Interview with Valerie Baber

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I've lived in six states and three countries, which has always made the question,"where is home," almost impossible to answer. However, I did spend 15 of my formative years in Oklahoma. The experiences that most influenced my writing were had in New York and California, though. Some of them took place in London.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing nearly as soon as I was out of the womb. My grandmother encouraged me to keep a diary somewhere around the time I was 6. This began a lifelong habit of experimentation with styles and genres. As a teenager, I was more interested in staying up late to type poetry than any other activity that most kids my age might have been partaking in. Don't get me wrong. I still managed to find time to cause trouble. I did plenty of that. I preferred poetry, though.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Notorious VIP: Confessions of an Emperor's Club Companion, was originally written in 2008 after then Governor Eliot Spitzer was busted with the high-end escort ring. I had been working as a paid companion with the agency for 9 months when I was summoned by the FBI. The experience was life-altering for me and I felt a need to share what I had taken from it.

A lot of people might have questions about what really happens in this industry, or what drives a woman to working in adult entertainment. This will answer those questions. Also, couples may benefit from understanding what I learned from married men who confided their secrets, desires and relationship disappointments to me. In order to make positive and much needed changes, people need to be aware of the faults in the American culture (and it's legal system). I address some of those issues. Finally, among all these serious messages, this is quite a titillating, sexy, surreal story to dig into.

I had this manuscript locked away for a while, but having finally developed absolute confidence in my ability to make a difference by "coming out," I decided to brush the dust off the copy of a very personal story and release it to the public.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Actually, I communicated with several traditional agents and publishers, but one can only be told to wait for so long. This story needs to be told while it's still relevant, while it can still make a difference, and while I am still able to discuss it vividly and passionately. It took several years of digital publication research and discussions with other authors to decide whether the indie path was the right path fo rme. At this point, I'm really excited about doing things on my own. I love to learn and the indie process will help me become a wiser publisher.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped me take control and tell the story I want to tell the way I feel it should be told.
What is your writing process?
I wish I could say I have an established writing process, but I can't. I'm not the boss of my work, it's the boss of me. I know that I feel compelled to begin a piece by emotions and that once I'm on a roll, I do all that I can to avoid distractions and stay there. I can also say that I'm generally a morning person. Mornings give me a burst of creative energy that is tremendously productive. It's only been like that since my late 20's, though, and I still occasionally find myself staying up until late to do another edit or jotting penciled notes in my Moleskine during mid-day public commutes.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I write because I don't know how not to. I feel and I think - deeply. Nothing helps me channel my spirits, all of my agony and ardor, more than the creation of stories. I love words. Words are life.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's not "fans" I want as much as I desire to make connections. I want readers. I want to know that others feel there is something to be taken from the stories I've put my heart into sharing. If I can inspire someone, make them curious, help them feel, help them understand, give them something to smile about, or perhaps to contemplate, then I would feel truly accomplished. If there were nobody else in the world, I would still write, but knowing that there are others who want to read my words, and therefore, share my life with me, is a beautiful thing and an incredible honor.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I'm traveling, or working on some other creative endeavor, or taking a class of some sort. I'm an education addict and passport stamp collector. I'm also a creative in general. I never get bored. There's always something to discover or make. There's always something to grow and learn from.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I get out of bed each day because I have an insatiable curiosity to know what comes next.
What are you working on next?
I'm not done confessing yet.
Published 2014-07-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.