not only Valerie Ullmer delighted our eyes with the cover of her latest work, Seth, but she’s also here for a chat with me (us).
Let’s start. Hi, Valerie, and thank you for being here. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I have two novels in my Dark Assassins series that have been focused on the main character, a trained immortal assassin, shifter or vampire, and their human mates. For Seth, he meets a vampire who has nothing to do with the life he’s used to, and he realizes that he’s the human mate this time. He’s never thought about becoming immortal, but now that he’s found his mate, he knows that his life had a plan all along.
Nice! I love the story! If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
For Seth I could see him played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and for Aubrey, Vanessa Hudgens would be a good pick.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
You will never know at what point in your life you will meet the exact right person for you. Be open and embrace it.
So true… Did you always had the reins of the story or the people in it tried to take over?
I like when my characters tell me that I’m heading in the wrong direction. While I was outlining, I wanted Aubrey to be depicted as a complete loner. But as I actually wrote my scenes, I knew that she would have a best friend, the one person that would be her biggest cheerleader. That is how Cole came about. He’s an ER doctor who’s had a horrible dating history, even being in a relationship with an abusive man, but throughout it all, Aubrey has been there for him just as he’s been there for Aubrey. I love it when the story gels that way.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new series that features two men, who are the best of friends, realizing that they are in love with the same woman. Without sacrificing their friendship, they decide to pursue the woman together. It’s very new for me, so I’m researching the dynamics of the relationships between three people.
What was your job before you started writing full time?
I’m very lucky to say that writing is my day job, and night job, and weekend job (which I love very much). Before I was a writer, I worked at several jobs, mainly data entry positions, so I could listen to audiobooks while working. I’m glad that I don’t have to deal with that any longer.
What started you on the path to writing?
Reading. I loved reading, it was quiet and I could do it by myself. But when I read books and I started questioning whether I would have let the plot go in that specific direction, then I realized that I might want to write and tell my own stories.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
Well, it’s very boring to be honest. I wake up and make my husband breakfast before I drop him off at his car pool. I either walk my dog or take her swimming at the local dog pool, and by 10 AM I start working on whatever project I have at the time. I work until 5 PM and I go and pick up my husband and spend the rest of the night either reading, watching TV, or writing.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
To be honest, my family doesn’t really know that I write or that I’ve published books. My friends and some of my in-laws know and are very supportive and that’s enough for me.
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer.
How much I would love it. There are times where I have to fight with myself to be less lazy (or to avoid the internet as much as possible). But when I have an idea for a story that won’t leave me alone, or when I’m plotting a story and something in the back of my mind tells me that it’s not quite right, I feel thrilled to work it out and put a cohesive story together. I’m always happy when I read the final edit of my book and I don’t sound like a third-grader pretending to be a writer. But I’m always surprised how much I love my characters and how my story has come together.
What does your writing space look like?
I have notebooks stacked to the right of my desk, they are the stories that I plan to write along with a big notebook for story ideas that materialize at any given moment, but usually in the middle of the night. I have more notebooks in my desk drawers (school sales are the best!). I have a ton of pens in different colors (I love Inkjoys), sharpies, highlighters, my Kindle and post-it notes. I have a corkboard that have series information, reminders not to use a passive voice in writing, and my favorite quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald about his wife. “I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”
Pen or computer.
Music or silence.
Music (some type of noise)
Alone or in public.
Routine or when inspiration struck.
Routine. If I don’t, I would never get anything done.
If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, which would it be?
I would say English (a proper British accent). They sound so even tempered, unexcitable, yet distinguished at the same time. I could only hope.
Do you have any scar? What are they from?
I have scars on both knees from when I crashed my brother’s motorcycle into a wood fence when I was 8. I also have a scar on the bottom of my left foot that aches before it rains. That one is from a broken glass bottle that I found by stepping on it. It was hidden in the sand near the shore at a lake when I was 7. I hate to admit it, but I screamed like a girl when I had to get it stitched. Not my proudest moment. J
A pet peeve.
Well, Valerie, it was super nice getting the chance to know you better! Now, about your new book, let’s see what Seth is about.
Immortals have been a part of Seth’s world since he barged into Kai’s life at the age of twelve. And having a group of shifter and vampire assassins he considered family, he thought that he’d seen it all and that nothing would surprise him. But the one night he met Aubrey changed his world, and he’d never been so happy to be wrong.
Aubrey was used to seclusion, even before she had been turned into a vampire. She’d never dreamed of a life outside her tiny little world, but that was until she met Seth. Before she could understand her reactions, she ran from him. But she couldn’t stay away. The more she gets to know him, the stronger the connection between them solidifies.
When Seth tells Aubrey that he is her mate, will she take a chance and keep him forever?
Here’s a little bite of it.
“I met someone.”
Kai’s hand tightened a fraction, but he didn’t interrupt Seth’s explanation.
“Aubrey. She was in class tonight and for the first time in my life, I was drawn to a woman. I was aware of every movement she made. She is different than anyone I’ve ever met, but I fucked up my chance to get to know her.”
“Why do you sound odd? Did she hurt you?”
“No. She’s a vampire. I noticed her the moment she walked in the classroom. It’s like I sensed her. I’ve never felt anything like this before. But before I could talk to her, to get to know her, Emily clung onto me and Aubrey took off before I could explain.”
Seth relaxed as Kai looped his arm around his shoulders and pulled him out of the cab and into a hug. Seth wrapped his arms around Kai and sighed, his jumbled thoughts and emotions calming as Kai’s arms tightened around him.
Before Seth graduated from high school, Kai had kept a physical distance from Seth, never touching him unless it was absolutely necessary. But over the years, due to Liv’s influence more than anything, Kai had become more overt with his emotions. When Kai sensed he needed a hug or to talk, he made time for Seth. His and Kai’s relationship was exactly what he wanted with his own father. After so many years of disappointment, he’d given up the hope that he would have a salvageable relationship with the man that shared his DNA, but had no interest in him. Instead, Kai was his father, not by blood but by circumstance, and he’d never felt more wanted or loved.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Liv had sidled up to them and put her hand on Seth’s back.
Seth buried his face against Kai’s chest and felt more than heard Kai’s words. “Seth met his mate. She’s a vampire.”
Of course, Liv didn’t react as he expected. Her loud, boisterous laugh echoed around them and Seth found the side of his mouth lifting as he pulled back from Kai’s hug. In the next moment, Liv pressed against him, her light scent surrounding him, and he could feel the happiness radiating from her. He had no idea why this information made her happy, but the tightness in his chest loosened and he hugged her back.
“Yeah, it would be nice to confirm it, but Aubrey disappeared before I could talk to her.”
There was silent communication between Kai and Liv, and Seth waited for Kai to explain through their mind link what happened after class. Although he didn’t really blame Emily—he could’ve told her more emphatically that he never wanted to date her—he could only hope that he didn’t ruin the chance to get to know Aubrey.
“When you talk to Aubrey, you should invite her over.”
“I hope I’ll have a chance. She might not be in next week’s class. If I’ve scared her off, I might need Xander’s help to break into school records and get her information. If that doesn’t work, I’ll get Ax to break into the administrative office for me.”
While Liv laughed, Kai groaned. “Not Ax. Shit, anyone but Ax.”
Liv wrapped her arm around his waist and pulled him toward the front door. “Don’t worry so much, sweetheart—it’ll all work out. Now come inside. Reaper and Ara are over, and Jade cooked her famous lasagna with cheesy garlic bread.”
“I love you guys.”
“We love you, too, kid.”
Here’s where you can find Seth and the other Dark Assassins World stories.
And Valerie would love to stay in touch with you!
Find here here:
I hope you enjoyed this interview, and thank you for stopping by!