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Interview with Naomi Valkyrie

She often called a Firebrand Provocateur, brings her unique Autistic perspectives and curiosities to life by weaving tales of deep connection, mystery, and romance. She is inspired by being able to spontaneously create a thought that takes on a life of its own, opening up new adventures for her readers.

The Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy realms are particular areas of interest for Naomi as they allow for the vast exploration of magic, adventure, and the impossible while creating diverse characters that her readers connect with on an emotional level.

When she isn’t attending to familial connections, Naomi loves a dark, comfy reading space surrounded by the symbolism of her spiritual archetypes and her daemon/familiars, while she sips her Starbucks tea and immerses herself in imagination.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
If you’re following me on social media, there’s probably not a lot you don’t know about me. I’m pretty open about my life as a neurodivergent author.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
At the time of this interview, I am working on Something Wicked (Life is Hell book 6). I have several other projects in the works as well.

Q.3 What inspired you to write The Ghastly Gumball?
There wasn’t a specific inspiration. The idea just popped into my head one day and wouldn’t leave me alone, so I wrote it to get it out of my head.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
When I’m writing, I don’t really think about the character in relation to a specific gender. I look at them as a person who is having an experience.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
There’s not really a specific how. I think of it and write down whatever I’m seeing in my head.

Q.6 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
At the time of this interview, I’ve published 12 books. I don’t have a favorite. From the perspective of improving as a writer, I will say that Fate, Frankincense & Funerals, and The Ghastly Gumball are some of my best works up to this point.

Q.7 What is the hardest part of writing books?
The most difficult part of my writing process is constantly readapting my methods to mesh with my neurodivergent brain style. What works for me one day may not work the next.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I honestly don’t know. If I wasn’t writing stories, I’d still have them running through my head. I guess I’d end up speaking to them if writing wasn’t possible.

Q.9 If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead role?
I haven’t really thought about it. I just finished up the book and moved on to the next project. There hasn’t been a lot of time for daydreaming about it going to film.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
To be perfectly honest, marketing is not a strong point for me. Logically, it makes sense that you’d want to get your book in front of people who are interested in reading it. How one goes about that effectively is something I’m still working on.

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose?
If we’re talking high fantasy - Fae. If we’re talking paranormal fantasy, that’s a bit trickier since there are a lot of awesome paranormal beings to choose from. You’ve got vampires, shifters, merfolk, all kinds of gods/goddesses/deities. It makes it difficult to choose just one. If we’re talking about supernatural fantasy, I’d be an Oracle/Seer/Medium (which isn’t technically a race so much as an ability).

Q.12 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
I don’t pay attention to author stereotypes, so I don’t have an answer for this.

Q.13 Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
Sometimes I research whatever might be applicable to the story I’m working on, although since I’m writing fiction, I bend it to what I need for my story to work.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your book, who is dear to you and why?
I don’t have a favorite supporting character in The Ghastly Gumball. They all serve a purpose. I will say that readers have asked most about Brixley and Clyde, and what their stories are outside of this book.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How did you select him/her?
Rhiannon with RMGraphX designed my book cover. She was a referral when I was working on my very first book. She gets what kind of vibe I’m going for, even when I don’t have the words to describe it so it makes working with her easy. And, she’s an amazing artist!

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
Sometimes I don't choose them, they come to me with a name. If I'm actively choosing a character name, I'll go by a meaning that fits the story or a theme. For example, in The Ghastly Gumball, all of the magic-borne characters have a name with the letter X in them.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
The majority of the time I don’t even look at the reviews after the first couple of weeks of a new release. I have to stay focused on writing the next book. The reviews aren’t for the author anyway, they are for other readers to use to make a decision about buying a book.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’ve met several famous people. No specific reason why, just thought it would be cool to meet them and the opportunity presented itself.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I read anywhere from 250 to 400 books a year, depending on my writing schedule. With that many books, it’s hard to pin down a favorite book. I will say that certain authors are one-click buys for me:

- K. A. Merikan
- Nazri Noor
- Domino Finn
- EM Lindsey
- Hailey Turner
- Aimee Nicole Walker
- Jordan L. Hawk
- Pandora Pine
- Morgan Brice

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
When I had to retire from being a Massage Therapist after almost 20 years due to health concerns, I figured it was as good a time as any to start writing. I'd been contemplating it for several years but never had the time because I was busy running my practice. I sat down with a pencil and paper one day, started writing my first book, and it took off from there.

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