Friday, April 06, 2012
Interview with author Kathleen Valentine
I was born and grew up in the Allegheny highlands of Pennsylvania among people who were storytellers. All my life I listened to my parents, aunts and uncles, and their friends tell stories about things that had happened, about the “Old Country”, about their lives. As a child I loved those stories. My first novel, The Old Mermaid's Tale, is a love story about a young woman who collects sea lore stories and the singer/songwriter she falls in love with. To me stories are what keep the past alive and perpetuate culture and traditions.
2.) What do you look for in a good book?
As Sol Stein says, “I want to fall in love.” I look for something that fascinates my imagination – a wonderful character, an intriguing setting, a compelling plot. I don't have as much time to read as I would like to have so I want to be engaged and sucked into the story. If characters are superficial or cliché, I lose interest quickly.
I love being independent. I started my own press, Parlez-Moi Press in 2003. It was slow going in the beginning but since the digital revolution things have really taken off and I'm thrilled.
4.) When reading, do you prefer print books or e-books? Or does it matter?
It depends. I do love the feel of a beautifully bound, deckle-edge hard-over, but I also like the convenience of my Kindle. It doesn't really matter to me once I get sucked into the story.
5.) A genie makes you an offer. Either your next novel will be a huge, runaway success that will bring you millions of fans and dollars, or your next novel will go relatively unnoticed on the larger scene but will draw tons of praise from critics and literary circles (universities, professors, etc.). Which do you pick?
LOL! That's not fair! Of course I long to write a book that will be recognized for its literary merit but, above all, I'm a storyteller and I want people to read and love my stories, so I guess I'd have to go with the former. Not so much because of the fame and fortune, although that would be nice, but because I want people to read my stories.
Teddy's - the All Natural kind without salt because the nuts are crunchier that way.
7.) What's your favorite word?
I've always had a fondness for "troubador."
8.) If you could have any other name than the one you currently have, what would it be?
Actually, I love my name but I wish people would remember the “Kathleen” part and quit calling me “Karen.” That has gotten very old.
9.) Is it true you are hiding under government protection? If so, why? Spill it!
Shhh, it all began on a hot summer night in Galveston when there was a hurricane forming out in the Gulf and we'd been drinking Jose Cuervo all afternoon and then this guy showed up with a van full of hula dancers and, well, I'm sure you can imagine how all that turned out.
You can find out more about my books at my web site: KathleenValentine.com and at my blog: ParlezMoiBog.blogspot.com. Or by visiting my press: ParlezMoiPress.com