Interview with Val Wineyard

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
All I can remember is my school teacher telling my mother; "That girl swallows books she reads so fast."
How do you approach cover design?
A stunning picture with simple wording, go by instinct and don't follow fashion.
What do you read for pleasure?
Historical novels, late at night, a glass of wine by my side.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media and blogging, definitely. One has to have a presence in the virtual world, with a picture that sums up your personality.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the services, so I grew up everywhere. At one time my friends used to say; "If the phone's engaged she's in England, if the answer machine is on, she's in France." But since I came to the south of France to live, I've never been further north than Angoulême.
When did you first start writing?
My first year at school, writing captions under pictures of animals. I've always loved animals.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In this part of France, English speaking people, residents and tourists, are fascinated by the story of Mary Magdalene. Yet they know nothing about the woman I believe was Mary's friend, Claudia Procula. So I did some research - and voila!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Two things. Most of what I wrote about the south of France was for a small market, some would say a cult market, the mainstream publishers wouldn't have made enough out of that. I'd had enough lay-out experience working on magazines to have a go. The trick is to keep it simple, no singing and dancing - like housework, good design should be invisible. Secondly, I'm an impatient person and got fed-up with waiting three months for an answer to the simplest e-mail.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I don't know. It's not always joyful, it's jolly hard work. You know the saying, 1% inspiration, 99% hard labour? It's like that. But it is still a thrill when the books come from the printer, and I see them on sale in local shops.
What are you working on next?
Something completely different - a book about the fate of the Visigothic Treasure that was hidden in Languedoc when it was Septimanie, the Visigothic kingdom.
Who are your favorite authors?
As regards novels, ones who can plot, sub-plot, and then tie up the loose ends. As regards non-fiction, alternative historians such as Michael Baigent who has recently died, sadly. His book on the Dead Sea Scrolls Deception is incredible.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Socialising. Trips to Roman Narbonne with archeologists. Village fêtes.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. I remember the first poem, about mist turning the world into a wonderland. My mother hid it in the grandfather clock for posterity.
What is your writing process?
I have so many ideas for books, I keep them in a list, and update them when new info comes in. Thus I often finish two books at the same time! Otherwise, I sit at the computer, do all the business stuff and e-mails first, then write and do lay-outs.
Describe your desk
It's big. It's dusty. It's by the window so I have a nice view when inspiration fails. I know that view off by heart. I get most inspiration when I'm doing Sudokos and scribble notes in the margin. These notes are piled up on the desk awaiting incorporation in half-written books. On the wall behind the computer is a map of Europe.
Published 2015-06-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Rennes-le-Château My Take 2015
Price: $3.45 $2.59 USD. (25% off!) Words: 32,400. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
Mysterious Rennes-le-Château is in south-west France. Those who know give "their take" on the mysterious village and its region in this book, Articles were collected and edited by Val Wineyard.
Claudia Procula Wife of Pontius Pilate Friend of Mary Magdalene
Price: $3.90 $2.92 USD. (25% off!) Words: 17,250. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Historical biography
The book is a brief historical biography of Claudia Procula, the Roman Princess who married Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect of Judea who judged Jesus Christ and crucified him. Claudia knew Jesus and tried to save him, and later converted her Roman husband.