Featured Author: Valerie Lioudis is an author who writes both novels and short stories in several genres, but her main focus is horror. The New Jersey native penned The Many Afterlives of John Robert Thompson, her debut solo novel, in 2017. Along with her husband, Kristopher, she had already published book one in the Aftershock Zombie Series in 2014. She loves the art of writing a short story and has been published in eight anthologies, most notably Undead Worlds. The Reanimated Writers, a group of indie zombie fiction authors, created a best-selling anthology that featured twenty-two undead worlds. Valerie spearheaded the project, along with several other endeavors including the Reanimated Rumble with this online community. To find out more about Valerie and her work you can visit her website AftershockZombieSeries.com or connect with her on Facebook @AuthorValerieLioudis or Twitter @AuthorVLioudis. She hangs out in The Reanimated Writers Facebook Group, and will talk to just about anyone, so join and say hello! If you are looking for her books, they are available on Amazon. If you type Valerie Lioudis, you will find her. She is the only one!
Featured Author: Valerie Lioudis Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words each day or a goal?
- How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
Valerie Lioudis:Writing came late to me. I started writing my first book in 2013 after I realized that time was ticking by, but those things on my bucket list weren’t getting checked off. My husband and I co-wrote the first novel I finished, but ever since then, the writing spell has me under its trance!
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
Valerie Lioudis: Writing Horror comes easy to me, but it really isn’t what I prefer to write. I have a pretty dark streak hidden inside this average American suburban mom. Recently, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book under my pen name Vea Lewis. That was so much fun. It was nice to be able to share my work with my kids. My horror stuff can take a turn off a cliff to a place I don’t want even my older ones associating with me. I also dabble in sci-fi and metaphysical fiction. Really, I just write what comes to my mind on any given day.
LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
Valerie Lioudis: It was a huge life change that pushed me to write. I married young and had a herd of kids. Years were spent at home taking care of them, and I never developed a life of my own. Then, right before I turned thirty, we got divorced. It was like a bomb went off in my life, and my identity was gone. I spent a lot of time looking for my passion. Right after I published my first book, I knew I had found it, and from that moment on I would be forever known as an author.
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
Valerie Lioudis: I am a total pantser. With short stories, I just look at an open call and see what comes to me. Each story submitted is crafted to go with that specific anthology. With my novels, I normally have a dream that needs to be put on paper.
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
Valerie Lioudis: Right now, I am doing my best to write every single day. I also spend most of my allotted marketing time on Facebook in The Reanimated Writers Fan Group. It is a zombie fiction fan group and is a great place for fans to interact with authors. We also have an authors only group where we help each other with the business behind the scenes.
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
Valerie Lioudis: My editor. Jack from Readline Editing is amazing. Every pro should have a trusted editor.
LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
Valerie Lioudis: Finding time. I have seven kids, and we took in another. So really, we have eight now. It is hard to carve out time to write, market and do everything else involved in being a full-time author, but if you love it, you can make it happen!
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
Valerie Lioudis: In a dream world I would hit 2,000 words a day. In reality though, I average around 500. Some days, I write 4,000 and then others I write 0.
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
Valerie Lioudis: I love the art of a short story. It is something to cram a whole world into a few words.
LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
Valerie Lioudis: I stopped trying to find an agent or publisher for now. The next novel I write may or may not be sent out. Short stories calls take up about half of my “business” time a week. I am hoping for 20 anthology inclusions this year. And marketing and promo takes up too much and not enough time simultaneously.
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
Valerie Lioudis: As usual, I intended to write something lighter, and ended up in the darkness. I just can’t seem to keep death out of my writing. Even my picture book has a grim reaper main character.
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
Valerie Lioudis: Find a group of authors in your genre. The Reanimated Writers have been an amazing resource for me professionally and in keeping my sanity. I wish I had found them earlier. They would have saved me years of mistakes.
Valerie Lioudis recently authored “Clay Figures” for Terrors Unimagined on sale now.
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