Ap. They both drive me crazy, but sometimes you don't have the real thing and this will have to do.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I hate it when people advertise "hey heres my stories" every single minute of the day. I think it speaks louder to do that once every couple of months, and do something else that gets public notice, like blog, tweet, Facebook. If you reel people in that way you're bound to get more views. Also, sharing what you do with the correct circles of friends tends to avalanche into more and more readers.
Describe your desk
I use two locations: my front room and my office. In my front room I sit on my couch, staring outside through a large picture window, pillow on my lap, reaching over my cat as I work on my lap top. In my office I have a beautiful lady like table that, when used, is void of anything but notes and reference tools. In the corner above that are writing craft books and genre reads I'm currently plowing through. This desk faces a wall with cork boards on it. The cork boards are used for reminding me to do things. Also, if story structure isn't working I use them to plot out the story until I can see what the problem is. Usually there's a glass of water near by.
When did you first start writing?
When I was six years old I wrote a piece for the local newspaper's mothers' day contest. I won, and I've been addicted ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
People have been asking me to write erotica in long form for about a year now, since my sex scenes are so vivid. I went on vacation and let my mind wander everywhere we went, trying to fulfill these readers wishes. I got nothing. Ultimately it was a free write that brought to life the story I'm writing right now. I've deduced that I can't write straight out erotica for the sake of erotica. I have to write using story structure rules and with vivid characters.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Without Smashwords I wouldn't have had the privilege of sharing my shorts with you guys. Sharing on a blog never felt right for me. I like the format, the comfort of the tiny piece of paper in the front of the story wagging fingers at anyone who would want to steel my work.
Published 2014-12-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Beautiful Stranger
Price: Free! Words: 4,050. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
Beautiful Stranger is a short erotica piece: Ever wonder what would happen if a stranger caught you in a compromising position? Colette learns the hard way just how naughty she can be.
Half Past One
Price: Free! Words: 4,510. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A short story with a Twilight Zone of yesteryear feel. A nuclear explosion leaves a group of people scrabbling for survival. How they cope is anything but expected.