Please welcome Valerie Mann, erotic romance author to the spotlight. She’s multi-published, talented, and is currently celebrating her latest release, HEY YOU, available via Decadent Publishing as part of the Run Devil Run anthology.
I first met Valerie via a mutual writing friend, Olivia Starke (we all write erotic romance and run in the same circles ;) She commented and won a prize on my blog, imagine our surprise when we found out she used to live in my hometown!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today, Valerie. So please spill, how did you get involved in writing the series inspired by the band members of Run Devil Run?
Several months ago, Heather Bennett, one of the Decadent Publishing owners, mentioned that she was working on putting together a cross-promotion with an LA rock band. I am the “blog maven” for Decadent, plus I’m a content editor for them as well, so I have a lot of contact with Heather. I told her I wanted to be a part of the series she was putting together and then forgot about it. Sometime in November I got an email telling me it was time to start writing and I had that OMG moment…I decided I must have been crazy to get involved, especially once I found out who else was writing for the series. The other author’s credits were pretty intimidating!
Q1. Your paranormal story, HEY YOU, features Cara (straight laced and nerdy) and Marek (her Watcher) who’s only able to protect her in her dreams, when she reaches a crossroad in her life that puts her mortality in jeopardy. Please tell us about this couple and how the two came to meet.
About three years ago, I had a snippet dream of a young woman looking out her bedroom window and seeing a man standing across the street, staring at her. I knew he wasn’t a stalker, but rather, he had an important reason for being there—he was watching her. But for what purpose?
When I woke up, that dream weighed heavily on my mind and I thought about it all day at work and by the time I got home, I had a basic idea of who these people were and what the deal was. So, basically, Cara and Marek met in MY dreams, not in hers, LOL. When Heather Bennett from Decadent asked me if I had any ideas for a story for the Run Devil Run anthology, I really didn’t. Then she said, “We want all of the stories to be paranormal.” Lightbulb moment! Yay, Cara and Marek get to see the light of day! I hunted through my hard drive for what little I’d written three years ago and found some old sticky notes with plot scribbles stuffed in the back of my nightstand and off I went. The finished story has some similarities to those scribblings but it veered off in a different direction that my original plot. Some of the original was so dark and somewhat deviant, I knew the band and Decadent wouldn’t go for it. Side note: even though this is a cross-promotion with a rock band, these guys are pretty conservative compared to what you might expect. All of the authors had to keep their stories on the sex lite side, LOL.
Q2. With a rockin’ husband, five kids, two cats, a full-time career as a director at an online bookseller, running a review site, and editing for an ebook publisher, how do you find time to write? You’re one busy gal ;) (actually, I have a day job, the other stuff is all part-time, but add it all up and I’m working at least 80 hours per week. Yikes!)
I don’t write as often as much as I should. I’m easily distracted by all that I have going on, unfortunately. In fact, I know I gave Decadent Publishing major ulcers because I had a deadline of January 31st to turn in my final draft of Hey You…and it got sent at 11:35 PM. And that was after four solid days of reclusion at a bed and breakfast so that I didn’t have any other obligations pulling me away. I was very stressed. I found out I don’t work well with deadlines, LOL.
Q3. Your current work is a paranormal romance, but you’ve published in different genres. Do you intentionally choose a genre? Or do you let your characters decide?
All of my published works, other than Hey You, are contemporary erotic romance. I find that’s my niche. I adore historicals but I would never attempt one. Maybe a time travel though….hmmm…..
Q4. If you were to choose one of your published titles to suggest to a new reader of your work, which one would you choose and why?
Wow…hard to say! As every author knows, each story has a special place in their heart. I would have to say that Hey You is probably the one I’d steer readers toward, if for no other reason than the awesome cover, LOL.
Q5. What do you like most about writing erotic romance?
I never set out to write erotic romance, it just sort of happened. I like some sexual tension and heat in my stories, whether reading or writing them. Although, I had to laugh when I wrote Hey You—I emailed a friend of mine and said, “What’s wrong with this picture? I hit the 12K word count and the hero and heroine still aren’t in the sack!” Even more ironic? I never wrote over 12K before. Hey You topped out at about 18K. Anyone who knows me says this is my miracle book, LOL!
But, the best part about writing erotic romance is getting into the minds of the hero and heroine and feeling all of their emotions, even the physical.
Q6. As authors, we aim to have a style and a voice that is unique to our name. When we see VALERIE MANN on the cover, what can readers expect?
Ha, that’s easy! All of my heroines are smart and sassy. And the heroes are intelligent and arrogant, but with a very sensitive core.
Q7: Where can we find you?
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