About Valerie Douglas:
My novels reflect my eclectic tastes, I’m a fan of almost every genre I write high, heroic, classic and historical fantasy, political thrillers and romance. All of my novels reflect the entire human experience, with deep friendships, romance that reflects all the facets – the love and the passion – and villains you can understand yet still hate what they do.
As V.J. Devereaux, I also write erotic contemporary and paranormal romance.
Happily married to the best husband in the world, I’m companion to two coonhounds, three beloved cats, and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from the safety of his tank.
What inspires you to write?
Everything! My epic fantasy series came from a scene I saw in my head – it was intended as the end, until I went back to the beginning, by the time I finished it was the key scene, but not quite the end. One standalone story was inspired by a statue, while my historical fantasy series was triggered by something I read and my love of the Egyptian Gods. Another series, romances, came from my own personal experiences – I had made a trip to Ireland and wanted to write about that. The friendships described in that was the genesis of the others.<br />
Oddly, the political thriller I wrote was inspired by the same statue that gave birth to the standalone fantasy, but in an entirely different genre.
<p>(*grins* The erotic romances were just fun to write.)
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a die-hard pantser – I write by the seat of my pants. I see a scene – it doesn’t matter whether it’s the beginning or the end or somewhere in the middle – and I start writing. As I write it’s as if I’m in the story, a participant as much as an observer, witnessing what’s happening. The first draft of my epic fantasy was written in a sprint, something like 72 hours, non-stop, from beginning to end. By the time it ended it had gone in directions I never anticipated, and I had gotten to know the characters in entirely new ways. For me, that’s the fun of writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, they talk to me and I listen. Sometimes, if I’m stuck, I talk to them in my head, and they tell me where I need to go.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find your process – whether pantser or plotter. Don’t listen to anyone else. Just do what works for you and write. As Neil Gaiman says, “The one thing that no one else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision, so write and draw and build and play as only you can.” No one else can tell the story your way.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried traditional publishing. I did the query letter thing, collected rejections, went to conventions and met a small press editor/publisher who indicated interest in one of my books. That didn’t happen but after looking at their website I wrote two stories more in line with their others – and both got accepted. I was thrilled. At least until I learned a bit more about the industry – how little control the writer had over their work, how much the publisher kept as opposed to what the writer received, and how much marketing a writer was still expected to do.<br />
That’s when I decided to try self-publishing. And I haven’t looked back.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think there is a new paradigm. There will be a place for both self-published and traditional publishing. In many cases, self-published books are easily as good or as bad as traditionally published. Traditional publishing is no more of a guarantee of quality than some self-published novels. (A few really bad traditionally published books that come quickly to mind.) There are some traditional publishers who do focus on good unique novels and some of those they’ve found among the self-published.
Change and challenge to the status quo can only help the industry grow.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Thrillers, Romance, Horror
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.