Exclusive Interview with

Z Vally

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When did you start writing?

I started writing since I was a teenager. I enjoyed essay writing at school and would get carried away.

Z Vally
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What makes writing your passion?

Escapism into another world and I can put my thoughts much better in writing than verbally.

Z Vally
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How long have you been writing?

This is my first published book but I have entered writing competitions in my younger days.

Z Vally
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

When I held the physical book in my hand for the first time, I choked. Yes, it was a journey but it was a rewarding odyssey. And, this journey is still continuing but this time with people in real life, and not with the invented ones.

Z Vally
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I lived in Cyprus and travelled to Rhode Island (Greece) so characters were based from what I would have encountered in these countries.

Z Vally
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

For writing, when I get stuck and I cannot fit the zigsaw puzzle for that section of the story. Not annoying but difficult - It was setting up the US tax system on Amazon.com

Z Vally
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

When I get a writer’s block it has been for an episode in the story so I jump to the next event and leave a blank for it.
It has happened eg I could not find something humorous to write on the Russian event. I left a gap and moved on to the next scene.
After three days, I did find an answer. It just hit me when I saw a picture of a watch. Eureka moment. I thought why not add music to it and went further with the idea as it is in the book.

Z Vally
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Writing keeps me going. I love writing. I do get carried away and this is my vocation and I cannot run away from it. It makes me escape to another world and I enjoy being there.
My advice to new authors: be warned of publishers who ask you to pay for marketing your book, even a small sum. The will want more and more afterwards. And, you will have to sign a contract which will not allow you to complain about it or anything to do with the publishing company. Run. Run. Run. They are known as vanity publishers and they are sharks. They make money from your marketing payout.
Also, find a literary agent from Writers Artist Yearbook instead of self publishing the book as I did. I do not know if I did the right thing at present.
Libraries have Writers Artist Handbook or buy one from Amazon. Do not accept a literary agent from the internet search. I nearly signed up with one but escaped. It was a vanity publisher. Be warned!
The self publishing route is VERY hard but you need a tenacity for it. It is very rewarding as you learn a lot as you go along. You are always on the go and you will be using your own money too. However, you are in charge if you have purchased your own isbn for your book, via the self publishing route.

Z Vally
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

My younger self: I did not have much say in my growing up. My parents just wanted me to get married and ended up making me fearful of it. I escaped through education. This is part of my novel too towards the end.

Z Vally
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Yes, I read them. So far, my lowest has been three stars. So, not bad. But, if a bad review, it means that this reader has a different taste.

Z Vally
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Elated. I feel it was worthwhile writing this story.

Z Vally
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes. Few episodes in this book are from my own real-life experiences. Some are humorous and some are harrowing.

Z Vally
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Alexis. She is a bit like me but few good traits added to it to be someone I would had liked to be.

Z Vally
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

Yes. It should reflect what is to come. Mine shows the two main characters in a boat to indicate a story in a place surrounded by sea. Name of place mentioned too.

Z Vally
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I prefer expressing through my writing. I can put more thought to it.

Z Vally