Welcome lovelies! This week’s Author Spotlight features the very talented Valerie Ullmer who is releasing her 5th novel, Seth (A Dark Assassins World Novella Book 2.5) on Valentine’s day.
Welcome Valerie! Let’s start off with telling readers a bit about your novels.
I write contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. My books up until this point have been M/F books, but my next two books will be a M/F/M and then a M/M book.
I’m always up for a little diversity. And let’s face it, the erotica category is the best place for some experimentation! Let’s backtrack for a moment. What was your journey to becoming an author?
For the longest time, I dreamt about being a writer, but I think that I was too scared to know where to start. It took a layoff in 2010 to really understood that I needed a change. I studied how to write and wrote many short stories over the years until I felt ready enough to write a full story. I published my first book in May of 2016, and four other followed. While it still scares me how each book will be received, I love writing and I don’t think there is anything else for me.
The unknown is always nerve-wracking. As an author, you put your heart and soul into your novels, and the thought people don’t enjoy them can be terrifying. Other than the unknown, what is the most difficult aspect for you of being an author?
Marketing and getting reviews. You never know if a marketing campaign works, but you keep looking for different ways to promote your book.
The balance is definitely difficult. Where would you say you draw your inspirations from?
Everywhere, to be honest. From other books that I’ve read, TV, movies, conversations that I picked up while at restaurants or the movies. Everything can be an inspiration.
Any particular inspirational authors?
J.S. Scott, Elaine Ashford, Jay Northcote, Estelle Ryan, Christa Wick, and many others.
Those are definitely diverse inspirations. Was there any particular book which gave you the writing bug?
I would say all of them. I always thought about how I would plot the book with the same characters.
I love fan fiction for that very reason.
Me too, Harry Potter fanfiction is addicting!
I’m more of a Loki fanfiction girl myself, lol. If given the opportunity, which fictional character would you like to have a drink with, and why?
Harry Potter. I think that he would be easy to talk to and he’s sarcastic.
Lol. And imagine the fun, or trouble – depending on how you look at it – you could have! Ok, Valerie, back to writing. What was the very first story you ever wrote, and what became of it?
My first story was Falling for Lily and it’s in my crap folder. There were so many plot holes, my characters didn’t really fall in love, and no matter how many times I tried to find the problem with it and fix it, it just wouldn’t work. I decided to move on and realized that not everything is great.
When you did succeed with a novel, how did you celebrate your first publication?
My husband took me out to dinner, but it was mainly an internal celebration. Each time I get back a manuscript back from my editor and there are no plot errors, I do a dance of joy.
That’s always a good cause for celebration. In your writing journey, what’s the strangest thing you had to research?
The myths of vampires. Most of them are the dark, Gothic vampires who have no humanity left in them, but my vampires are different. While there is a lot of information about vampires on the internet and in books, I decided to pick and choose what characteristics I liked.
I think that’s common with most paranormal characters – there’s so many differing accounts of their origin and characteristics, you have to pick and choose what fits you best. Speaking of fitting you best, how would you describe your writing style?
I am a very detailed outliner. I get an idea, try to develop it as much as I can, and then I outline. I will have every plot point and chapter charted out before I start writing.
Why drew you to the idea of Seth?
I loved Seth in the first two books of my Dark Assassins series. He was the kid who wasn’t interested in becoming either a vampire or a shifter, but considered the immortals his family. But he’s unable to deny that his future might be tied to immortality when he meets his mate, who happens to be a vampire.
Can you give us a blurb about Seth?
Immortals have been a part of Seth’s world since he barged into Kai’s life at the age of twelve. And having a group of shifter and vampire assassins he considered family, he thought that he’d seen it all and that nothing would surprise him. But the one night he met Aubrey changed his world, and he’d never been so happy to be wrong.
Aubrey was used to seclusion, even before she had been turned into a vampire. She’d never dreamed of a life outside her tiny little world, but that was until she met Seth. Before she could understand her reactions, she ran from him. But she couldn’t stay away. The more she gets to know him, the stronger the connection between them solidifies.
When Seth tells Aubrey that he is her mate, will she take a chance and keep him forever?
Sounds intriguing. As does the whole series. Any fun facts about this book?
Cole, Aubrey’s best friend, is the first gay character that I’ve written and I loved him.
I’m big on visualizations. Which actress/actors would portray the lead characters of your book?
For Seth, I could see Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Aubrey, Vanessa Hudgens.
I had to look him up, but I am glad I did! That smirk is beautiful, lol. Is there anything you’re currently working on now?
My first M/F/M book. There is a lot of research on how to make that type of relationship work, but I’m getting excited to write it.
Excitement about it shows promise! What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a writer?
Waiting for years to write while I studied how to write. Writing is one of those careers that you need to do in order to learn it.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write, write, and write. Whatever excuses you have, forget about them and just write.
I agree, and love that bit about letting go of excuses. Well, Valerie, it has been wonderful interviewing you today. Thanks so much for taking the time to meet me.
To order a copy of Seth, click here. Be sure to check out Valerie’s other novels in the Dark Assassins World series, Reaper and Kai.
As always, Happy Reading!