26 January 2015

Beyond: Serenity Valle

Serenity has been writing for a long time (if she told you how long, she'd have to kill you). She's a Firefly fan, a wife and mum, a geek and a kid-at-heart. Her favourite colours are indigo-purple and glitter.

Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
Firstly, my parents. They encouraged me from a young age to write and supported my excessive spiral notebook habit. My husband and kids now are my greatest supporters and I love them for it!

Do you prefer quiet or background noise when writing? If background noise, what?
I prefer quiet, but I have a 3 year old, a teenager and two cats. The only time I have quiet is when I'm asleep.

What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
It ain't quick and it ain't always easy (ain't used purposely).

If your characters could come to life and be a real human, which one do you think you would get along with best and which one would drive you crazy first?
I would get along with most of my main characters, because they are based off of people I like. I guess if I had to pick a character that would drive me crazy first, it would be Catón from Book Five: Serenity and Captain Jack in The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories about what could be... but not quite is. Catón is young and already making a name for herself in New York and though I haven't developed her as of yet, I think she is a bit full of herself.

When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
I don't actually remember what my inspiration was, but I do remember that I was seven years old when I wrote my first short story, titled The Christmas Star.

Is there a genre or type of book that you love to read but could never write and if so why?
Hmmm. I don't know... I used to think I couldn't write mystery, but then I wrote a paranormal mystery, so I'm going to look on the bright side and say no. -grin-

Since you've been writing how much has the genre changed? Good, bad?
Well, I don't actually know! I write in many genres but have only been writing to publish for about a year. It doesn't seem that the genres have changed too much, though there always seems to be a “flavour of the month” sub-genre. I assume that is normal and haven't given it much thought...

Seeing more and more authors going the "self-pub' route. Thoughts?
It can be good for people like me who don't want to give up any say in our creation, but it also leads to anyone being able to publish, even if the subject/book isn't all that great. I am very supportive of Indie-anything, but at the same time I look at it all like Rémy from Ratatouille. “Everyone can cook... Well, yeah, everyone CAN, it doesn't mean everyone SHOULD.”

How much thought do you as an author put into your cover, cover models etc. And has that changed since you started writing. If so, have you or will you go back and re-do covers you’re no longer pleased with?
I start brainstorming cover ideas pretty much as soon as I start writing. The concept can and does change over the course of the writing, but I start early so I have plenty of time to finalise it to something I like. I have been a model before I started writing, so yes, I use myself (especially since some of my characters are based on/look like me) and I use my friends too (I am lucky to have a whole slew of cosplay models as friends and they're always up for doing more modeling.

What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
So far, I would say it is the scene in which Krizi (Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One) realises that Scott's ring is gone. It was an emotional scene for me and it was hard to write it, I could feel my own heartstrings crying and I had to take a coffee break when I finished that one.

If you could write in any genre that you've never tried, what would it be and why?
Dystopian or Steampunk. Simply put, I love both genres. I haven't yet had an ah-ha moment of story ideas for either, so as yet I have not written in these genres.

When thinking about writing any specific genre, what triggers your fears and insecurities the most?
Writer's block (in any genre). If I get a block that is longer than a week I start thinking I will never finish (this is never true, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it.)

When writing, what comes first? The characters or the plot? Either, both or neither lol.
With me, it isn't set in stone which comes first. They seem to actually spawn around the same time. For example, I didn't think “I want to make a Romani Kalo character”, I thought “I want a Kalo female character who is psychic and solves mysteries!” Right there is the main overall idea of Acquittal.

Do you find that you write what you love to read? Or a different genre?
I both read and write in multiple genres, so I would say yes.

Do you ever write your own personal fantasies into your books?
Yes. Yes, I do.

How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events.
A lot at times. Much of my storylines are at least partially derived from real life.

How many times do you read what you wrote and think "where the hell did that come from?!"
All the time!

Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
Nope! Also, on a good day, I can type between 90-110 wpm.

How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

What are you two favorite 80’s movies?
A question with FOUR 80's movies in it. Not one or two or three but four! Four 80's movies! What the hell am I supposed to do with a two 80's movie question? (Now, Fifth Element isn't an 80's movie, true... but the line from it was the first thing I thought of when I saw this question.) As for the actual answer, I am not sure I can pick just two. Definitely Jake Speed, The Lost Boys, but also Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Big Trouble in Little China, ALL 80's Star Wars. I could go on... probably for hours. We probably don't have enough time for this.

Why are man-hole covers round?
Manhole covers are round because the radius and consequently diameter of a round item is constant, whereas the semi-major axis of a polygon will be longer than any of its constituent sides. Therefore, it is impossible to orient a round cover in any geometry such that it can fit inside its own circumference, however a polygonal derived manhole cover can, generally if lifted up higher than approximately 20 degrees from horizontal to the normal, fall through the manhole potentially injuring workers and operators below. Heavy traffic is known to generate sufficient amplitude of vibration, at energies which will move the manhole cover horizontally upwards of several inches to feet, such that even should a polygonal cover be set to one side of the access port which it ordinarily covers, unless itself restrained can cause a death or dismemberment injury potential to the utility workers underneath, and as the mass of manhole covers is on the order of several tens to hundreds of pounds at a time, being manufactured from bronze, iron and related metals and alloys, there would be zero appreciable opportunity for the aforementioned workers to remove themselves from danger, should such a cover fall. Although any sufficiently spherical or round geometry, or any curve of constant width would similarly meet this formulaic definition, circles are the easiest such curves to manufacture without milling as a metal finishing process. Since any circular geometry is non-oriented to any external point of reference, it is impossible to replace a round manhole cover in any “wrong” manner, thus making it safer to work with in the dark. For similar reasons, a round cover may be locked into place by use of a turning set of teeth and keys, analogous to a spindle cover on a stack of CDs, which helps retain the cover in location even when it experiences heavy traffic.
Serenity is your average, every day, somewhat nerdy young woman with a good job and a fairly non-existent social life. Though pretty, she hasn’t had a date in three years. She leads an overly mundane existence until, one night, a life-altering event shows her that maybe things aren't so boring after all. During her awakening, she meets an unlikely traveler to help her on her journey.

This anthology of five short stories unlocks doors hidden in-between worlds as it weaves a new perspective for Serenity to discover.


Every person in history lives and dies; this is the way of the world. They work, eat, sleep, fall in and out of love; they fight, cry, build, and plant. How many people yearn for the chance to be part of something fantastical? What would you do if given that opportunity to take the reins of one's own destiny?

Serenity was professional, courteous, educated, and beautiful but also timid with little in the way of a social life. After a life-altering event unlocked latent myriad lives, she wanted to love as she had in them; to have desires, ambitions, and dreams of faraway places only glimpsed in her walk between worlds. How does that work out when she returns to the most real of her incarnations, where she thinks of herself as boring?

Read the next installation of Serenity's fantastical experiences betwixt the ether and the daily grind; the changeling and mundane forms of herself. Join her as she thoroughly pushes herself to enjoy life to fullest, and searches for a happiness as real as any of her many choices before. Would she necessarily want what she finds?
Best friends Krizi and Kenzie are not exactly "normal" college students, though they seem to fit in quite well at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Krizi, who wants to be an investigator, is a Kalo, what many people know as "Gypsy", with temperamental psychic abilities. Kenzie, who still struggles with her just blossoming mystic capabilities, is the granddaughter of a Scottish witch.

Just into their junior year, their apartment building mate goes missing. The campus officer assigned to the case happens to be the lazy one of the force, so the two friends set out to do his job for him. This decision changes everything and suddenly Krizi and Kenzie find themselves in the middle of not one, but two mysteries; and now, it looks as though someone is trying to stop them from learning what really happened.

With their new friend and spirit companion helping them, will they solve the case? Perhaps more importantly, will they live to see their senior year?


Post a Comment