Friday, 12 November 2010

With These Words - Val Kovalin

 Thank You For Reading!

I'm Val Kovalin, author and reviewer of m/m gay romance. Thank you very much, E.H., for inviting me to participate in your new blog feature on upcoming authors! First, I'll describe myself, my fiction, and my work habits for those readers (like me) who enjoy personal information. 

I'm female, middle-aged, married, and from the western United States. I started reading and reviewing m/m gay romance about three years ago on my Obsidian Bookshelf blog, and this led me to writing it.

My first m/m book TRINITY TRESPASS was published by Loose Id this past August. It's a 45,000-word paranormal/urban fantasy about angels and demons in New Mexico. I've received generally good reviews for the complex characters, action-adventure plot, and sex scenes with some much-appreciated constructive criticism about the intensity of the world-building in the novel's first chapter.

My second m/m book Wicked Cool was published by Amber Allure this past September. It's an 18,000-word romantic suspense novella with no supernatural content. I've received good reviews on that one for the appealing characters, tight-knit plot, and sex scenes with some valuable feedback that the ending is a bit abrupt. Writing and publishing both of these books has been an invaluable learning experience. I've been very lucky to work with two of the best publishers in the business.

I'm currently writing a third m/m novella, a contemporary romance set in Texas that I hope to publish with Amber Allure early next year. It's about a gay man who unexpectedly gets involved with parenting someone else's child. This should be a fun challenge for me since I don't have much experience with kids. I don't have a title yet, but I can say that it will be longer than 18,000 words.

I tend to write in the early morning or late at night. If possible, I'll outline scenes that I've thought ahead because I've never liked the feeling of fumbling the story along and not knowing where I'm going. My husband, bless his heart, is one of my beta-readers, and gives me invaluable feedback about anything he considers improbable. It's a generous offer on his part because I know his favorite genre is not romance but science-fiction!

Now, with the personal info out of the way, I'd love to comment on this new feature that E.H. is doing on upcoming authors. This is an exciting time in e-publishing for writers, readers, and reviewers alike. In the m/m gay romance market, we're at a balance point where the buyer demand is still going strong, and the publishers and authors have responded with a supply that is more varied and sophisticated than ever before.  More new authors debut in m/m gay romance with each passing week, and newcomers and established authors alike are offering fiction that explores every theme and character variation that any reader could possibly desire.

This is wonderful for us readers who can now buy at least three or four ebooks every month that feature variations on whatever combination of topics we just can't get enough of - whether it's tiger shape-shifters, boy bands, friends-to-lovers, or police procedurals. Or all of the above!

It's a mixed blessing for us authors who experience the thrill of publishers encouraging us to evolve and write more, but who may also find it hard to distinguish ourselves from all the other authors publishing right now. 

As for us reviewers, we have a staggering amount of fiction to cover in the m/m gay romance market, which is growing exponentially week to week. I can't comment on traditional m/f romance, but I'd love to know if conditions are the same in that market. (Please feel free to comment if you have an opinion.) Reviewers such as E.H. who read both m/m and m/f romance are faced with more fiction clamoring for their attention than ever before.

This is why I think that blog features such as this one highlighting new authors are doing a world of good in the romance ebook market. We new authors need the attention. We readers and reviewers need the feedback from explorers such as E.H. to guide us through uncharted waters. We all like to try new authors but none of us have as much reading time as we would prefer. However, with our RSS feed readers and blogs like this one that focus on upcoming fiction and authors, we can streamline our flow of information, choose new books with confidence, and try to keep up with the expanding market! 

© Val Kovalin

Featured Book

 Trinity Trespass

Publisher: Loose Id

Genre: GLBT

Buy Link: Loose-id , Amazon.com , All Romance Ebooks

A secret war rages throughout the southwestern USA and Mexico between demons and angels, all of whom are trying to pass for human. For Parnell, a demon living in Las Vegas NV, survival depends upon following orders and resisting the allure of any relationship that might bind him to another in sexual slavery.

In his competitive world, he regards other demons such as his lover Navarro as potential opponents. As for the angels, he knows them as the Enslavers whose evil nature compels them to exploit the drug trade in Mexico. When Navarro and Parnell go to the no-man's land of New Mexico to capture a renegade angel-demon hybrid named Chavez, the three of them enter an uneasy triangle of sexual attraction.

Chavez hopes to seize psychic power on the auspicious day of Easter and use it to kill his master. Parnell and Navarro must prevent this or face death and the return of their souls to Hell. To save himself, Parnell must decide whom to trust, whom to kill, and whether he can find the strength to give his heart to another.

Excerpt

 

More of Val

Wicked Cool - Val Kovalin

Junk removal specialist Stu Van der Meer has been burned before in love affairs with corporate professionals who underestimate him as a blue-collar guy who's good with his hands. When he meets property manager Brian Hawthorne, he knows that he shouldn't get involved with him, especially since he senses that Brian might be in serious trouble. However, he can't ignore their immediate sexual chemistry.

He also can't deny his curiosity about Brian's secret past, specialized knowledge, and unusual accent. Brian has something to hide, and it tests the limits of each man's willingness to trust the other as Stu pursues the truth. Is Brian a criminal? A victim? Is he only using Stu as a distraction from his fears? As their relationship deepens, Stu must decide what risks he will take to protect them when Brian faces a threat from the past.  Buy Link

 

 

Contact info:

Website: http://www.obsidianbookshelf.com/
Blog: http://obsidianbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4121444.Val_Kovalin
My reviews on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/2uwstg4
My author page on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/34428tf

Me on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/valkovalin

 

Welcome to the world of publishing Val and I wish you every success.…..

13 Speak To Me:

Tam on 12 November 2010 at 01:04 said...

Hi Val!!! *waves vigorously*

What a great post. Thanks for sharing some of your secrets to success. :-) I'm always intrigued how each writer has such a unique style. I know on Janna's blog Sloan Parker said she does VERY indepth character analysis sheets before she gets going, you plots out scenes and some people just go with the flow and see where it takes them. (That's more my style. :-) And yet no matter which style and author uses you get great material out of it.

Good luck with the new book and can't wait to read it. Even if you have kids, someone asked the other night what a two year old would like for Christmas and I was clueless. I had a two year old, but that was 13.5 years ago, I can't remember what a young child was really like anymore, so I'm sure you'll do fine, having a kid is no guarantee you'll get it right.

Thanks for sharing and I'm enjoying getting to know some new authors better through the blog here. Thanks for doing this EH.

Val on 12 November 2010 at 01:27 said...

Hi, Tam! *waves back*

Thanks so much for your comment (and for giving me feedback on that link). I'm with you -- I really enjoy hearing about things like scene outlining or those character sheets that Sloan was talking about. Thanks for the feedback on the kid issue, too. That's reassuring to hear that from someone with a kid. :)

Doesn't it just seem like the younger the kid, the more specialized the issues you have to keep in mind? Back when I worked at a bookstore, I used to sort of be able to recommend books and toys for young kids, but I think we tend to forget that info really fast when we're not required to use it!

Thanks, also, E.H. -- the feature looks beautiful!

Chris on 12 November 2010 at 01:58 said...

Oh, cool new feature, EH! Val, did you bash a bottle of champagne against something for the launch? It was fun to learn more about your super-sekrit writerly stuff. :)

Val on 12 November 2010 at 02:31 said...

Hi, Chris! Isn't this a cool new feature? Consider a virtual bottle of champagne has now been smashed against this blog post for its launch. Glad you enjoyed the secret writer stuff. :)

wren boudreau on 12 November 2010 at 03:40 said...

Hellloooo Val! (And E.H.)

The whole e-book explosion is massive, isn't it? The saying "So many books, so little time" is truer than ever. It's nice to get to know new writers, gives me a connection to books I might not otherwise have picked up. (Of course, I've read yours already)

very word: sconefi
Is that Fiction about scones?

Val on 12 November 2010 at 03:57 said...

Hi, Wren! Great to see you here. Thanks for checking out the feature. I think this feature is going to do a lot of good for new writers. As for your veri word Sconefi, I'm guessing that's science fiction scones of the future!

wren boudreau on 12 November 2010 at 04:03 said...

Will we be able to eat those science fiction scones of the future? Cuz I love scones!

Kris on 12 November 2010 at 05:22 said...

Awesome new feature, EH, and terrific that someone dear to our hearts like Val is the first cab off the rank. T-rific! :)

Jordan Castillo Price on 12 November 2010 at 13:42 said...

The sconefis are actually good for you--high fiber, low cholesterol--but they taste like they're made out of butter and white flour. The trouble is finding them. They're always sold out.

Val, it's fascinating to think that now that you started publishing, one of the big hurtles is the soup of competition, and figuring out how to differentiate yourself and build your readership when all the epubs are just bleeding out new m/m every single week. It's so hard to say what combination of reviews, reader discussions, advertising and luck are the things that propel a book into the spotlight and up the m/m charts.

Val on 12 November 2010 at 14:21 said...

Hi, Kris and Jordan!

Kris, isn't it a great new feature? Thanks for checking out the interview. :)

Jordan, thanks for the comment. Yes, it's an exciting time to be epublishing.

K. Z. Snow on 12 November 2010 at 15:00 said...

It was a delight to read this post, Val. Your frankness is really refreshing, especially when it comes to others' assessments of your work and both the rewards and challenges of writing in this genre. How generous of E.H. to be running this feature on new writers!

I'm not surprised by your plotting technique; you have got to be one of the most organized people I've ever encountered. ;-)

Now what's the word on a sequel to TT? [Please, Santa, please please please bring me an e-reader for Christmas!]

Val on 12 November 2010 at 15:08 said...

Hi, KZ! It's great to meet up with you here, and I totally second your comment about EH's generosity in doing this feature for new writers.

But, me, organized? Ha, ha, ha! You're too kind. :) As for a sequel, I'm hoping to bring it out next year. Looking forward to it!

Lily on 15 November 2010 at 04:33 said...

What a great new feature for your blog, EH. Thanks!!

Val, fabulous post. You know I love your stories and look forward to reading more in the future. Thanks for sharing with us. :)