Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Author spotlight with Kathleen Valentine (Over)

K.T.  Hello and welcome. I am very excited to have you here today. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.

K.V. Hi, I'm happy to be here. Well, I guess I should start at the beginning. I grew up in a family full of story-tellers. As far back as I can remember every time people in our family got together we'd start telling stories so it is natural that I became a story teller. I grew up in a Pennsylvania Dutch community and graduated from Penn State. I was trained as a graphic artist and for most of my life. I supported myself that way but about 10 years ago I started writing seriously. I've published three novels, several novelettes, lots of short stories, a cookbook/memoir about growing up pennsylvania Dutch -- and several books on knitting!   

K.T.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

K.V. I guess this is sort of quirky -- I don't really believe that I alone am responsible for a lot what I write.I have this theory that there is a parallel universe in which characters live and they are always on the lookout for someone to tell their story for them. I have often had the experience of writing for hours and then reading back over it and thinking "goodness, where did that come from?"

K.T.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

K.V. I've always loved telling stories. My first novel The Old Mermaid's Tale grew out of an experience I had in college. I went to college in Erie, Pennsylvania in the 1960s and, at that time, the neighborhoods around the docks there were pretty rough. There was bar there called The Mermaid Tavern that just fascinated me and I longed to go inside of it. My book grew out of those fantasies.

K.T.  What genre do you write?

K.V. I write contemporary fiction with an element of romantic suspense. I've also written quite a few crime stories, a very popular psychological thriller, The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic, and one ghost story, Ghosts of a Bech Town in Winter

K.T.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career?

K.V. Other writers -- I've been an avid reader all my life. I fell in love with Hemingway when I was in high school as well as Daphne DuMaurier -- a lot of people tell me my writing reminds them of her work.

K.T.  What does your family think of your writing?

K.V. In the beginning I don't think they thought much about it but since my books have really taken off and been selling as well as they have they seem to be more interested. One of my sisters, Anne, has been a great supporter. She reads all my books and stories.

K.T.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?

K.V. That's easy -- that I could fall hopelessly in love with characters that I created. It never ceases to amaze me that I can begin writing somthing and, by the time I am well into the story, I'm as involved with my characters as with anyone I ever met in my life! It astonishes me how real my characters become to me and, from what a lot of readers tell me, they become real to them as well.

K.T.  Can you tell us a little about your novel? 

K.V. I actually have 2 novels out and a third one I hope to have ready within a few months but the novel I'll tell you about today is The Old Mermaid's Tale. It is set in the early 1960s and is the story of Clair Wagner, a young woman who grew up on a farm in Ohio but who longs for a great adventure. She goes off to college in a town on the shores of Lake Erie where she becomes mesmerized by the waterfront and most especially by a mysterious tavern called The Old Mermaid Inn. As the story progresses Clair meets and becomes involved with three men. First, Pio, a handsome Italian fisherman who wants a life of adventure on the Great Lakes, then Gary, the son of a wealthy shipping tycoon, and finally, Baptiste, a Breton mariner who was injured in a shipwreck and who now makes his living as a musician. It is a coming-of-age story but it is steeped in maritime lore, legends, folklore, and, of course, the desire so many of us feel to be part of something larger than ourselves.

K.T.  Where can we find your novels?

K.V. Both of my novels are available in paperback and digital from all the major online booksellers -- Amazon, B&N, etc.

K.T.  Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?

K.V. I sure do. My web site is KathleenValentine.com and my blog is ParlezMoiBlog.blogspot.com.

K.T.  Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers? 

K.V. Believe in yourself and never give up. Also, perfect your craft -- learn to write, don't just slap down words. Then edit, edit, edit, and edit again.


  1. The Crazy Old Lady In The Attic was one of the first books I put on my Kindle! Loved it! I will have to download more from this author! Keep up the story telling, I love reading.

    1. Anna you won! if you would, send me your email on Facebook and I will get you in contact with the author to receive your book!

  2. See, ya never know who you might find! :)

  3. i do not know if i read any f your book but i be happy to read
    and then and blog on it
    desi the blonde2msn.com

  4. Great interview, would love to read The Old Mermaid's Tale!

  5. I would love to read A Mermaids Tale as well. I am from ohio and my mother and I went to lake erie quite often. Sounds great!