An Interview with the author of Acquittal: The Revenant Series Book One!

Hey all!  Welcome to the first of what I hope are many author interviews!

Today we’re going to speak with Serenity Valle who has written a paranormal mystery book named Acquittal!

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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 the Midwest 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 met Burton on the set 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. In 2013, Serenity started writing again full force and has two books currently available with another on the way April 1, 2014.

Serenity is the wife of an author. She is mum to 3 boys, currently aged 21, 17 and 2. 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.

Now let’s get to the INTERVIEW!!!!

1.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

A little? Ok, I’ll try, ha ha. I’m the wife of an author and mum to three boys. I have degrees in Social Sciences, Humanities, Psychology and Latin American Studies. I’m a Banana Slug through and through (UC Santa Cruz!). I’m part Calo (Gypsy is the well-known word), Zacateco, Scottish and Native American. I love to act and sing, model and write. I edit books on the side. When I’m not doing those things, I love family time, gardening and henna art

2.  When and why did you start writing?

I started writing when I was seven. I have no idea why except to say I felt creative one day and just picked up a pencil!

3.  What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

During their junior year of college, best friends Krizi and Kenzie suddenly find themselves in the middle of a mystery!

4.  Was there an event or a person that inspired the creation of this book? 

I would have to say that my numerous paranormal experiences throughout my life contributed, but I can’t pinpoint a specific event or person that inspired it.

5.  Under what genre does your book fall?

This book (and the subsequent books in the series) falls under Paranormal Mystery/Crime

6.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would choose Phoebe Tonkin to play Krizi, Emma Stone for Kenzie, I’m not sure who would play Scott, still working on that. Liam Neeson as Ira, Nathan Fillion as Badger (funny innit, Browncoats?), Bruce Campbell as Hatchett, Chris Meloni as Elian, Jeffrey Donovan as Dodge. (Don’t worry if you read the book and don’t know who half of them are, some aren’t introduced until later books, but I figure if one is made into a film, then all of them should be!). There are other characters, but I’m still thinking on them as well.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I would say it took about 6 months. I started on it before my second book was done… I had an idea and had to go with it… then put it on the back burner to finish the second book. Once that book was released, I went back to this one.

8.  Will this book be the first of a series or is it a stand-alone?

This is the first of a five book series. While some of the events are solved within this book, others are not, so I would highly encourage readers to follow up with the other books when they come out.

9.  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Both. I’m pretty meticulous in my planning, but when something comes up I just go with it for a while.

10. Do you have a favorite character in this book?

No. I just can’t decide!

11. How did you come up with the title for this book?

My husband and I were brainstorming for the title of this and the second book (which there is already an outline) and I said I wanted something legal-sounding. I don’t remember which of us said it, but Acquittal was put out there and I went with it.

12. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Gosh, I don’t know. I haven’t had time to read for a while (sadness!) and I’m not sure I’ve recently read an actual paranormal mystery… I’m a big mystery buff and love crime novels, but it’s been a while for a combo paranormal + mystery.

13. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have unique characters, but when it comes down to it, I think they are very relatable. There’s also just a smidgen of romance that just *might* be explored more in later books. *wink*

Honestly I can’t wait to read this tale.  I hope our readers here will enjoy it as well!

Links to buy Acquittal!

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JE21FY0

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4596637

Autographed paperback: http://serenityvalleauthor.wordpress.com/autographed-copies/

If anyone here will like to be interviewed about their creative workings please let me know!  😀  I really enjoy seeing all the different ways that we come up with our art, music, and writings!

My Favorite History Resources – Today we tackle the electronic databases

As a librarian, I’m sure it’ll come as no shock that my favorite part of crafting a book is the research.

So many might ask… how on earth does someone find research on an esoteric topic on something the Celts (especially the Gael culture).

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Many people might be surprised, but a lot of librarians love these kind of questions.  In fact we also enjoy showing how we got the answer, at least I do.

So… here are some basic research tools that you can use

1.  World History Collection

Generally most reference databases aren’t free to everybody… but the great news is if you have a library card chances are you will have access to them both at the library and at home.

When you go into it, you’ll see a list of subjects like automotive, medical, genealogy, and history.  One of my favorites is EBSCOHost’s World History Collection mostly because it’s user-friendly and patrons can pick it up quickly.

Once you have the database up, you can put in a topic or use boolean phrases.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m writing about, either call the library or go find a reference staff member.  They’re there to help and generally get all excited once they figure out you aren’t asking about the copier or how to print.  Generally they’ll take you into the advanced search, so you can find the latest and the greatest in terms of research.  While it might be interesting to find an old article about the Gaels mythology, you may wind up with something from the 19th century.  If that floats your boat, great, but if you want new information that’s accepted by scholars of today, you may want to try to limit the years of the search.

I’d also make sure that you click on the checkbox for ‘full text’.  That’ll make things a lot easier unless you’re doing a search to find print documents that may or may not be available at your local library.

Just for S & G’s I decided to type one of my typical searches…’celts’.  This search will bring up a huge number of results but sometimes that’s okay.

One of the first articles that comes up is

 

Alecia Ludwick-Jones wrote a wonderful review of Morrigan’s Brood: Morrigan’s Brood Book I after winning a free giveaway from Goodreads. Please check out her blog “Freakshow Minus Tent” for the review of Morrigan’s Brood and other cool stuff!

Goodreads Free Giveaway Winners and Upcoming Events

Crone of War: Morrigan’s Brood Book II (rel. 2) is now on Kindle!

What a roller-coaster ride over the last few weeks. I (Christopher) usually don’t interject much of my personal life on this blog… I leave that to Facebook or just calling folks on the phone… but things have been a maelstrom around here of late. June 15, I was laid off from a contract job I had been working at for over 10 months; it was one of those out-of-the-blue, didn’t see it coming kind of layoffs. In my time off (well, before I was laid-off, but I never had time), I made it my mission to finish moving what was once known as Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War from Lulu over to Lightning Source, where it would reside with a new ISBN and a revised name… Crone of War: Morrigan’s Brood Book II. As part of that move, I planned to massage the text a bit, giving it a good polish. Heather and I released a revision of the print book before I could finish the complete revision in order to restock books. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule and other things while I was working on my previous contract, I had little time to devote to the massaging of book 2.
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Greetings from AggieCon43!!!

Morrigan's Brood Series Authors' booth at AggieCon43

Morrigan's Brood Series Authors' booth at AggieCon43

Wow… what a con! Heather and I (Christopher) are having a wonderful time talking with all of you who have visited us at our “rainbow” booth. Yes… just look at the picture. See the lights? Too bad you can’t see the green laser lights… er… fairies.
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Just a quick lil’ post

We are having a contest in honor of the Salado Highland Games. Pics to follow soon I’m sure 😉

I’d chat about the wonderful awesome time we had in Salado with old friends and new friends, if I didn’t have bronchitis and a mad desire for a hot toddie.

Anyways, the contest will select three winners on 11/21/11 (next monday). Each winner can pick a book of their choosing!!!

I hope everyone is doing well. Ophelia is glaring at me, so I assume it’s gooshy food time.

Yours aye,
Heather – *cough*hack*cough*

Morrigan’s Brood eBooks available soon, and Crone of War eBooks in progress

In case you have not been following up with me (Chris) in Facebook, I have been converting the print books for Morrigan’s Brood and Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War into eBooks. My goals are to publish primarily in PubIT (Nook), Kindle, iTunes, and Sony directly, though I am also hunting out other sites, such as Goodreads and Smashwords to host the eBooks. As of this morning, I had received an email from Barnes & Noble that the Nook version of Morrigan’s Brood would go on sale within 24 hours for $1.99 USD to a world audience. The Kindle version should not be far off.
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