Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Valerie Day-Sanchez

Valerie Day-Sanchez

About The Author
Valerie Day-Sanchez received both her B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. She works as a part-time college instructor and has two sons who keep her quite busy. During her free time she likes to give the characters in her mind worlds to live in, which is a slightly off-putting way of saying that she loves to write.
Her passion of the desert southwest is often depicted in her writing.
Writing Y.A. Fantasy is new to her but she is loving every minute of it.

Current Book:

Harlow And The Soothsayers

Nineteen year old Harlow Whittaker has always sensed that she was different. Being able to travel to different worlds while she slept was something that she didn't share with anyone, not after the weird looks that her family gave her when they learned of her midnight excursions. After meeting her three appointed protectors however, she learns just how unique she actually is. 
Her birth was foretold, her birthday marking the day that the first Human Soothsayer was born. Her powers would supersede any other future seer and she would possess the abilities to save the worlds. As the first human soothsayer she must abandon her world. Unable to say goodbye to her family or even tell them where she is going, Harlow begins her voyage to Carnelian Comba where she will be united with fellow soothsayers and learn her true identity. 

Beyond those facts however, Harlow has no idea what is in store for her or how she is supposed to save the worlds. As the attacks on her life grow in frequency it becomes apparent that something especially evil is at work. An antagonist that has the ability to infiltrate the minds of others and who seems eerily familiar wants her dead. 

As Harlow tries to come to grips with the constant threats to her life, and her budding feelings for one of her protectors, visions of her family in turmoil begin to occur regularly. Even with the welcomed distraction of falling in love, Harlow cannot help but agonize over her decision to desert her family. In order to discover her fate she must embark on this precarious journey that could mean saving the worlds.

This week, Valerie has taken a bit of time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.
First of all: Mum, Writer, College instructor - how do you find time for it all?
I don’t sleep—only partly joking, no I just have a wonderful family that allows me the time to sit and write whenever I feel inspired without too many interruptions and like any mom, I’m very good at multi-tasking.  It isn’t unusual for me to be, making dinner, hosting a playdate and writing all at once

You studied Communication Studies - how much has that helped you as a writer and self-publisher?  Is it a course you would recommend to others? 
I love communication studies, I truly believe that better communication can improve relationships, build cross-cultural understanding, and also help you further your career.  I would love it if everyone studied communication there would be a lot less misunderstandings and it wouldn’t take so long for me to order an ice-cream cone in the drive-thru J

What is your favourite book? 
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover, Pearl S. Buck’s, The Good Earth, and I just finished it and I can’t stop thinking about it, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

What has been your favourite Indie book?
Does 11 Stories by Chris Cander count?

What piece of advice would you give other authors in the making?
It’s a lot of work like anything worth having but more specific advice would be to engage your social media, and be prepared to market your work, writing is only the first step.

Who has been your best critic? 
My husband.  We have a very open relationship, where we’re extremely honest with one another, at times even brutally honest.  There is no room for euphemism in our relationship.  So I know when he reads something I he says he loves it, he actually means it because he rarely says that, usually it’s something like “That character reminds me too much of Dumbledore, you should change that.”  Which is great because you don’t get very far if you are told your first draft is “PERFECT!”

What do your kids think of you being a published writer? 
They are only 3 and 1 so I don’t think they really get it, which is why I dedicated my first book to them, so that when they’re older they can go, Oh that’s why Mom was always typing when I was little.

What was your inspiration behind 'Harlow Whittaker & The Soothsayers'? 
The story of Harlow, even though it’s cloaked in fantasy; with multiple worlds and characters with wings, and magic powers, is about me and my friends while we were in college-growing up.  Finding out that life isn’t black and white, and that even if you thought you didn’t belong, there is a place for each of us somewhere.

How is part two of the trilogy shaping up?  Any hints on what's in store for Harlow next?
The second book is completed, I am editing it now.  The last book of the trilogy is scattered throughout notebooks, post its and old grocery store receipts, so it’s right on schedule J  The only hint I will give about book two, Harlow Whittaker & The Apprentice, is that it picks up right where the first book left off.

Which has been your favourite character in your trilogy so far? 
I relate a lot to Harlow, because she finds out that she has the power to see the future and that she can actually change it, and that’s empowering, the moment you realize that you control your own fate, but my favorite character to write was definitely Elvia because she’s so insanely evil, and to be able to embrace that crazy side of one’s self is always fun.

With your blog, Facebook and Twitter, you have quite the following.  How much of a support is your fan-base?
I’d like to say 100 percent, but I have really no idea.  I love blogging; it’s like being able to rant without pissing off everyone at your dinner party.  Facebook is fun because it allows me to connect to more people from my past that I don’t get to see very often.  And Twitter is where all my dirty laundry and secrets get told because the majority of my followers are people I’ve never met face-to-face, so there’s a “Twitter Courage” where I think all Tweeters know all too well and we each post very funny and sometimes naughty tweets.

What has been your favourite review/comment to date? 
An email I got that said, ‘thanks for the book, I needed it.’  (I’m grasping my heart as I type that)  Just such a sweet and honest thing to say, and as writers, isn’t that why we do it?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Existence is Futile

Existence is Futile

By Scott Andrews

5 out of 5

'Professor Henry Tomlinson, accredited member of the National Microbiologists Association, author of the best seller 'The Futility of Sheep', widower, father of twins, sat on the chair in his ransacked study and for the first time in his life, asked himself if he was losing his mind.' 

There are three things which can irrevocably change a man's life - the death of a loved one, a moment of revelation and saying the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time. Unfortunately for Professor Henry Tomlinson, he has recently experienced all three. And it's those experiences which threaten to push him over the edge. Is his past really key to understanding his present, or is it yet another trick of his mind?