This special guest-blog is part of an internet blitz to publicize the work of Independant authors! Today, June 15th 2013, look for many other posts with this title across the internet!
Tell us a bit about yourself, Valeri:
This statement is always hard to answer but here goes: I’m a fun-loving wife and mother who’d rather read than do most things. I prefer chips to cookies and if given a choice between a book and its movie adaption, I will always, ALWAYS, choose the book! You should too!
The Irony of Vengeance is my first book and I’m super excited to finally be able to share it! www.valeribeatrix.com
What genres do you prefer to read and write?
I’ll read just about anything, except horror L I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat! When writing, there isn’t one particular genre that I stick to; I tend to write whatever pops in my head.
Tell us about your latest book, and where to get it?
The Irony of Vengeance is the story of Mia Ozu, a young woman who, while avenging the slaughter of her parents, ends up committing a murder that changes the direction of her life. It was initially inspired by the fact that like so many others, I’m a 3rd degree black-belt! Unfortunately, that’s only in my dreams so… The paperback version will be available at Amazon on June 25th. The digital versions can be purchased at the following places.
What inspired you to write this book?
For years, I’ve been fascinated with Martial Arts and wanted to create a kick-butt character that could do all the things I can’t! Also, I live on the East Coast and love the diversity of this area so I wanted to create a story with characters that represent numerous nationalities.
What sort of research did you need to do?
Most of my research dealt with a few of the weapons Mia uses in the book and her martial arts styles.
Did this book present any unusual challenges?
Yes, if by unusual you mean trying to complete it with one eye open, one hand stirring a batch of spaghetti sauce and one foot keeping my child from going down the slide head-first!
In terms of your publishing method, what motivated you to choose to self-publish?
Writing is something I absolutely adore and my goal for this book was to simply get the story out! I chose to self-publish because it was the best way to ensure my words reached the world. Down the road, I may try my hand at traditional publishing but for now, this way has proven to be fun and rewarding.
Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?
I don’t think there’s enough time or space to name all my favorites but right now, one of the books I’ve most enjoyed is The Book Thief. I also loved the freshness of the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger, oh and The Night Circus was also beautifully written J
What is next, Valeri?
Sleep, hopefully! Then on to completing book two of this series. I have a few other books and ideas in the pipeline, but it’s starting to get clogged so I’m forcing myself to slow it down.
What advice would you give to new/aspiring authors?
The best advice I’ve ever received is to 1.) WRITE! and 2.) don’t edit while writing; don’t re-read what you’ve already written. When I first started, I couldn’t figure out why it took a month to complete a chapter, until I realized that every time I’d begin a new writing session, I’d read what was written in the last one…which led to a word change here and a sentence change there. Pretty soon I’d end up with a full re-write. In the end, I found it best to just hammer out the main ideas of the plot to complete the first draft and then use the second draft to go back and make everything beautiful!
Here’s an excerpt from The Irony of Vengeance:
Javier Costano leaned back in a comfortable-looking chair, puffing smoothly on a cigar that probably cost more than most peoples’ monthly mortgage payment. A plume of smoke escaped his lips, and he smiled as the fragrant cloud descended around him. His sea-green eyes were closed, which appeared to make the small gathering of men before him nervous.
From the roof of a nearby high school, it was at first tough to see past the greenery of the Tuscan-styled terrace on the fourth floor of his townhouse; but with a quick adjustment to her pen-sized spy glass, Mia was able to track his every move as he slowly sat up and rubbed his tanned fingers across the smooth leather of the seat. When he opened his eyes, no one dared to meet them, and again, he took a puff of the cigar.
She tried to follow along as his mouth began to move rapidly, but all she could make out was something about a traitor.
Several of his associates, who had now formed a slight semi-circle around him, shifted uncomfortably in their seats. It was a widely known fact that Costano ruled his business with an iron fist, which meant if there really was a traitor, several of the men in that room would probably “disappear” before the real culprit was found.
“Move it!” Mia mumbled when someone stood up and blocked her line-of-sight. After several minutes passed with her view obscured, she decided a quick assessment of the grounds was in order.
There was no denying the beauty of Costano’s Upper East Side residence. The stone archways and iron gates surrounding the terrace, coupled with a bronze cherub-guarded water fountain, easily invoked images of an Italian villa. From a floor plan online, she’d learned that the townhome itself was composed of five floors, each with its own fireplace, several master suites, and an elevator. Yet beneath its elegant façade were a number of bodyguards and a state-of-the-art security system she had no interest in trying to circumvent.
Mia turned her attention back to the cigar room just in time to see Costano move from his seat and to a pool table at the far end of the room.
With the cigar placed firmly between his lips, he grabbed the queue ball and absently twirled it in a circular motion against the smooth, green material.
“Come on!” Mia whispered when the man from before, blocked her line of sight. This time, she tried to get a glimpse of his face, but the only details she could see clearly were that he was dressed completely in black and that he wore some sort of armband on his wrist.
Several minutes passed before the man stepped aside, and by a stroke of luck, the lights in the room flickered, sending everyone to their feet with weapons drawn. Mr. Man-in-black also moved into a defensive position, but it was already too late.
Mia swiftly took advantage of the situation and slid her hand to the row of crescent-shaped throwing stars secured to her thigh. Given to her by a client, they were razor-sharp and constructed like a boomerang. With a flick of her wrist, one sliced through the window and filleted the delicate skin of Costano’s throat before returning to her waiting fingers. The weapon was so efficient and quick, not one drop of blood appeared on its razor-sharp blade.
A flurry of activity ensued as the men realized what had happened and swarmed the body, while Costano clasped his hands around the gaping wound, trying in vain to stop the flow of blood.
Three men hoisted him into his chair while the others yelled into their wireless earpieces.
Only one man was bold enough to approach the window. He flung open the adjacent glass door and stalked onto the terrace, daring her to add to the blood count as he searched the darkened skies and the grounds below.
Mia smiled, wishing she could make out his face, but with her spyglass tucked away, it was just a blur of features. He turned on his heels to head back inside, and when he neared the doorframe, she launched another crescent that wedged itself in the side panel of wood.
The man’s hands shot up to his throat before continuing down the rest of his body. With caution, he turned and wriggled the weapon free before gazing in her direction. Mia ducked but wasn’t sure if she’d been fast enough. If he had caught a glimpse of her, it couldn’t have been a good one, but she wasn’t going to stick around to find out.