Valerie Willis, a sixth generation Floridian, launched her first book, Cedric the Demonic Knight, at the start of 2014 on Amazon.com. Since then, she has launched the second book to The Cedric Series, Romasanta: Father of Werewolves (2015), with several installments to come in this high rated Fantasy Romance Series. She pulls in a melting pot of mythology, folklores, history and more into her work with a remarkable amount of foreshadowing that makes reading her books a second time exciting. Also she recently published Rebirth the first book in her Teen Urban Fantasy, the Tattooed Angels Trilogy. Currently on the table to be completed is book two for the Tattooed Angels Trilogy, Judgment and book three in The Cedric Series, The Oracle.
Words From The Author
One of my favorite genres to read is Fantasy. It has always amazed me how the authors created such wonderful worlds and stories with such depth. Now I am glad to be able to share some of my own worlds and characters with readers in hopes of inspiring them!
Some of my personal favorite authors are Robin McKinley, Cat Adams, James Clavell and Neil Gaiman. Before I stumbled upon these wonderful authors, I had only read non-fiction books about drawing and animals. After that I had tried diving in R.L.Stine’s famous Goosebumps series, but I have never enjoyed horror books. Though there are some amazing authors in that genre, like Stephen King, I quickly found C. S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll showing me fantastical worlds that were just beyond the rabbit hole or wardrobe.
Soon after I started discovering another genre through James Clavell; Historical Fiction. Here was where I realized that you can write amazing stories while staying true to the events and settings around them. I discovered Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian and she opened up another can of worms. The enjoyment I got from reading a paranormal sstory so heavily involving the history of Vlad the Imapler was off the scales. I learned so much about the history of Vlad that it floored me.
With these tools and inspirations, I renewed my wants for writing. I still needed helping hands from family and friends to make sure I did not stop on my way to my writing goals, but I finally made it. Cedric the Demonic Knight took its background and inspiration not only out of the history books, but long forgotten lores and bestiaries. It took some heavy searching and researching to dig out all sorts of things that had once been taken as fact about the now popular werewolf, zombie and vampire. I hope in your reading that I expose some intriguing concepts and open a door to a time period and its lores!
Currently I am working on a trilogy I call Tattooed Angels. The first book in this series is Rebirth, a story I had put to paper back in high school. When I started writing this piece, I wanted it to be able to go into my Middle and High School’s Library. I had gotten up to Chapter Six down before life swept me away from it. It collected dust until it somehow came up in a conversation at work in 2005. At that time, a friend named Kelly, inspired and encouraged me to continue writing. Once more the next year I added to it, pushing it to Chapter 12 before once more I let life wipe it from my thoughts.
2010 I then found myself part of an online group called “The Shadow Legion”. Once more, somehow someone reminded me I had Rebirth waiting on me to complete. Thanks to the encouragements of my Gaming Crew, I finished my first rough. Unfortunately, that was not the end of my frustrations with the story. I realized as I researched and learned more and more about the professional writing field that Rebirth needed a mountain of work, and worse off, a rewrite on at minimum my high school portions. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in front of my computer staring at it, no idea how to even begin a rewrite or how to break myself away from the original writing to make a better version.
At that point I had been entertaining an idea to sketch out a graphic novel. There were obstacles to that piece as well as I found myself throwing out storyboard after storyboard sketches on how to capture everything I wanted to tell the audience. Standing there looking at both these stories, Rebirth and Cedric, I had to make some decisions. First off, Rebirth deserved quality writing and attention, but I wasn’t skilled enough. Cedric on the other hand wasn’t getting enough out to the audience in just sketched format, plus there were points I knew I would come too that would need large paragraphs to explain. It hit me; Take what I now know about writing and put Cedric to text.
Cedric at this point had 2 years of random research, sketches, and roughed out storyline plots. It took another year to get all the story down in the rough and once more almost a whole year to edit and refine. So, Cedric finally made it to print and I had learned mountain-sized amounts of knowledge and experience. The question at that point was, Am I ready to fix Rebirth?
I was hold my breath as I opened that old DOC file and on the other half a fresh DOC file to record changes and work. Glancing over the first Chapter I was grimacing. I could see the mistakes, I can see where I did not think of my readers nor the importance of my characters at the very beginning. There was a clear reocurring fear of revealing too much, where now I know that if its a good piece, you can tell them everything and still grasp them and pull them into the story. Failure in several areas was now clear to see. That first night of the rewrite I had pumped out over 5,000 words and expanded the first Chapter to make up almost two!
Now Rebirth and Judgment are out as well as Cedric the Demonic Knight and Romasanta. There’s no stopping me now…