Name Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Where are you from?
I currently live in Madrid, Spain.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve got a newly released book: Seamus’s Mate (Alpha Protectors II).
And coming soon, Alpha’s Sunshine, a short story that will be part of Evernight’s anthology Owned by the Alpha.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Honestly? I feel like I’ve always been writing. Even as a child, I liked making up my own stories. One of my favorite school activities was putting together a book for our annual book fair.
However, I didn’t really consider being published until 2009.
Why do I write? Well, I know it sounds a bit cliché but I write because I love it and because the characters in my head won’t shut up. I’ll be out for a walk with my dog or listening to music and a scene will come to me and stick until I write it out.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first considered myself a writer when I received the cover and files for my first published novella, Teaching Alisse. It was a real wow moment.
However, I still have those moments every now and then. Recently, I told some workmates that I’m a published author. They were extremely excited about it and even made me blush! (Not that that’s very hard.) It really made the whole ‘being a writer’ feeling sink in.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have to admit I don’t remember. *laughs* Teaching Alisse was a Christmas story, and I absolutely love the holidays, so I think that might have been what inspired all of it.
My first full length novel, A Decade of Longing, was (probably) inspired by music and the fact that I really like historical novels.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not particularly. I’m a pantser, and tend to write whatever my muse pleases. I’ll start writing a scene and build from there. Sometimes, I’ll have an outline, but it tends to change. At the end, there’s a lot of editing involved.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Normally, titles are the last thing I work on. I do a little brainstorming session until I find the one that fits best with the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, in Seamus’s Mate, there is a message. In my book, I touch upon the theme of mental illnesses, specifically depression.
Depression is an underlying demon in Seamus’ and Kaila’s story. The protagonists are forced to go through the symptoms, becoming trapped in a world that is not theirs.
I want readers to finish the book feeling hopeful. The struggle is real, but they are not alone, and they should never stop fighting against those demons.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think a lot of the time part of an author’s life experience bleeds onto the written page, and it can happen both consciously and unconsciously.
As I said before, Seamus’s Mate touches upon the subject of mental illness. That comes from personal experience as two members of my immediate family have struggled with depression for years.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I love reading, so I couldn’t pick only one book that has influenced my life the most. Nonetheless, I think Gone with the Wind has always been a big favorite.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have so many favorite authors I couldn’t just pick one. However, recently, I read a book by Dorothy Kollat, The Writer’s Desire. She was a new to me author and I absolutely loved the novel.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Author Scarlett Knight. She’s a friend and has been with me through thick and thin. Also, my publisher, Evernight Publishing, and my colleagues, have been there when I’ve needed them the most.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That’s my dream, so yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I actually rewrote this book 3 times before the final product, so I’m happy the way it is.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really, but I suppose it had to do with my love for reading.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Of course! Here’s a snippet:
“Wait up, Kaila.”
She didn’t acknowledge him, and he rushed to catch up with her. He grasped her wrist, spinning her around with force.
“Didn’t you hear me?” he asked.
Kaila’s gaze narrowed. Her lips pursed into an ugly grimace.
“Let go of me, Seamus. Why don’t you let this weak human die already?” She poked him in the chest with her index finger. “I didn’t ask for your help.”
Seamus scrubbed a hand over his face. “What is wrong with you? You’re not making any sense. I know you didn’t ask for my help. I gave it freely, but you aren’t going to deny that we are different, are you?”
Blinding rage took over him. Seamus dug his fingers into her arm. He was tired of all this nonsense. He pulled her closer. Her arm shot out to keep him away, but not fast enough. He swooped down and claimed her lips. She gasped, and he seized the chance to push his tongue into her warm recess. He groaned. She tasted better than he remembered. For a brief moment, she grappled with him, attempting to break lose, but he grabbed her arms with ease and held them behind her back.
He twisted his tongue around hers, drawing it out from its reluctance and forcing it to battle with his. Something in his chest tightened as she responded. Yes. He sucked and tugged and demanded more. She gave it to him. Her body arched against his, her mouth seeking his with almost as much desperation as he possessed. His hold on her slackened. He wanted to touch her everywhere. To press his lips to her body and taste every inch of her. His hand trailed to the curve of her ass, then to her waist. Then, bang! Her knee slammed against his leg. He released her, cursing. He’d probably be incapacitated for life if she’d hit her mark.
“Fuck you, Seamus.”
“Whenever you want, babe. I know you’ve got the hots for me, even if you just tried to castrate me and failed miserably.” He laughed.
Kaila spun and walked away from him again. She was probably not trying to be sultry, but her hips swayed in that way that drove a man to stare. She lifted her arm and gave him the finger. He grinned. She was pissed and sexy. He loved it.
Seamus took in a shaky breath. Watching her back on her feet, her spirit alive and surging, was soothing. He rubbed at the spot where she’d kneed him. It hurt, but it was proof that she was herself again, not lying in a puddle of blood, shredded to pieces by a monster. He glanced at the Dream Catcher’s skeleton out of the corner of his eye. He hadn’t told Kaila the details of what he’d suffered inside the beast. The images of her dead body, broken, destroyed. He didn’t wish his worst enemy a fate like that.
He stretched his wings and snapped them back into place. Even they ached. He adjusted his now-flaccid cock and shuddered. He hurried after Kaila. The place appeared deserted. There were no scones in the wall giving off light. Instead, the walls themselves seemed to pulse with energy. They glowed from the inside as if behind them a relentless flame burned. He frowned. He extended his arm and placed his pinkie on the rock. It burned.
“Damn it.” He put the digit in his mouth, hoping to sooth the sting. “Don’t touch the walls, babe. They’re hot.”
Kaila didn’t reply, but she moved a little closer to the center of the path.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My writing pace. I’m so slow and I usually have to write and rewrite a few times.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I wish, but no. When I’ve travelled it’s been for pleasure. Although, I always learn something new and get inspired by different places and experiences.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My latest covers have all been the work of the talented Jay Aheer.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This book was difficult to write in many ways. There was a lot of world building to do, after all, it’s a paranormal novel that doesn’t take place on Earth. There were places, creatures, objects, that needed to be created and had to make sense.
Then, I had to dig deep into the relationship between Seamus and Kaila. What happened between them? Why are they fighting against their destiny?
Mingling both things to make it coherent and relatable was not easy.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve had to do the most bizarre research. From the history and the myth behind the Seven Sins to how to make sleeping gas or smoke bombs.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Would you believe me if I told you this is the first time I’ve thought about this question? I’m not sure who to pick!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing! What’s that saying? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s 100% true in the writing industry.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your continued support! Your words of encouragement and reviews make my day! It’s a precious gift.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Initiation by Sierra Cartwright.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first book? I’m afraid not.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: my dog, my friends, my family.
Cry: animal cruelty, social injustice.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to sit down with J.R.R. Tolkien and pick his mind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I do agility training with my dog on weekends.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love romantic comedies, musicals and animated films. I’m a huge Disney fan.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music Foods:
Food: Anything with chocolate.
Colors: black, red and purple.
Music: metal music, particularly gothic metal.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have liked to be a music journalist.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do and I love visitors and comments. It’s www.inadreambeyond.blogspot.com. On Sundays, I normally share snippets from published stories or new WIPs.