Q&A With Valerie Y. Turner

Valerie is a native of rural Idaho, and Miscellany III is her first experience with anthologies. Her first book is available now.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

As a child I wanted to be a teacher and became one. I have always written short stories and poems since I was a child. I decided I could be a writer once I retired and wrote my first book.

When did you write your first story and how old were you?

I don’t remember probably in Elementary school but I was always acting out stories in my head and daydreaming about different stories.

How long does it take you to write a short story?

Once I have an idea it takes me anywhere from 2 weeks to a month.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write in spurts but even when I am not writing I am researching about the project or playing it out in my mind in a play.

Is it different working on an anthology than writing on your own?

I found it to be fun but this is my first time writing an anthology. I am still learning.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I mix different types of genres. I am finding paranormal, horror, and historical fiction all come together for me in my stories.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

I use genealogy sites, youtube videos on psychology, historical society websites, academic articles, and historical sources for my research.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love being in nature, hiking, walking on a beach, driving through a forest and eating at a picnic table outside is my happy place.

Tales of a Sunflower is a deeply autobiographical novel recounting important events from Valerie's life.

What does your family think of your writing?

They like it and find it disturbing sometimes because it can be dark and very emotional.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

That an evil elf was alive in my head and could tell me what he would and wouldn’t do. I think all writers find we have different characters who come to life for us when we create our stories.

Do you have any advice on how to be a better short story writer?

Find what works for you by trying different ways of writing. Sometimes adapting what has worked for others will help you develop your own talent.

How many stories/books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written one novel, this short story, and I am working on my second book. I have written many poems and have lost count of them. I think my favorite is whatever I am working on at the time because I change with each piece I finish.

Have you written any full-length books or do you have plans to? If so, what are they?

My first book was Tales of a Sunflower. My second book I am working on now, is about a woman who was murder in 1862.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good hook in the beginning that pulls the reader in, A middled that takes the reader on a wild ride through this world you create and pulls heart strings, and finally at the end the story ties it back to the beginning with the theme of your story.