Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Visit with Genene Valleau

A LITTLE ABOUT Genene and her books:

BIO: For years I've been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life's traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. In a job surrounded by social workers and in my personal life, I saw the effects of child abuse, incest, and violence. Yet amid the stark realities of addictions, anger, abandonment, denial and betrayal shone the bright light of strength, hope and forgiveness. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. My passion for writing romance stories became an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and that true love can turn life's heartaches into happily ever after.

SDC: Before we start the process, Genene, what do you do when you are NOT writing?

GV: It's usually something dog-related! I'm setting up a dog rescue/sanctuary and have a number of fur babies from the local shelter who are eagerly waiting for me to find some property so we have more room to run. Also, I still volunteer at the shelter doing Reiki energy healing with the animals. In addition, I do Web and graphic design, which has been very beneficial on the business side of writing. I designed my own Web site and promotional materials, as well as the covers for my first three books.

SKC: What book or project would you like to tell us about today?

GV: I'm very excited about my first book, SONGS OF THE HEART, which was released by Awe-Struck E-Books in April. It's about a former rock star and an outspoken virgin who meet again fifteen years after she unknowingly transformed his life.

SDC: After a long day of writing or revisions in a story what is the very first thing you do?

GV: Fall over because all my body parts are frozen in the shape of the chair where I've been sitting. Just kidding! Probably feed my dogs and myself. Writing seems to make me hungry!

SDC: What inspired you to come up writing in the genre you chose?

GV: I love the happily-ever-after endings of romances. It's ideal that the villain gets justice and that love motivates two people to overcome their differences.

SDC: Can you remember how many rejection slips you received before you got your first contract, and if so, what did you do when you got your very first one?
What then encouraged you to continue writing?

GV: I didn't count my rejection slips. However, in all honesty, each one was a disappointment, whether it was a form letter photocopied crookedly on letterhead or personal comments from an editor. Sometimes I quit writing for awhile and other times I wrote even more, determined to make a sale. Comments and support from other writers were the biggest encouragement to keep submitting to publishers.

SDC: Are you in any groups that help you in your writing? If so, tell us about them.

GV: Definitely the Romance Writers of America. I had the good fortune to read about our local RWA chapter in a newspaper article. I went to a meeting and decided I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There were real writers at the meeting! Not only had they finished a manuscript, they had books in print and were willing to share their expertise with writers like me who were just starting out. I was so excited I wrote a check to join that night. Since then, I've rediscovered many times that same willingness of romance writers to share their knowledge.

SDC: What advice do you have for other authors coming into the field of writing?

GV: I hesitate to give advice because each person's writing journey is different. But that in itself is something to keep in mind. Be open to learning how others write. However, also know that what works for one person may not help your creativity at all. It's OK to find your own path to telling the story you want to tell.

SDC: We all know as authors the importance of not getting too puffed up about what we do. I always seem to find at least one ghastly mistake in my novels AFTER they are published, and if anything keeps me humble that does, because it is too late to fix what is already in print. What is the one thing that keeps you humble about being a published author, Genene?

GV: My dogs still expect to be fed dinner on time and I still get to pick up any messes they make.

SDC: What is your GENENE secret to writing a good book? Can you tell us?

GV: I don't think there is a secret. Learn the craft of writing, pour your heart into the story, and find the best market when it's finished.

SDC: Have you begun anything new since the project you just finished?

GV: I have two more connected books being released from Awe-Struck: FEATHERS ON THE FLOOR in December 2008 and STARS IN YOUR EYES in late February 2009. Once the edits for those books are finished, I'll be working on a series of nine books about a father's legacy to his adopted children.

Thank you so much for joining us, Genene!

Go to Genene's URL to find out how to order!