Interview and excerpt with Author Valarie Savage Kinney
Thank you so much Valarie for reaching out and doing an interview. I love authors who do interviews and are willing to let us into your lives just a bit!
Author: Valarie Savage Kinney
Published: July 2, 2015
Publisher: Twisted Core Press
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk
We're often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She's hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?
Excerpt from Slither:
Zari clawed at her sister, Gianna, in a desperate attempt to escape. Gianna ran her forked tongue slowly across her upper lip. The slimy, berry-colored muscle dripped hot saliva onto Zari’s face as she turned away from Gianna’s menacing glare. “Please don’t make me watch! I don’t want to see this again!” Zari cried, curling into a ball on the hard, cold floor of the shed.
Nan stomped on Zari’s stomach, anger flushing her grizzled features. “Listen, you little bitch. You will sit still and watch, or I will see to it your father beats you senseless…again. Remember the last time?” Zari did remember. She’d not been able to walk for two days after the last beating. The pain in her gut now was so great it knocked the air from her lungs as she wheezed.
Zari whimpered. Pain, shame and disgust clenched her stomach as the young man tied to the pallet in the corner screamed for mercy. Pop straddled the man, laughing as his prisoner frantically thrashed about. Nan and Gianna gripped Zari’s arms and forced her to a sitting position. Roughly grabbing her chin, Nan yanked her head forward. “Watch!” Nan hissed.
Terror shook Zari’s bones, leaving her shivering as she raised her eyes to the scene in the corner of the shed. Pop ran his thumb over the lips of the man, who cried out once more but was quickly silenced when the snake burst forth from Pop’s mouth and slithered down the throat of the drifter who had stopped by the farmhouse the day before, looking for work.
The man’s body had stilled and dark, thick rivers of blood dripped from his mouth and nose down the side of his face. Pop’s mouth pressed against the lips of the stranger as the serpent fed. When her father finally rose, the snake slid back into his mouth and Pop wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand. He met Zari’s gray-green eyes with his own, and grinned. His teeth were stained dark red.
Gianna’s split tongue flicked against Zari’s ear; the feel of the wet, dual points of it against her skin made Zari flinch. “Soon,” Gianna whispered, tracing the outer edge of Zari’s ear with her tongue. “Soon, it will be your turn to feed.”
1.) Do you have to have matching colored socks?
I’d prefer to be barefoot, and stick with flip flops until the snow in Michigan forces me to wear socks and boots. When forced to wear socks, I try to stick with the same color, if not the same actual style.
2.) Have you ever had a nightmare and were able to remember it?
I have always been prone to nightmares, the sort that are so vivid it feels entirely real, and I can remember even as a child waking up and still seeing the nightmare going on around me in my room. The earliest memory I have of this is when I was seven and went with my sister and mom to see E.T. at the theater. The next night and for weeks after, I dreamed that E.T. was in my house trying to kill us all. I would wake up and see him clearly in my room, then in the hallway, even downstairs in the kitchen when I tried to run. My parents tried to break me of the habit of climbing into their bed during my nightmares and locked their door. I took my pillow from my bed and went to the next door neighbor’s house, screaming and pounding on their front door. The woman there let me in and gave me chocolate milk and called my mother.
3.) How old were you when you first started writing?
I started writing poetry in seventh grade and short stories in high school. In tenth grade, I wrote a bit for the high school newspaper.
4.) Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs. Zoey, a hysterical, five year old papillon/poodle cross, and Ziva, a super sassy four year old yorkie.
5.) One place you would love to live or at least visit?
6.) Who is one author you would go fangirl or fanboy over?
Diana Gabaldon. She answered a tweet from me one time. I immediately screenshotted it and started screaming about it in the grocery store. My husband thought I had lost my marbles.
7.) If you could be a pirate would you?
I already am a pirate. I work a Ren Fest every year through June, and I’ve got the tricorn to prove it.
Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. She is the author of Slither and Just Hold On. Narrator for Dragons of Faith.