Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Connors.
Valerie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve spent my career in accounting, finance, and software consulting, the past twenty-three years in the architecture and engineering industry. I’m currently the CFO of an engineering consulting firm. Ten years ago I started writing and learned about the publishing industry through my association with the Atlanta Writers Club, an organization of about six hundred writers, that’s been an important part of the Atlanta literary community since 1914.
My first novel, In Her Keeping, was published in 2013. It was inspired by an eight-week-old tiger cub named Meka, that I met in a North Carolina Sanctuary. Since then I’ve had three more novels published, Shadow of a Smile, a story about family secrets, A Promise Made, a historical novel about domestic abuse in the years just following World War II, and, A Better Truth, my first thriller. I’m just finishing up my fifth novel, a dystopian thriller.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some people think that once you’ve had a book published, you can quit your day job and devote all your time to writing and watching those royalty checks come pouring in.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of novelists can make a living with our writing.
My challenge has been to write and promote my books while holding down a full-time job. It can be frustrating at times, like when it’s Sunday afternoon at 5:00 and I’ve been immersed in my story all weekend, then have to put it aside for a week, sometimes more.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Valerie Joan Connors, Author – what should we know?
My first two novels, In Her Keeping and Shadow of a Smile, are considered women’s fiction because they deal primarily with women’s issues. The third, A Promise Made, is historical fiction, and the fourth, A Better Truth, is a psychological thriller. I’m not sure whether my genre-hopping is I good idea or not, but since I began my writing career relatively late in life, I’m trying a little of everything, and I’m having so much fun with it.
I’ve been fortunate in that lots of book clubs have been drawn to my stories, and I’m often invited to meetings as a guest author. It’s extremely rewarding when people are moved by my stories, or something really resonates with someone. I especially enjoy it when the members of the book club talk to each other about their take on a particular scene or character, and I get to listen. I learn so much from it, and I’m encouraged to keep writing.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My association with the Atlanta Writers Club changed my life. I learned about them at the Decatur Book Festival in 2010, when one of their members stepped out of the tent and asked me if I was a writer. I didn’t know what to say. I had just finished writing my first manuscript that would later become A Promise Made. In that first project, I think I made every rookie mistake possible, but it was the AWC and the wonderful people I’ve met at a result, that gave me the courage to say it for the first time. Yes, I am a writer.
I joined the AWC board in 2011 and have been a board member ever since. I was the president from 2013 to 2015, and have been the VP of Programming since then. It’s where I found my tribe.
- Website: www.valeriejoanconnors.com
- Email: email@example.com