#MondayMusing with Guest: Val Portelli #Voinks #ValPortelli

A product of contemplation; a thought: "an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas).

I am thrilled today to be joined by author Val Portelli, who has given a superb interview. Let us find out more about Val first. Val and I know each other through the Book Connectors group on Facebook, which is an invaluable resource for authors and bloggers alike. Val's latest book Story of a Country Boy has just been released. 

Val’s pen name ‘Voinks’ started as a joke then gradually spread through the family, so it was an obvious choice when her first book was published. Although unique it was not memorable, which is the reason for more recent books being published under her own name.
Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy. The rainbow saving her sanity was completing and having her first full length novel published. This was followed by a second traditionally published book before experimenting with self-publishing.
In between writing her longest novel to date at over 100,000 words, she publishes weekly stories for her Facebook author page and web site. She writes in various genres, although her short stories normally include her trademark twist of ‘Quirky.’
A planet with forty-eight-hour days would be useful to have time to write all the stories waiting to be told, and to become better acquainted with the bloggers who are so supportive of authors struggling to release their characters onto the world at large.

Reviews are always welcome as they help pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

Interview with Val Portelli

Where is your favourite place to write and is there any particular time that works better for you?

I’m lucky enough to have a home office, complete with desk, laptops, printers, coffee and kettle where I do most of my writing. After eleven at night until well into the wee, small hours is when I’m at my most creative, although I do some marketing and proof reading during the afternoons.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

My first book ‘Changes,’ was based on my experiences from a Mediterranean island I visit regularly, ‘Spirit of Technology’ from a remark my publisher made regarding something sent to me ‘must have got lost in the ether.’ Facebook, chance remarks, being side-tracked when researching, even the alphabet have all provided inspiration.

Are there any Characters that you would like to develop further in future, or a particular theme you would like to write about?

Several. Reno has always been special, and it would be interesting to write about him as an older man. The three girls in ‘ABC Destiny’ have most of their lives before them, and as the book shows their very different early lives, it would be fun to see how much they change as they mature. I love writing in different genres so who knows if erotica or children’s stories might be added to the mix.

Are you currently writing anything else?

At the moment I’ve two books on the go. ‘Country Boy,’ I hope to have published by the Spring, and the other longer one, ‘Murder of Changes,’ by the autumn or winter of 2019. I also write new short stories every week for my blog and FB author pages.

Which Writers inspire you?

Indie authors. Although self-publishing has produced some badly written horrors, it has also opened up the market to some wonderful new talent. The majority of my reading during 2018 was from authors who are not well-known names- yet!

Which book would you most likely give as a gift or recommend to other people?

Mine! Seriously, although it was published a few years ago, one that stays in my mind is ‘Gunshot Glitter,’ by Yasmin Selena Butt. I’m proud to be the owner of an early signed copy, which is particularly poignant as Yasmin died recently at a very young age.

Could you share with us something that other people don’t necessarily know about you?

Most people who know me are aware of my love for unicorns, but probably don’t realise I have a family of them living in my garden. They are quite shy, and remain invisible to most people. I also run a restaurant for foxes. Chico is aware I work late and bangs on the dog flap at 3 a.m. if he fancies a late-night snack.

If you could have written any book from the past, which would it be?

This is a very difficult one. Off the top of my head, ‘Or I’ll dress you in mourning,’ ‘The story of O,’ ‘The Machine stops,’ and ‘The Kappillan of Malta,’ spring to mind. This question has made me realise how much these books have influenced my own writing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Chat to book bloggers! Although I love socialising, when I’m on my own I’m fascinated by learning new things. Photoshop is next on the list.

Thinking about the Highs and Lows. What has being an Author taught you and would you still make the same choices if there was a second time around?

The highs must include the many friends I’ve made through the authorish community, and how unselfish and supportive they are. The lows are the disappointment when you realise how difficult it is for a small fish in a very large sea to make their books visible to prospective readers. (I’ve now got a vision of a fish who wants to become an author. A short story beckons.)
When I started out, I was very na├»ve and assumed the publishers took care of marketing, so perhaps I should have studied that side of things first. Then again, I’d probably have been too overwhelmed to write my first book. Would I do it all again? Definitely!

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Just a huge thank you, and perhaps some advice to new authors thinking of taking that first step. Do it, but edit, edit, and edit again, never stop learning and improving, but must of all, enjoy the ride.

Find out more about Val and her books:

Existing books:

ABC Destiny
Spirit of Technology
Weird and Peculiar Tales.
Flashpoint (anthology.)

Current books
Story of a Country Boy, available now

Future books
Murder of Changes.


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