Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. She is the author of Slither and Just Hold On, and narrator for Dragons of Faith.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Valarie: I wrote often in junior high and high school. My writing sort of fell by the wayside in early adulthood, with marriage, kids, and a mortgage. I picked it back up about five years ago, when I started writing seriously again.
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Valarie: Somewhere in a box I have a story I wrote for the high school newspaper. It was about an insane troll who lost his mind on Valentine’s Day.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Valarie: I read just about anything as long as it is well written and I’m a multi-genre author.
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?
Valarie: Organizing time. I always have ideas, but I also have four teenagers at home. I’m working on being more firm about interruptions during my writing time.
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Valarie: I’m doing the thing I’ve dreamed of doing since I started writing really dramatic poetry in the seventh grade. That’s cool.
TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?
Valarie: Marketing. It’s not something that comes naturally to me.
TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?
Valarie: Two. Just Hold On and Slither.
Keep an eye on Valarie Savage Kinney’s Amazon author page for more exciting titles!
TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?
Valarie: I’m currently editing for a manuscript called Heckled. It’s about a man who has spent his life being tormented by mental illness which takes the form of an angry Scotsman who harasses him daily.
TDBW: Do you have any books coming out soon?
Valarie: I have short stories in two anthologies coming out this winter with 7DS Books.
TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
Valarie: I’m fairly in love with the Outlander series at the moment. I love the character of Black Jack.
TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Valarie: Diana Gabaldon, Jodi McIsaac, Stef Penney, Neil Gaiman.
TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
Valarie: Anything by Gabaldon or Gaiman. I love the rich, descriptive nature of their work.
TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
Valarie: Yes. Hello Dave, Uncle Kracker, Hugh Laurie.
TDBW: Any hobbies?
Valarie: Reading and crocheting.
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
TDBW: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?
Valarie: Here is an excerpt from the beginning of Slither:
Zari clawed at her sister, Gianna, in a desperate attempt to escape. Gianna ran her forked tongue slowly across her upper lip. The slimy, berry-colored muscle dripped hot saliva onto Zari’s face as she turned away from Gianna’s menacing glare. “Please don’t make me watch! I don’t want to see this again!” Zari cried, curling into a ball on the hard, cold floor of the shed.
Nan stomped on Zari’s stomach, anger flushing her grizzled features. “Listen, you little bitch. You will sit still and watch, or I will see to it your father beats you senseless…again. Remember the last time?” Zari did remember. She’d not been able to walk for two days after the last beating. The pain in her gut now was so great it knocked the air from her lungs as she wheezed.
Zari whimpered. Pain, shame and disgust clenched her stomach as the young man tied to the pallet in the corner screamed for mercy. Pop straddled the man, laughing as his prisoner frantically thrashed about. Nan and Gianna gripped Zari’s arms and forced her to a sitting position. Roughly grabbing her chin, Nan yanked her head forward. “Watch!” Nan hissed.
Terror shook Zari’s bones, leaving her shivering as she raised her eyes to the scene in the corner of the shed. Pop ran his thumb over the lips of the man, who cried out once more but was quickly silenced when the snake burst forth from Pop’s mouth and slithered down the throat of the man, a drifter who had stopped by the farmhouse the day before, looking for work.
The man’s body had stilled and dark, thick rivers of blood dripped from his mouth and nose down the side of his face. Pop’s mouth pressed against the lips of the stranger as the serpent fed. When her father finally rose, the snake slid back into his mouth and Pop wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand. He met Zari’s gray-green eyes with his own, and grinned. His teeth were stained dark red.
Gianna’s split tongue flicked against Zari’s ear; the feel of the wet, dual points of it against her skin made Zari flinch. “Soon,” Gianna whispered, tracing the outer edge of Zari’s ear with her tongue. “Soon, it will be your turn to feed.”
Pop shoved the limp body of the young man onto the pile of human shells stacked along the wall of the shed.
Overwhelmed by the stench of blood and decaying flesh, Zari began to vomit. Vile chunks of rancid meat erupted from her mouth and bile burned her throat and nose as she heaved. Grimacing, she dragged the hem of her shirt across her mouth, resolving never to eat meat again.