Writer Wednesday: Interview with Serenity Valle

NavyFaceNameToday I continue my Writer Wednesday interviews by welcoming author Serenity Valle to my blog!

Serenity began writing short stories when she was 7 years old. She illustrated these stories as well, even though now she admits she can’t draw. Her parents would buy her extra school notebooks to write her stories in and her favourite place to write was under the carport during a rainstorm. She would sit at the picnic table and write for hours during summer storms. While still in high school, Serenity had nearly finished writing a full length novel. Unfortunately, the notebook fell out of her backpack during her Junior year (she believes on the bus) and was never found. Devastated, she turned from writing and threw herself into drama. For many years she participated in school musicals and community theater. She even had a very small (uncredited) part in the 2001 Tim Burton film “Planet of the Apes”. She did get to meet Burton though and said he was “eccentric but very nice”. She also did some modeling in the past few years and continues to pursue that venue as well.

During this time she began writing again for an online RPG game based on the show “La Femme Nikita” (one of her favourite shows of all time). Slowly, she began to have ideas for her own stories again but always found that the middle of the story was missing. She wrote the beginning and left it until her block was defeated. Just recently, Serenity started writing again full force and has recently published her first book, an anthology of short stories. She has completed a companion novella to the book and is currently writing a paranormal mystery romance series.

Serenity & Then Some: Serenity is the wife of an author. She is mum to 3 boys, currently aged 20, 16 and 20 months. Serenity graduated from Cerro Coso Community College in 2002 with two Associates Degrees in Social Sciences and Humanities, then went on to graduate in 2005 from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Latin American/Latino Studies. She is a proud Banana Slug and a proud sister of Sigma Pi Alpha Sorority. In the little free time she has between family and writing, she enjoys gardening, reading, crafting things, henna art, and watching such shows as “Burn Notice”, “Covert Affairs”, “Warehouse 13″, “Law & Order SVU”, “Touch”, “Kitchen Nightmares” and others.

Please tell us more about yourself, anything you like- interests, background…

I am very eclectic in my tastes, I love many kinds of music, books and movies, I love writing, coffee, cooking, Indian food, gardening, walks, singing to my wee man, acting, modeling, henna, and a ton of other things. As for my background, ethnically I am Calo (Gypsy), Zacateco (from Mexico), Scottish and Lakota. I grew up in IL, and have lived in CA, WV and VA. I went to junior college and University (Go Banana Slugs! <3) in CA and have AA’s in Social Sciences and Humanities and BA in Psychology with a minor in Latin American/Latino Studies. My dream as a youngster was to be a P.I., I still want to do that!
Please tell us more about the book or books you would like to feature today.

My first book-The Fantastical Life of Serenity is a collection of short stories about what could be… but not quite is. All of the stories revolve around a girl named Serenity. The scenes and circumstances change, then it all comes together at the end. I released this book on 2 July, 2013.

Fantastical Cover Web

What gave you the idea to write in this genre?

I’ve actually been writing short stories since I was 7. Over the years I lost many of them…I had them in notebooks and on old computers that crashed with no way to retrieve what was on them. I wouldn’t say short story fiction is my main genre, my next book is a contemporary romance and the one I’m working on now is a paranormal mystery with a bit of romance. I guess my writing is as eclectic as I am!

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect with?

Well, there sort of is… but I’m leaving it to be figured out by the readers of my first and second books. I don’t want to give it away before the second book even comes out. *wink*

What research did you do, and how? Or does it all come from your own imagination?

I do a lot of research. I make my books as accurate as possible, even down to the day of the week. For example, one of my short stories in Fantastical takes place in the 40’s and 50’s and I made sure the dates had the correct day of the week associated with them. I do other, more in-depth research as well. My current WIP is pretty research heavy.

What’s the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve done when doing research for your book?

I don’t think I’ve done anything funny or weird yet, but I wouldn’t put it past myself to do something funny/weird in the future.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

All the time!

Do you make a plan for your novels, or do you just start writing and see where it goes?

I wouldn’t say I make plans, though I do keep a running list of ideas. I more just type and see what happens.

Which of your own books/ characters is your favourite and why?

Oh…I don’t think I could answer that! I have a couple of favourites, Serenity (especially from The Music in Me and Bottled Water), Jacques from Serenity & Captain Jack and a couple of others from my new books.

What has been the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received as a writer?

Don’t give up!

What books or other projects do you have coming up in future?

I have a companion novella to Fantastical in the edit stage and my paranormal mystery romance is actually the first in a five book series. I have plans also for another series, but I’m staying mum on that one for now, just wait until you see!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

Buy my book! No seriously, writers get nowhere without readers…take a chance on an author you’ve never heard of, you just might find a gem!

My book is coming soon to paperback and currently available for eReaders here:
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1jpIDqv




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