Today, I’m privileged to feature author, Val Penny. Val is not only a fellow Swanwick writer but also a good friend. We’ve all heard of Hunter’s Chase, then Hunter’s Revenge, well today Val’s here to talk about her writing including her latest novel, Hunter’s Force.
First of all let’s find out a little about her.
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, follows shortly.
Hi Val, thank you for joining me today. Hunter’s Force is your latest novel, can you tell our readers a little bit about it?
Hunter’s Force is, again, set in Edinburgh. However it is set in 2013 shortly after the regional police forces in Scotland were combined into one operational force, Police Scotland. In this story, Hunter’s past catches up with him and he suffers the full force of the rage of his antagonist.
I understand Hunter’s Force is the third book in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. What inspired you to write this series?
I enjoy working with my characters and exploring how their lives progress and how they react to the situations I put them in. It is so much fun to develop the characters I create and watch them grow.
Is this the last in the series or is there more to come?
I am presently writing the fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood which will be published by Crooked Cat Books later this year.
Is it necessary to read the earlier books first or do they all act as standalones?
As with any series, details of the characters and there are details of characters that are revealed in each book. However, I do try to make sure that each novel works as a stand-alone story.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing and telling stories all my life, but I started writing novels seriously about five years ago when I was recovering from cancer. The treatment left me very tired and I had little energy to pursue more active past times like walking and swimming, so I read even more voraciously than usual. Then I started blogging reviews of the books I read on my blog and as I got a bit better, and more restless, my husband suggested that, if I knew so much about what makes a good book, why didn’t I write one.
Do you write in any other genre?
I write poetry as well as my novels. Indeed, it was my poetry that was published first in national anthologies. Now I mostly write crime novels: they are what I like to read.
Do you have a special routine for your writing?
I usually do my publicity and routine work in the mornings. I work on my novel in the afternoon and catch up with other obligations and more publicity in the evenings.
Does your writing leave you any time for hobbies?
My favourite hobby is spoiling my little grandbaby who is now ten months old and, as you would expect, this is, in my opinion, the most fabulous grandbaby on the planet. I will always make time for this!
I also enjoy travel, swimming, walking and going out for meals. Somehow there are never enough hours in the day.
Can you give our readers a taster of ‘Hunter’s Force?’
“DI Hunter Wilson, may I introduce Lord Lachlan Buchanan, more commonly known as Lucky? He owns the flat here,” Tim said.
“DI Wilson, I’ve heard good things about you. Call me Lucky. But there’s nothing common about it, Timmy boy,” The young man gritted his teeth as he held out his hand to shake Hunter’s. “I’m sorry, it took me longer to get here than I thought it would.”
“No problem, Lucky. It’s good of you to come and help us sort this out,” Hunter said. “So you employ my son? What on earth does he do for you that makes him eligible for an elegant New Town apartment like this?”
“He’s my driver, DI Hunter.”
“How did he qualify for that job? He’s got three points on his licence.”
“Cameron and I went through rehab together. I want to give the boy a chance. I would have thought you might be pleased?“
“I don’t understand why you chose Cameron for this position,” Hunter said, “and when I don’t understand something, I get suspicious. Always have done. It goes with the job.”
Lucky frowned. “Well, I don’t understand who broke the lock on my door. That makes me suspicious.”
“Speaking of not understanding things, where is Cameron? Tim said something about there being a woman here, but as far as I am aware Cameron is the only tenant. So I want to know where this woman has come from.”
Meera appeared at Hunter’s side. “I don’t know where this one came from, but I know where she’s going. Hunter, I’m going to follow the victim back to mortuary. Sam is just taking a few final pictures and then she’ll be leaving with me too.”
“Okay, Meera. That’s fine. Did you find the extra bits?” Hunter asked. He wanted to contain, as far as possible, the information about the removal of the fingertips.
“Unfortunately not. If CSI can’t find them, I’ll have to work with what we’ve got.”
“Extra bits?” Lucky asked.
Some great answers Val. Thank you for joining me. I’m sure that taster of Hunter’s Force will make our readers want to order it now.
Where can we order a copy of Hunter’s Force, Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Chase?
Links below to find Val Penny.
Fascinating to read behind the scenes of authors’ lives. Thanks for this interview, Patricia.
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Thank you, Angela. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. It was a delight to have Val join me today.
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Thank you, Patricia for introducing us to Val Penny. I will certainly check out her books–they sound intriguing. This was a lovely interview and I am excited to learn more about this author. Have a great day, Patricia.
Thank you, Marilyn. I met Val at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. It’s a week in August once a year. Maybe that’s something you’d be interested in? It’s a great place where 300 writers come together for workshops, speakers and social events. It’s fabulous. Have a good evening and thank you for commenting. X
Great interview – looking forward to reading Hunter’s Blood