It was a great pleasure to catch up with Valerie again and to hear about her latest work.
But first, a bit of background! Valerie’s first breakthrough into print came when she won Writing Magazine’s Annual Ghost Story Competition back in 2002. Over forty novellas later, she is currently writing The Yorkshire Saga Series for Sapere Books and is about to celebrate the publication of the fourth in the series, which is In Sickness and In Health and comes out on 13th April.
The series of stand-alone, fast-paced adventures is set in the early nineteenth century: a time of dramatic social change at home as the wars dragged on in France. With story-lines including smuggling, espionage and press-gangs, the result is books packed with the mounting dramas facing each hero and heroine.
Research, explains Valerie, is the key to writing convincing historical fiction. From the ancient trods that cross the moors to the history of the various halls and abbeys that dot the region, North Yorkshire makes for an atmospheric and beautiful setting.
She loves the challenge of creating strong characters and a sense of place whilst working within the limitations of the characters' understanding of life within that era, and keeping things accessible to a modern reader: superstition, religion, tradition, travel and folklore were important, and people's roles/places in society were so much more limited than they are today.
Moving forward, Valerie has embraced the digital world as her North Riding novellas are now available as eBooks. Although she would hate to see traditionally-published books replaced completely, eBooks are convenient, hygienic and space efficient, although the feel of a good book can never be replaced.
Breaking away from the romance of the past, the suspenseful psychological thriller Roses are Dead is also now available as an eBook and attracting 5* reader reviews.
Valerie is an experienced creative writing tutor, loving the challenge of supporting and encouraging as-yet-unpublished writers to move toward attaining their writing goals, as well as developing the skills of more established writers.
You can contact Valerie through her website ValerieHolmesAuthor.com for further details of the services she offers guaranteeing constructive, helpful, professional feedback.