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Kinney spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you—Valarie Savage Kinney!


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 Heckled, Slither, Just Hold On, and the Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories in various anthologies.


Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve wanted to be a writer since about the 7th grade, when I started writing really bad, really morose poetry.  

Why did you choose to write your genre?

I’m a multi-genre writer, but I enjoy fantasy and horror the most. I love writing outside the range of the norm, and disgusting things are just plain fun to write.  


Currently, what are you working on?

I’m working on the sequel to In the Presence of Knowing, which I released April 2017. It’s a fantasy set in a Renaissance Festival. The sequel, When Knowing Comes, should be out early next year.


Let’s talk about your latest book for a moment. What motivated the plot?

I vend at a Renaissance Festival each summer, and the atmosphere is so magical, it begged for a story.

What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?

My book Heckled features a man battling a mental illness that presents in the form of an angry, rotten-smelling Scottish man.


What was the hardest story for you to write?

Heckled. I wrote the end first, and it’s sad. Then the entire time I was writing the story and falling in love with the characters, I knew how it would end.

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality?

I think all of them do, at least to a degree. Especially the artsy, awkward, anxious ones.

Who has been your favorite character? Why?

I think Rogan O’Connor, in In the Presence of Knowing. Largely because I’m not a huge fan of alpha males, and Rogan is not what is considered traditionally attractive, but he’s kind and sensitive. And he plays the troll at the Renaissance Festival.

What process do you use to plan your novels? 

I’m a pantser. I often get a little glimpse of what’s coming, and then I write that and get to see a little more.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

Yes. I try to take a break and do something else creative for a while.     

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be?

I’m already multi-genre. I don’t set myself boundaries as far as genre goes. I “see” the story first, and roll with that.      

Which authors inspire you?

Diana Gabaldon is one of my very favorites.

What novel would you read multiple times?

Anything Outlander.


What is your favorite quote?

Eating Poetry

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character)

Tim Burton. His mind has got to be a carnival of creativity, and I’d love to hear his ideas. [I love that phrase “carnival of creativity!”]

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?

Dogs. I’ve got two, Zoey and Ziva.

What is your favorite color? 


When you’re not writing…I also work in an office as a customer service rep. And I have four kids (and two dogs), which is a full -time job in itself. Oh, and each June I vend at a Renaissance Festival in Mid Michigan, where I hawk my books and crocheted creations under the “Support your Local Hookers” sign.

You can find Valarie online at…

Blog     Facebook    Twitter     Instagram

Thank you for hanging out with me today. It was a pleasure getting to know you.

Join me next week when author  Bridgette O’Hare will be stopping by!

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