Care to share a short bio with us?
Sure! I’m a mother of five, married to the hottest man on the planet (you wonder why we have five kids?), I’m a dental hygienist, currently living in Raleigh, NC. I was born in California, grew up in upstate New York, lived in central Illinois for ten years and the east coast of Florida for two. I can say honestly, I am a true patriot…I love my country because I’ve lived all over it.
Tells us about your two new releases
Fanning Old Flames…wow, what a trip this book has been! I grew up in New York, only a couple of hours from the Canadian border. My family spent many vacations in Canada on a small lake in Ontario. I fell in love for the first time there. Nothing ever came of it but I will always think about that time in my life with fondness. Do I want to find that man? No, but that was a very sweet time in my life. It’s these kind of experiences that mold us and make us dream and write.
As for my other story, a few months ago, I’d been talking to a critique partner who was writing a very erotic tale about two people who hook up at a party and I suggested that perhaps they could play hide and seek. She didn’t buy this premise but it definitely got me to thinking – how erotic would it be for adults to play Hide and Seek? Consider the possibilities of a man and a woman hiding in a dark place together? So, Kelly and Nick’s story was born. I’d unoriginally titled the story, The Game, but Wild Rose Press renamed it, Hide & Seek. It’s pretty hot if I do say so myself.
Can you remember when you received the emails stating you were going to be a published author for the first time?
Oh my gosh, yes! I sent my first submission to an electronic publisher who said the response time was 180 days…I calculated this to be Halloween of 2009. Nine days later, at about eleven o’clock at night, I checked my email before going to bed and found an email from the publisher in my inbox – my heart jumped – I figured the editor had gotten done laughing her butt off and rejected me nicely. My husband is snoring beside me and since I’ve learned not to wake him for anything other than a nuclear attack, I had to keep my private joy to myself that the publisher not only didn’t HATE my story but wanted to offer me a contract! Thank you Cobblestone Press for being so nice…you not only said you LIKED my very first submission, but you actually asked to buy it. Can it get any better than that?
If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the hero and heroine?
Seriously, I don’t see anyone in Hollywood, Bollywood-or-any-other-wood playing any of my characters. But having said that, I could seriously adapt any hero I’ve created if Daniel Craig wants to jump on board and play one of my heroes. And I’ll play the heroine, just to keep things really simple. Yeah.
Do you have a writing soundtrack? Or movie or noise that plays in the background as you write?
Absolutely! I don’t know how many times a song has inspired me. I adore grunge, post-grunge rock and post-alternative. I have the most inspirational incredible playlist of hard rock which includes Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Seether, Saving Abel, Hinder and more. Most of the music I listen to is filled with testosterone and I get a lot of ideas for my heroes and their emotions when I listen to my music.
When did you first start writing?
When I was in fifth grade. My teacher had us all write a story about something that happened in a museum – I wrote about a stolen antique ring and the class was mesmerized. After that, whenever we had to write a story, the class always asked to hear MY story…talk about validation of your peers!
Who or what influenced you to submit your work for publication?
Oh boy…here’s where my critique partners get some credit. I always wanted to submit my work but never did. I always had excuses for not doing it – “it’s not ready, it’s not good enough, it still has problems”. Finally, my critique partners had enough and simply quit critiquing me – why bother? The fact that they’d put so much into my work and I never submitted totally insulted them. And that’s when I got motivated. I owed them that much.
Is there anything you learned from writing your latest book? If so, what was it?
Even if you don’t think it has any redeeming value…step away from it for a few weeks or months. You just might like what you find when you read it again. And if it needs fixing, you may have stepped away long enough to find the solution.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Work schedule? What’s that? I’d love to have a writing schedule but for now, it’s as inspiration hits. Although I must tell you, I think my dental patients would be shocked at what I think about when I’m cleaning their teeth. ‘Nuff said….
What does your family think of your writing?
100% behind me. Although I must tell you that I don’t let my husband read my writing because it makes him laugh. And as a romance writer, that’s a total and complete turn-off. I love him but I don’t let him read my writing anymore. He just doesn’t get it. My mom, on the other hand, loves my writing. Erotic romance doesn’t bother her in the least.
What do you think makes a good story?
A seriously hot, alpha male and a woman who can stop him in his tracks. Now that’s sexy!
If you could compare yourself to an animal, which would it be and why?
I have dreams about flying high above the earth and I wake up with my heart pounding. I’d love to be a bird and be in complete control and soar above mere mortals.
What do you want to say to someone who is thinking of buying one of your books to read?
What kind of question is that? Of course I’d ask them to buy my book…but better yet, please buy my book and love it. That’s why I wrote it. It’s what I feel in my heart.
What is the best way for readers to contact you? Your websites, email address?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And my website is www.valeriemann.com
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Listen to your critique partners. Find a good group to critique you and listen to them. Don’t be offended because chances are, they really do know what they’re talking about and if you don’t like what they’re saying, you may be doing yourself a disservice. I owe everything to Kimberly and HEART for giving me a chance when I knew practically nothing and not laughing their butts off (okay, they probably did but they never let on) and giving me timely and welcome advice. I took everything they told me to heart. And my more recent partners, Kris, Ash and Dena and also ERAuthors…you guys kick major romance butt.
Thanks so much Valerie for stopping by!! We can't wait to see what else you bring to the table.
And be sure to look out for Hide and Seek coming soon from The Wild Rose Press
Until Next Time,