Indie Support Sunday: Miranda Valentine
Every once in a while, you meet a person who is kind and generous and beautiful and fun and writes amazing stories and you want to attach yourself to them and bask in their awesomeness. Miranda Valentine is one of those people. We met and connected in the lead up to the release of her debut and then I got to read Pulled to You and loved every minute of it. The combination of finding yourself, strengthening bonds with family and tackling mental health struggles is not always easy; especially in story form. But Miranda handled that with so much grace and a part of me still can’t believe that was just her debut.
With her second book out now, Miranda has firmly placed herself in my life (and my shelves) as an auto-buy author. And if she’s not aware of it, I’ve also placed myself in her life as a friend she might not ever be able to get rid of. Following Miranda on Instagram and seeing how open and honest she is about what she’s going through, her writing struggles and wins, her life struggles and wins; it’s been quite incredible. As someone who believes in being open about the hard things, it’s nice to see someone else do and feel that way as well.
If you haven’t added Miranda to your TBR (and your life), what even are you doing? Go fix that and while you’re at it, pick up Pulled to You and Everywhere We've Never Been right away because they're available for free on Kindle Unlimited!
1. BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
Throughout school I had several teachers who cultivated and encouraged my writing, which led to it eventually becoming a hobby outside of academics as well. Writing has always just felt like a part of me.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
It’s really amazing to be the one to make all of the decisions about everything from the story to the cover, and I love meeting other indie authors. As far as the worst part, I really struggle with the self-promotion aspect. The marketing really stresses me out.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
It all came down to patience. I queried a few agents after I finished Pulled to You, then quickly realized I could be waiting a couple of years to see it on a shelf even if it was picked up. I was more than ready to publish, so I chose to go indie!
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
Travel, listen to music, and consume other forms of media, whether that be books, movies, or TV. I also love musicals! They make me feel so inspired and ready to go.
If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?
Some of my favorites from the past couple of years are Book Lovers by Emily Henry (contemporary romance), The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett (historical fiction), and Final Girls by Riley Sager (thriller).
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Write for yourself first.
Finish the first draft, then take care of the rest.
Take your time.
You’ll know when you find the right story to share.
And remember, even the most successful authors started at the beginning.
2. ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
I love reading most genres, but romance has always been my comfort spot. It’s like experiencing that first love feeling over and over again.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I would love to write a thriller some day.
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
I love, love, love friends to lovers and “only one bed.” I’m not a huge fan of marriage of convenience, but still enjoy it in certain contexts.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
Eventually I would love to write a story with enemies turned lovers. My second book has a workplace romance, which I’m very excited about!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I’m a fan of romances with imperfect people. I want to see characters that have disorders and flaws, and characters that may not be conventionally attractive. Romance books have progressed in these areas so much over the past few years, and I can’t wait to see where it keeps going.
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
Pulled to You took more of a “fade to black” approach to sex scenes, mainly because it was my first time writing about sex and that’s where my comfort zone led me. My second book—Everywhere We’ve Never Been—will definitely have a little more spice to it!
3. YOUR BOOKS
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
Pulled to You’s plot had been brewing for years. I knew I wanted to write a summer romance set in Savannah, Georgia that included anxiety/OCD rep, and it developed to its final form over time. My next book, Everywhere We’ve Never Been, was inspired largely by my career in the travel industry.
Can you briefly tell me about your book(s)?
Pulled to You, while originally meant to be strictly a romance, finished as more of a contemporary fiction with romance. It’s about two sisters who are grieving the loss of their father. They go on a summer trip to Savannah, Georgia, where they find healing, and they both get their own summer love stories too.
Everywhere We’ve Never Been is about a travel agent who is afraid of traveling, and her co-worker best friend who helps her overcome the fear. Of course, some sparks are going to fly in the process.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
I can’t say I have an overall favorite. I love Amry from PTY because I was in her head so much while writing her story. Gemma is a PTY side character who I unexpectedly grew to love a lot!
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
Maybe too much sometimes. (Kidding, sort of! Lol) But I do feel like every character I’ve written has some part of me in them, whether it’s an interest, or personality trait.
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
It’s really important for me to include some form of anxiety representation in each story.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I haven’t put anything down on paper yet, but I think my third WIP will be a dual-timeline romance story for two of PTY’s background characters.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I mainly hope everyone is able to see themselves in the story somewhere.
4. AUTHOR’S CHOICE
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks.
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense.
Single or Dual POV.
Standalones, series or standalones in a series.
Music or silence when writing.!
Plotter, pantser or plantser.
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather. I live in Florida so I rarely get it!
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated or photo cover?