Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Carolina Valdez

Today's special guest at the Tiki Hut is Carolina Valdez. Carol warns not to be fooled by the photo. "Even if you walk most of the race, you want to be sure to break into a run for the camera." Although most of her running days have morphed into walking days, she's completed over a hundred distance races - six of them marathons. Her short story about a murder on the streets she's actually competed on, in the Los Angeles Marathon, appears in a Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthology.

After a varied career as a registered nurse while winning awards and making sales writing freelance, she decided to retire to finish her first novel. Now she writes about searing passions and the sweetly explosive ecstasies of love.

Thanks so much for being our guest today!

Thanks, DeNita, for this opportunity to talk, once again, about writing. Right now I’m jogging in sunlight because HOLE IN ONE, my second gay story, hit the Amber Quill/Allure December Best Seller list almost as soon as it was released.

I think any artistic person, be it musician, artist, writer, choreographer, designer or whatever, can look back and see signs of those interests early in life. I can smell newly sharpened pencils, feel a fat yellow pencil in my hand and a tingle of anticipation as my teacher slides a lined piece of cheap paper in front of me. Using my newly acquired cursive skills, I wrote in small, cramped letters—no doubt because I thought small and cramped meant I was grown up--as I spun stories on that page.

She was my third grade teacher, and I fell in love with her because she let me use my imagination and write stories. Now Amber Quill Press lets me use my imagination and write stories. I love them, too! I’ve never worked with or been associated with nicer people.

People ask me what I write, expecting me to answer with a single word, such as Regency, paranormal, mystery, science fiction or something. It’s not that simple. I write non-fiction as Dee Ann Palmer, and all my Amber Quill Press stories are sizzling erotic romances. As for subgenres, I’ve tried contemporary, historical, time travel, fantasy, paranormal and gay.

Every story, no matter the subgenre, requires research. Earnest, time consuming research. HANGIN’ WITH MY WINDOW MAN, to be released this February, is a sequel to TIE ‘EM UP, HOLD ‘EM DOWN, and Bear and Dane will return in this new episode.

For the first book, I’d observed in a fire department when I was in training to become a mobile intensive care nurse, I’d seen a Bloodhound and learned about other search dogs through a program in my Sisters in Crime chapter, and the men in my family had played recreation department baseball. Still, that wasn’t enough. I had to expand on what I knew. Writing the sequel used most of those elements from the original story, but now I had to find out about high rises in Los Angeles, how the windows are cleaned and what can go wrong, and the administrative inside workings of a film studio.

Coming up with and developing new ideas may be challenging, demanding and often exhausting, but it’s always fascinating. I think I’ll hang in there.

Best wishes for a great and prosperous 2009!

Look for OTHER REALMS, OTHER LOVES, my next paperback release. It’s available now on Amazon.com, but Author Island will be featuring it in March.

All of Carolina’s books are available at Amber Quill Press. Some can be found at ARe, FictionWise, Amazon.com and Amazon.com/Kindle.


  1. Super congrats Carolina!!! Hadn't heard that HOLE IN ONE hit the bestseller list!!!

    That's fabulous news - good for you!


  2. Thanks, DeNita. I'm always surprised and pleased when this happens. TIE 'EM UP, HOLD 'EM DOWN was also a Top Ten Amber Quill Best Seller. We'll have to see what happens when HANGIN' WITH MY WINDOW MAN, its sequel, is released in February.


  3. Congrats on hitting the Bestseller list.
    I love to read books where the author has done their research.

  4. Thanks for the congratulations, Estella!

    I appreciate research, too. However, it's easier to slip up than you'd think. For instance, in one of Patricia Cornwell's books she writes that her skin was cleansed with an alcohol wipe before she was given a smallpox vaccination.

    As a public health nurse, I happen to know acetone must be used to cleanse the skin. Alcohol renders the vaccine ineffective.

    Did that make me stop reading her book? Absolutely not. I've learned how easy it is to get tripped up despite how hard you've worked to be absolutely correct.

    Have a great day!