Author Highlight * Vera Valentine

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

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Q & A with Vera Valentine

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how [you] became an author?

I'm a self-taught copywriter, and until this summer, most of my writing was relegated to landing pages and product descriptions. I got myself a Kindle for black friday in 2020 - we were all quarantining and I was bored! I stumbled across a paranormal reverse harem title during my kindle unlimited trial and loved it. Had no idea stuff like that existed! In Spring of 2021, I started voraciously reading any PRH I could get my hands on, and about 150-ish titles in, I came across Kathryn Moon's work. I fell head-over-heels for her storytelling, and decided I wanted to make people *feel* too! I sat down and started work on Stowaway and Silent Song in early June 2021, and had it finished and out by early September. While it wasn't *completely* ignored, I wouldn't have called it a rousing success, either. By then I was also halfway through writing what will be Throneless Kings, the next in the series, but I had a plot bunny nipping at me. That bunny would become Carnal Cryptids: East Coast, which I started and finished inside a month - the story came much more easily to me than my first book. I joke it's my midlife crisis novel because I started it the night before my 39th birthday.

Now I've got those two books out, Regret and Redemption: A Carnal Cryptids Short (I call it "Book 1.5" but it's a novella), and an absolutely ridiculous Thanksgiving / Christmas dinner-themed smut short called Back for Seconds: A Reverse Harem Feast that I co-wrote with J.L. Logosz. She's a new author too, and put herself on the map by infamously writing a sensual short about a flaming Christmas tree safety skeleton PSA that, somehow, she got express approval from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to write. My 2nd installment (and third title) in the Carnal Cryptids series, Carnal Cryptids 2: Southeast, is debuting on or before December 31st this year. What is your writing process like? Calling it a "process" is probably wildly generous. Generally, I'll pop open my chromebook, make sure I have 2 or 3 bottles of water nearby, sip on some coffee, eat some crunchy snacks (shoutout to wasabi peas) and just type away. I am apparently something called a pantser, which I legitimately just thought was some kind of low-key British insult until another writer gently pulled me aside and explained things to me. I sit and listen to the story tell itself in my head, and get it down on screen. Sometimes it cooperates, sometimes it doesn't - if it's being fussy, I just wander around social media for a while. What do you like to do when you are not writing? I love to read, obviously, and sometimes I'll grab my round knitting looms and make a bunch of baby hats while I binge Netflix. I build up a little stockpile and bring them over to my local NICU for all the itty-bitty babies so they don't get cold. Can't free-knit or crochet for beans, but the looms make it pretty easy, kind of zen-like. How do you celebrate when you are finished writing a book? Usually by manically yelling in all caps on Twitter about it for a few hours, then immediately jumping into writing my next one. How do you celebrate when one of your books is released? I hug my husband, then call my parents and try to see how many euphemisms I can fit into a single conversation so I don't have to actually tell them what I wrote. What is the most challenging part of writing? Not overwriting the comfortable, slice-of-life type scenes. Honestly, the sex scenes are a -lot- of fun, but where they're just chilling, cuddling, joking around? Those are really nice. I want to linger in those. What part of writing is the most fun for you? Figuring out how to weave everything together. It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle and you've got these two big swaths of the picture all nicely put together, but nothing joining them. THEN you find that one weirdly-shaped little piece and bam: you've got a gorgeous, continuous narrative out of nowhere. Those moments are phenomenal. What authors or other books have inspired you to write? As I mentioned, Kathryn Moon kind of kicked the whole thing off for me, but I'd be remiss not to mention my monstersmut pal Beatrix Hollow as a huge influence for my diving into boys with a lil somethin extra going on. Lillian Lark, C.M. Nascosta, Kate Prior, and Victoria Weyland have helped me bring alluring soft sides to my monsters by leading with their cozy monster smut brilliance. Ann Denton, Harley Laroux, Lana Kole, Aeryn Havens, and Dakota Brown have all had major impacts on the way I approach my characters and stories, too! I've made so many friends just in the short time I've been in the community that I couldn't begin to name them all, but my ride-or-die author team has been Sabrina Day and Sierra Cassidy, who weather my frantic messages about new plot points with more grace than I deserve.

What is your favorite passage from one of your books? "His voice was quiet as he murmured, reaching out as if to touch my cheek, but stopping just shy of contact. “I will warn you, Desi. I’m not a man that can resist a pursuit, and I do not stop until I’ve caught what I’m after.” His fingers slid lightly along my jawline, finally making contact that felt electric and dangerous. It was meant to be romantic, clearly, but his soft declaration sounded like a threat. Unfortunately, that had more of an impact on my body, not less; apparently, my vagina was #TeamChestFreezer tonight." If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be and what would you say to them?

Oh goodness, I'm not sure I'd want to meet any of my characters! I put them through the wringer and they're probably not overly fond of me. I'd probably ask JD to make me a drink, though, and make me reminisce about the Wildwood boardwalk in its 90s heyday with me.


Thank you so much, Vera for joining in on my Blogmas! I really appreciate you!

Make sure you join her giveaway and stay tuned for 24 more days! Happy Holidays!

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