Today I welcome Valentine Wheeler to the blog to answer a few questions for Interview³.
Valentine Wheeler Author Interview³
1) Tell us 3 fun facts about your writing history
1. I started writing with fanfiction in 2013--the fan community around a few shows I watched at the time was so vibrant and fun and I’d read so much fanfiction that I thought I’d try my hand at it. I didn’t start writing my own original work until 2016.
2. (That first fact has one exception: my best friend and I wrote and illustrated an epic Sailor Moon story in seventh grade)
3. I write about 20% of all my stories at work, in between customers, in two-minute increments.
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
Action-packed, introspective, and queer!
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
1. Tamora Pierce: my Ur-influence. Every character I write owes something to her.
2. Willa Cather: If I could someday have 1/100th of her skill at gorgeous, sparse prose, I’ll be content.
3. NK Jemesin: Because I want to destroy people with my writing.
4) Share your 3 favourite books
1. The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman: This exploration of Richard III’s life kicked off a ten-year fixation with his life and world. If I could inspire that kind of passion in one person, I’d be thrilled.
2. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin: What glorious wordbuilding. Nearly 50 years after its publication and it wouldn’t seem at all out of place being published today.
3. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler: One of the best peri-apocalyptic novels ever written.
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
1. Two minutes of silence (at least, though more is appreciated!)
2. A good book to read when I get frustrated or stuck--reading someone else’s words will sometimes unstick my own brain
3. Instrumental music--preferably the Pacific Rim soundtrack!
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
1. The very tiny office I’ve built in the back of my closet
2. The post office where I work, on a notepad under my keyboard shelf where the customers can’t see!
3. The big table by the window at Panera, where my writing group meets monthly for support, encouragement, and broccoli cheddar soup!
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
1. I would love to write an epic trilogy of slipstream portal novels!
2. An interconnected book of short stories that build a complete narrative.
3. A YA fantasy novel that Tamora Pierce reads and blurbs! (that’s the biggest dream)
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
1. Find writing buddies, whether in person or online. Find people who will challenge you and people who will support you--not necessarily the same for both purposes!
2. Read, read, read. The more you read, the more you internalize the different ways stories go. Everyone borrows, whether they know it or not. The more you read, the more you can build your own gorgeous narratives with inspiration from those who came before!
3. Have another hobby. If you’re trying to make money writing, it’s not the same kind of relaxing pursuit it was when you were doing it for free. Write fanfiction, or knit, or draw, or collect something, or whatever you feel!
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
1. I’m working on a romance short set in the Beirut airport at Thanksgiving that I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone! It’s about learning to love where you came from and where you’re going without sacrificing where you are right now.
2. I’ve got a novella coming out in September from Ninestar called Surface Tension that’s full of shipwrecks, mermaids, conspiracy theories, and political maneuvering!
10) Tell us about your latest release
My latest short story, “Piece of Cake” (you can find it in Ninestar’s Teacher’s Pet anthology), introduces Richard, a retiree whose daughters think he needs to get out more. It features a queer family, a cast of meddling old ladies, a silver fox, and a lot of cooking mistakes. It’s a sweet, fun piece that is close to my heart.
My next release will be “Loose in the Heel, Tight in the Toe,” which will be coming out in the next Once Upon a Rainbow volume from Ninestar Press. It’s a queerplatonic post-fairy tale Cinderella with unhelpful fairies, socialist leanings, and a very stressed-out prince. Check it out June 25!
Once Upon a Rainbow Volume Three
25 June 2018
“Loose in the Heel, Tight in the Toe”
Catherine’s life was different before her stepmother took charge of the family. When her father was alive, she’d been the treasured daughter and the heir to his textile empire. Now she’s just her stepmother’s servant.
Prince Heinrich doesn’t want to marry, but as the only heir to the throne, he knows he must. When a mysterious woman at the ball in his honor is completely unimpressed by him, he’s intrigued. Could she be the partner he’s been looking for? And when catastrophe strikes both their lives, how can their arrangement hold together?
About the Author
Valentine lives in Boston with her partner and kid. She chases the mail for money and has too many books and too few days off. She serves as Fiction Editor for Wizards in Space magazine and as a First Reader for Strange Horizons.