Today I am welcoming author Val Tobin, author of The Valiant Chronicles (book one and two), Injury, and Storm Lake. Not to mention her other works featured in anthologies.
About the author
Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Author Bio)
Formerly a software/web developer, Val Tobin now spends her time writing and working on a master’s degree. She is also a Reiki Master/Teacher and Angel Therapy Practitioner® with advanced training, certified by Doreen Virtue in Kona, Hawaii. Val contributed a story to Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue’s book Angel Words. She has published three novels and some short stories, available on Amazon and at other retailers.
What are your hobbies?
Reading. That’s it. I’m consumed by books.
Which writers inspire you?
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or paper/hard back books?
Paperback, but it’s more convenient to take my tablet when I travel.
What are you reading at present?
What is your favourite book and why?
The Lord of the Rings. I love Tolkien’s writing. It’s lyrical.
What is your favourite film/ series and why?
X-Files. I’ve always had a fascination for the paranormal.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
Publishing my novels.
How do you relax?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Learn from fellow writers. I find other authors are a helpful bunch. New writers tend to make common mistakes. Find out what those are and avoid them.
If your friends could use one word to describe you what would it be?
What made you realise your calling as an author?
I’ve always loved reading, especially fiction. Writing my own stories was a logical progression.
Where do your ideas come from, what inspires you?
My ideas tend to flow from a train of thought. Something will trigger a thought, and from there, it evolves into a “what if” scenario that forms a story idea.
Example: Storm Lake arose from thoughts that popped into my head when I saw trees with huge burls on them around Eels Lake, near the town of Apsley, Ontario. To me, it looked like the trees were incubating something.
In my imagination, vicious creatures would burst forth when they’d finished gestating and attack any living thing they came across. They’d have voracious appetites and a taste for flesh. I had to make a story out of it.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about three months to get a first draft out and another nine to twelve months to get it to where I’d want to publish it.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m a combination pantser and plotter. I’ll sketch out a high-level plot, create character bibles, and even write down possible scenes. But I find when I’m writing, the characters will take on a life of their own, and the story will take unexpected turns.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Writing the first draft. I find it liberating.
Do you ever get writer’s Block and if so, how do you deal with it?
I’ll sometimes get stuck on a plot detail. I’ll go for a walk and usually I’ll figure it out by the time I get home.
How many books have you written, which is your favourite?
I’ve written five novels. My favourite tends to be the one I’m currently working on, though my first novel, The Experiencers, has a special place in my heart.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on another romantic suspense novel called Gillian’s Island. Right now, it’s in revisions and will be going to beta readers in the next couple of weeks.
I’ve also got the first draft of a paranormal romance completed. It’s called Walk-In.
About the books
What genre are your books?
Two are SF. One is romantic suspense. I also have a short horror story.
What book titles have you released so far?
Tell us a little bit about the series.
The Valiant Chronicles is the two-part story of a UFO group embroiled in a conspiracy that made abductees of some of the group’s members. It follows two main characters: Michael Valiant, an assassin who finds his conscience when he uncovers the truth about the conspiracy; and Carolyn Fairchild, the abductee/experiencer who compels Michael to make the right decision.
The story explores fate, free will, and what makes a person who they are.
Where can we buy them?
All my stories are available on Amazon, and most are free to read with KU/KOLL. Storm Lake is free on Smashwords and Amazon US, CA, and UK.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Carolyn Fairchild is a psychic medium, which means she can communicate with those who have passed on. She also receives premonitions, making her life difficult, especially when others don’t trust her intuition. She’s like Cassandra from Greek mythology because she can foretell the future, but is doubted.
Who is your favourite character and why? (an unfair question I know)
Michael Valiant. I enjoyed following his crisis of conscience and that he’s a bad boy gone right.
In what formats is your book available?
Most are available in e-book and paperback.
When is your next book due for release?
Gillian’s Island will be available in the spring of 2016.
Book titles and synopsis:
Michael Valiant, Agency assassin, deals death without question. He knows it’s all in the name of duty and the fight against terror, particularly at a time when the earth is as close as it’s ever been to self-destructing. But when his orders include silencing members of a UFO group who look less like terrorists and more like housewives and UFO buffs, he decides to do some digging.
His curiosity arouses the ire of his boss and his partner, who warn Michael that his actions are putting him in danger. When Michael’s wife dies in what appears to be a traffic accident, Michael, with his partner’s help and support, pushes aside his doubts and immerses himself in the jobs he needs to complete.
Carolyn Fairchild, Psychic medium and believer in angels, lives happy and contented in a nice home in Newmarket, Ontario, with her husband and daughter. All Carolyn wants is to live in peaceful obscurity. When Carolyn loses her husband under suspicious circumstances, and other members of her group die or disappear, Carolyn grows desperate to uncover the truth and save herself and her daughter.
Ordered to kidnap Carolyn and turn her over to the Agency, Michael confronts Carolyn in her home, ready to complete his assignment. But when Carolyn connects to Michael’s dead wife and reveals to him the truth about her death, Carolyn forces him to choose between saving himself and doing what’s right. Unaware that they are repeating a pattern enacted over many lifetimes, Michael and Carolyn must find a way to break the cycle, or continue playing it out over lifetimes to come.
A New Age Sci-Fi thriller that delves into existing UFO and doomsday weaponry conspiracy theories, The Experiencers keeps readers riveted with non-stop action while the characters struggle to control destinies that may have been predetermined lifetimes ago.
A Ring of Truth:
To ensure her daughter’s safety, Carolyn Fairchild has surrendered to the Agency and the aliens who repeatedly abduct her.
Determined to sever the aliens’ hold on Carolyn and the other abductees, Michael Valiant, Agency assassin, has gone rogue. He’s made his way to the Northwest Territories to find the alien base in The Valley of the Headless Men.
But time is running out.
The aliens have almost completed their experiments, and when they do, the captive abductees will be executed.
While Carolyn chooses between betraying Michael and protecting her daughter, Michael finds himself pursued by a vengeful ex-partner with whom he once almost had an affair. Unaware they are repeating a pattern enacted over many lifetimes, Michael and Carolyn must break the cycle or continue enacting it in lifetimes to come.
Actress Daniella Grayson puts herself in the spotlight, hoping to attract the attention of the father she believes abandoned her when she was five. Dani’s world falls apart when her father’s remains are discovered, and her mother is arrested for the murder.
In a moment of vulnerability, she turns to the handsome and caring Robert “Cope” Copeland, her limo driver, for comfort and support.
Can the budding relationship survive betrayal, Dani’s shameful past, and her obsessive ex-boyfriend?
Here there be monsters.
Thirteen-year-old Rachel and her little brother, Jeff, are looking forward to a weekend of canoeing and spending time with their friends up at the family cottage on Storm Lake in Ontario, Canada. But something terrifying has birthed itself from the trees, and the kids find themselves trapped in an isolated marina fighting for their lives.
Harvest: (part of Tom Benson’s SF anthology The Welcome):
A couple struggles to end their nightmare experience of an alien takeover.
Gillian’s Island: A socially anxious divorcee confronts her greatest fears after she is forced to sell her island home and falls for the handsome and arrogant new owner.
Walk-In: A young psychic enlists the help of a sceptical novelist to battle a power-hungry sorcerer determined to make her his next conquest.
Aedammair’s Choice (will be part of the Indies for Charity 2016 anthology): A pampered young woman is forced to act when rebels destroy her village.
Connect with the author:
Amazon Author Page: Val Tolbin