This week’s featured author is Valerie Bowen, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about herself and her writing. So read on to find out more about Valerie, faeries, and even Amelia.
1. What was the inspiration for Faerie Wishes?
Wow that is a tough question. I wrote Faerie Wishes for a friends daughter. She never seemed to be happy with her life, so I took the old saying "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" and added a little twist to it. Everyone knows a human always wishes to be a faerie, but rarely do we hear of a faerie wishing to be human.
2. There are many legends and myths about the Fae. How much research did you do for this book, or did you create your own legends?
Actually there are more legends and myths about the fae than I care to mention. I did do a lot of research even down to the name Talia Saturnfrost. Although she wasn't designed after any particular myth, her image popped into my mind when I first decided to write this novel.
3. In the beginning, Talia is faced with making a wish to send her into the human world, or staying with her sisters. How did you come up with the rules for the wish granting?
The rules of the wish game was a rather easy idea. I simply decided the fae only knew a tree sprite could grant wishes. Juniper knew she was allotted only a certain amount of wishes before her life was over. I had to make a strong friendship bond between Talia and Juniper so the reader would understand the meaning of true friendship. I wanted the young adults to realize with a friend's love they could accomplish their dreams...but at what cost? Talia was a little naive as to Juniper's wish granting capabilities, she never stopped to think what her selfishness would do to her dear friend.
4. Cayden and Talia come from very different worlds. How did you balance their differences in the book?
I balanced them by making them both lonely and in need of love. Everyone in life craves the love of another. I needed to show the reader discrimination in our world is not acceptable by placing a fae with a human. This just shows we can't control who we fall in love with (a simple lesson for the real life humans to learn).
5. Talia's experience in the human world is more complicated than she expected. Can you describe your process of deciding what she would face? Do you plan everything out, or let the story develop as you write?
To tell you the truth, I imagined the fae realm to be quite different than the human realm. So in my mind I imagined how gravity would play out to a creature from a realm with little or no gravity. I just wrote what I imagined, and I think that particular chapter in the book was quite comical.
6. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
I have to admit when I'm writing there is little that distracts me. I have no rituals or interesting habits, although I do find my self easily distracted. I always write directly on a word document. With that said, I find myself searching the internet or procrastinating on social websites. I never put a time limit on my writing, when the ideas come into my head I put them on the computer screen.
7. Who are your favorite authors?
I would have to say one of my absolute favorite authors is Dianna Gabaldon. I love the way she brings her characters to life. I think reading her books gave me insight as far as describing people and landscapes. Another favorite author is Karen Marin Moning. she also has a way of pulling the reader into a time long past..
8. Your other books are quite different from Faerie Wishes. What genre do you feel is your niche? Or do you see yourself as a multi-genre writer?
I have often wondered that myself. The Amelia series was my first attempt at writing, and I must say I have received many compliments from the readers. I never thought for a moment that I could write a novel geared specifically for young adults. I think my actual niche is leaning more toward the thrill of the kill. I have been writing a series about a psychotic killer and have found myself engrossed in the madness. I know it probably sounds a bit warped, but I found it was exciting to write a great murder scene.
9. Can you tell us a little about your publishing experience?
My publishing experience has been quite easy. It all came about with a post on Facebook. I said, "I had to go to do some writing" well one thing lead to another and a contact asked me if he could read my novel. So I sent For the Sake of Amelia Tormented to him and he read the entire book in one day. He then asked if his wife could read it...well to make a long story short she put me in contact with an indie writer that gave me some answers to my questions. You have to understand at this point, I had never heard of indie writers, let alone self publishing. After much research I decided to publish on smashwords which in turn I decided it was easy enough, so I published on amazon and Barnes. The paperback was a bit tougher to comprehend, I wanted to do everything myself. I chose lulu for the pod and asked a friend to design the cover from a photo I had taken while vacationing in Camden, Maine. I have to say if your willing to do the work yourself, it won't cost a dime for you to bring your novels to the hands of the reader.
Since the time of the Amelia series, I discovered a better way of getting my novels out to the brick and mortar bookstores. I investigated how to purchase my own ISBN number so the entire book and the publishing rights would belong to only me...the writer. Although Lulu and Create Space will assign an ISBN the actual number doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the company who provided the number. So in reality, you may have self published the book, but the actual distribution and printing rights belongs to the company who gave the ISBN to you. To make another long story short, I purchased my ISBN's from Bowker...now my novels the have my ISBN's can be distributed through Ingram books and they can be ordered by libraries as well as the brick and mortar book stores. I also want to add, now that my novels have my own numbers purchased from Bowker, they are in the Library of Congress (this is done at the time you assign the book a number). With a Lulu or Create Space number you don't own the rights to place your novels in the Library of Congress (just something to think about).
10. Can you tell us a little more about the Amelia series?
The Amelia series is a story about a woman who had been brutally abused by her ex-husband and her determination to take back her life and to stop living in fear. Although in the novel Amelia was brutally whipped, I tried to get the message out to anyone that has suffered abuse in their lives no matter how slight or evil, there are always people willing to help you get away from a potentially harmful situation. In the story, Amelia's ex-husband makes a vow in the courtroom to finish the job he started as soon as he's released from prison. Amelia decides to move from her home in Kansas to a place she thought her ex could never find her. As the story progresses she falls in love with a man that is more than willing to protect her for her abusive past only to realize the ex has hired someone to do the evil deed for him. The Amelia series is a roller coaster ride of emotions as the reader is pulled into the loving and terrifying world of Amelia's. Throughout the series you see Amelia go from a strong woman to a terrified person that can't be alone. By series end she comes out a stronger person, taking back everything that the men in her past had taken from her.