In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome the amazing… Valerie Parv!
1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Any way I could work with words would have suited me. A Mad Men type advertising man who knew my father, read some of my teenage writing and suggested I become an advertising copywriter. Guess that makes me a mad woman LOL. I finished the three year advertising diploma in one year and had a thrilling next few years writing about everything from hardware to doing your own plumbing, but at least I was writing.
2. What did you do before becoming a writer?
See above. I had my work published in the children’s pages of the Sunday papers, as well as reams of fiction that I wrote when I still had trainer wheels. Some of that early work is archived in the State Library of NSW who have collected my literary papers for many years. Writing for advertising led to freelance journalism, then to my first non-fiction book, and from there to romance fiction.
3. What are some of your most treasured memories?
Finding my soulmate while working in the advertising department of a big Sydney hardware chain, a relationship that friends described as 38 years of first dates. Meeting one of my personal heroes, Neil Armstrong, which felt like shaking hands with Christopher Columbus. Getting writing advice from Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek universe. I’ve been blessed with so many memorable moments.
4. What’s your latest release, and what are you currently working on?
With Birthright, I’ve taken my writing to the stars. It’s a romantic suspense with aliens and evil astronauts. A reviewer described it as unlike anything she’s ever read, which is a great compliment. Two follow-up books about the characters from Birthright are in the works, and an original romantic suspense movie I wrote is in pre-production.
5. What’s a typical day like for you (if there’s such a thing)?
As any author knows, writing isn’t a 9-5 activity. I write every day, but it’s as likely to be at 2am as 9-5, depending on when the characters are whispering in my ear. I mentor an emerging writer through the Valerie Parv Award set up in my honor by Romance Writers of Australia, and in my (laughs) free time, I enjoy indoor/carpet bowling, meeting up with friends, seeing movies, and pampering my rent-a-kids and rent-a-pets.
6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now.
Good friends; more ideas than I can possibly develop; and health, without which the rest doesn’t matter.
7. If you could fast forward in time to be any age or year for just one day, what would you choose and why?
Easy answer – I wouldn’t. I try to practice the Zen ideal of living in the present, squeezing every ounce of juice out of the here and now that I can.
8. If you could have any new technology in the future to make your life easier and more fun, what would it be?
Now you’re talking. A Star Trek replicator to eliminate cooking and cleaning up; the robot maid from The Jetsons, and a thought-to-keyboard translator for my writing.
9. What are your hopes and dreams?
Apart from world peace – war makes absolutely no sense to me – I’m looking forward to seeing my movie script go into production. I’d also like to keep my wits enough to be able to write until my last breath. A joke on Facebook recently said, “I’d like to go like my grandfather, peacefully in my sleep, and not screaming in terror like his passengers.”
Thanks, Valerie, for joining me on the blog today, and all the best for Birthright!
Valerie Parv is one of Australia’s most successful writers with more than 29 million books sold in 26 languages. She is the only Australian author honored with a Pioneer of Romance award from RT Book Reviews, New York. With a lifelong interest in space exploration, she counts meeting Neil Armstrong as a personal high point. So it’s no wonder she’s taking romance to the stars and beyond In Birthright, her most ambitious novel yet. She loves connecting with readers via her website valerieparv.com, blog valerieparv.wordpress.com, @ValerieParv on Twitter and on Facebook.
Former police officer turned deputy governor, Shana Akers, is used to handling high-stakes situations. But after learning that a space shuttle mission about to be launched from her island home may have a shocking secret agenda, she must turn for answers to the man who has challenged her mind and emotions for years.
Scientific genius and space center director, Adam Desai, is a truly self-made man. Found adrift at sea as a baby, he knows nothing about his origins until two VIPs attending the launch force him to confront the truth about his past, changing everything Adam has ever believed about himself.
Faced with a danger that threatens the entire world, can Adam and Shana find the strength to trust not only each other, but the mysterious VIPs whose unusual abilities defy logical thinking? Especially when it becomes clear that they’ll need all of their combined resources to reclaim humanity’s BIRTHRIGHT.
Published by Corvallis Press USA 2012.