I had the opportunity for a short conversation with Author Val Sims. Let’s get to know her a little bit:
Thanks to the pandemic, Val found herself with time on her hands after the lockdown started. Writing began as a way to pass the time. She only started writing seriously after one of the eReading platforms approached her with an offer for what would become her debut novel on their platform.
She says, “At first, I didn’t think anyone would want to read Begin Again, but the public reception was so overwhelmingly positive I began to take it more seriously, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Val does write every day, but she tends not to give herself deadlines. “Writing is my creative outlet. I associate deadlines with my real-life job, which is super stressful, so I try not to carry that stress into my creative outlet. I never want my writing to feel like a job or a chore. I write if and when I can, which can be super frustrating for readers who prefer binge-reading books in one go,” she shares.
“I get a lot of my writing done on the fly when I’m on my phone, on my way to work and back, during my lunch break at work, and sometimes at family gatherings when I’m tired of talking,” she continues.
Do you bounce ideas off anyone?
“On quite a few people,” she responds with a laugh. “My go-to person at home is my husband, who usually shoots down my ideas. That doesn’t stop me from trying to execute them, though. I have a close friend at work, and she doesn’t mind all my ramblings. Lastly, I have a close friend in the writing community, AJ (Agatha Rosa), the author of Entwined; she’s always such a darling and a great source of support.”
Do characters speak to you?
“They always talk to me,” she says. “And I always tell my work friend (the one I mentioned earlier) that the characters pretty much write themselves since I take direction from them. It can get frustrating when I hit a wall and don’t hear their voices for days on end, sometimes weeks. And when that happens, I move on to the next project on my list or dabble in other stuff.”
How in-depth do you develop characters?
“The character-building process is always evolving and never cast in stone,” she states. Initially, when she starts a novel, she’ll have a rough idea of the characteristics of each character – what they should look, feel, and sound like. “A lot of their depth shines through as I work on the book. They are a constant work in progress.”
What do you enjoy most about writing a romance?
Val shares, “I’m a hopeless romantic, so the idea of a happily ever after always gets me and the naive belief that there is one special someone for everyone, you know, that one person who just gets. You can walk through fire and come out okay with them by your side.”
What have you found to be most challenging about writing a romance?
“Keeping the romance/love story between the main characters fresh. All the romance tropes have been done so many times before, so coming up with something new, fresh, and interesting sometimes becomes a challenge. Another challenge is creating a fairytale kind of love in a realistic setting and trying not to be cliche about it.”
Have you been able to incorporate your previous experience in your jobs/education in your writing?
Most of Val’s books are office romances. She says having worked in a corporate setting for eighteen years has given her plenty of source material to use as inspiration.
Please describe Beautiful Disaster in 10 words or less for people who are just learning about it.
Beautiful Disaster is about finding love in unexpected, sometimes strange places.
Advice to New Writers
There is no right or wrong way to write; simply find what works for you and stick with it.
Readers can connect with Val via
- Instagram @fading_inkstains,
- Facebook: @fadinginkstains (Author Val Sims)
- Val’s website: www.authorvalsims.com
Where can they buy your books?
- Begin Again is available on Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Books.
- Save Him and Beautiful Disaster are available on pay-to-read platforms: GoodNovel, Joyread, and NovelCat.
- A paperback release is planned for both books sometime in 2024. Val’s website will be updated with dates closer to the time of release.
You can read the review of Begin Again on our sister website, Slvrdlphn.com. Just click on the picture below: