Interview with Genevieve Valentine

Genevieve ValentineGenevieve’s story “A Garden in Bloom” appears in The Clockwork Jungle Book (Issue #11).  Her website is

Did you ever want to write “just like” someone else?  Who?  Or was there any book that made you say “I can do better than this!”?

Goodnight Moon. What, like that’s the first time anyone thought to wish inanimate objects goodnight? What a hack. (I was four. You pick weird battles.)

Do you have favorite characters?  Any characters, yours or others, are applicable.

Whatever characters I’m currently working with tend to be my favorites.

Have you ever been disillusioned by a character or a book?

I’m a huge fan of Tanith Lee, but after finally finding a copy of Metallic Love, her sequel to Silver Metal Lover, and I wish I hadn’t.

How do you explain what writing is like?  Is it something that you think about?  Do you ever find yourself debating it with strangers?

Some people know how to talk about writing and make it fascinating, and I prefer to leave the discussion of the writing process to them. My process tends to be, “Start, write it, edit it, finish it,” which doesn’t go very far at parties.

If you could choose any five literary people — real or imagined, living or not, friends or otherwise — for a tea party… who would they be?  A night on the town, karaoke, whatever suits.

I’d like to get Poe, Bramwell Bronte, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Kerouac together, declare a drinking contest, and start taking bets.

How did writing a theme story work out?   Is it more complicated than not having to adhere to a theme — or less?

I think most short stories have a theme; with a story designed around a given theme, it’s a matter of finding an element of the theme that appeals and then giving the story additional elements, for texture.

What was the absolute worst piece of advice someone gave you about writing?


Have you ever wanted to let your character[s] run your interview?


Is there something you do that no one ever asks you about?  This can be anything — something unusual you eat, playing poker as a day job, a hobby, whatever you like.

I’m a movie freak; I don’t think that’s a secret, but it takes up so much of my free time that it precludes any other secret hobbies!

Particular favorites for books, movies, series, comics, blogs, etc.?

A recent book I loved was Ekaterina Sedia’s Alchemy of Stone; a recent movie was the outstanding Moon; a recent TV series was the criminally-cancelled The Middleman; and as for comics, I recommend going back in time to when I was 13 and buying whatever I bought, because I remember comics being universally awesome that year, though that might just be a symptom of being 13.  

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Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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