Valerie Anne Hudson

Award-winning historical fiction writer

Q. What were your childhood dreams? Did you always want to be an author?

I always dreamed of being an author, but life, as always, gets in the way. I put the idea of writing out of my head for decades. But now is my time to catch up with those dreams!

Q. What was the first novel you ever read and how did it change you?

The first grown-up novel I read was ‘On the Beach’ by Nevil Shute. The sheer extent of the author’s imagination blew me away, especially at the end of the story. It started me thinking about how the world might end, and I understood for the first time, how much influence a writer can have over his readers.

Q. What are some lesser-known facts about being a voracious reader? Have you always been one?

I’ve always been a voracious reader. Unfortunately, it can take away from your social life; it can also distract you from the mundane things that you should be doing, and often keeps you up way past your bedtime!

Q. What is it like living in Ontario, Canada?

Ontario is such a safe place to live. Compared to the rest of the world, it’s relatively crime-free and we’re not prone to riots, hurricanes, or earthquakes. Just really cold, god-awful winters!

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book, Welcome to the Madhouse?

I love historical fiction, had already written a YA novel set during the French Revolution, and wanted to go with a different time period. Victorian England seemed a good choice because I grew up in England and already had a basic knowledge of the era.

Q. What are some of the most profound "shower thoughts" you've had?

My ‘shower thoughts’ really aren’t that profound. I might suddenly realize I have a huge hole in my plot, or that one of my characters isn’t very realistic. Or that I forgot to put out the garbage.

Q. With so many story ideas running through your head, how do you decide which one to write about first?

My head can get quite muddled at times! I just have to let things simmer away for a while until I can sort things out.

Q. Did you plan all three books in advance when writing the "Mariposa Mysteries Trilogy"?

No! This was my first attempt at writing a real book, other than a ten-page story for kids about a giraffe. I had never taken any creative writing courses, and thought I could just wing it. So I started on the first book off the top of my head with no idea of how it would end. It was a struggle, let me tell you! I did the same for books two and three, which is why book three has an absolutely atrocious ending! The experience taught me a lesson, though. Now I make sure to plan out my book carefully before starting to write.

Q. What has been your most enjoyable experience as an author?

Now that I’m into historical fiction, the best part for me is doing the research ahead of time. If you dig deep enough, it’s amazing what stories you can dig up from the past. Some of them are almost unbelievable: truth is always stranger than fiction, as they say.

Q. What are the greatest words of encouragement anyone has ever offered you?

With regards to the actual writing part: ‘Have fun with it!’

Q. Finally, how has your time with AllAuthor impacted your life and your writing so far? What other measures could be taken on this site to cater better to the needs of the authors?

AllAuthor is a gem. The most difficult part of being an author is trying to market your book once it’s published. Many websites recognize this and take advantage, with astronomical fees--sometimes with poor results. AllAuthor has not only increased my sales, but for an extraordinarily low price, they offer promotional banners, gifs, and tweets that I could never produce on my own.

(I don’t know what other measures could be taken to better cater to the needs of authors on this site. What you offer now is amazing, in my opinion!)