GIOVANNI VALENTINO: VAMPIRES NOW COME IN 32 DIFFERENT FLAVORS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Giovanni Valentino’s Vampires Suck is an interesting mix with many different short stories. It’s the second part of Alternate Hilarities series. Currently the anthology is standing with solid 4.6 Amazon stars from 9 reviews. We’ve got a chance to speak with the author via Making Connection Blog tour.
– Giovanni, What is Vampires Suck about?
– Vampires Suck is a collection of humorous short stories that explore the different aspects of the vampire genre. Vampires aren’t the same as they were when I was a kid. We just had Dracula. Now they come in 32 different flavors.
– How did you decide to edit the collection of stories?
– I’ve been writing and submitting humorous short stories to various small press markets for a few years. Over that time, I found that there was very few markets for humor in speculative fiction. Since that is the type of prose I write, it was a little frustrating. That’s why I started Alternate Hilarities. To give other writers like myself a forum to submit this type of work.
– What was the biggest challenge during the selection and edition process?
– Reading submissions from people who obviously did not look at the submission guidelines. If I put out a call for humorous vampires short story, please don’t send me an article about the history of television repair or a series of Haikus documenting your recent troubles with the IRS. The worst is when people submit something that just isn’t funny. I know humor is subjective but not that much.
Just remember fellow authors, always check the submission guidelines.
– Tell us something more about your own story?
– My piece in this collection is about how the different types of vampires get along. It focuses on a Vampire social club that struggles with the idea of letting the new type of vampire into their ranks. All of the old guard weigh in about how much change is too much.
– How much time you need to complete the collection and to publish it?
– I don’t know how long it should take but It usually takes me six months. I’ll open for submissions for about two months. Then I need to do edits and get them out to the authors, this usually takes a month and a half. Then I have to type set the print and ebook editions, which takes at least a month. Inside that, real life gets in the way. Other priorities pop up and cut into your productive time. Of course, it would go fast if this was my day job.
– What the readers would find in your other literary works?
– Humor for the most part. As my wife always says, “My husband, he thinks he’s funny.”
– Who are you?
– I am Giovanni Valentino. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’m an IT professional by day and a mad capped science fiction/fantasy writer by night.
I have run a half marathon without dying, which was my main goal over even finishing the race.
I plan to do it again this fall and I hope to get a beat everyone in the 65 and over category, men and women.
– What are your writing habits?
– I have terrible writing habits. I need to be more disciplined.
I have been working on that. Since the beginning of 2015, I have been writing at least 1000 words a day. I try to focus on my newest novel but sometimes I work on blog posts or short pieces, as long as I get my word count in.
It does help. I’m more comfortable writing now. It’s easy to get some writing done if I find time because I don’t have to loosen up first.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– We could do a little better. I still haven’t figured out the marketing end of things. It is very easy to spend a lot of money and get no sales in response.
– Do you have plans for your next book?
– I have another anthology coming out in April, Alternate Hilarities 3: Hysterical Realms. This time we are going after the genre of fantasy. I’ve got a bunch of crazy stories lined up. We’re just done with edits on that one.
After that, I hope to find a home for my fantasy novel. Fingers crossed.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Blog tour post like this help. I also send out review copies. I use social media like Facebook (thegiovannivalentino) ,Twitter (@thegiovanniv) and my blog.
– How tough is to write for your own personal demons?
– I hate to whine but my demons are the hardest part of my writing. I am severely dyslexic. I actually couldn’t read until late high school. You’d wonder how that could happen but I was just pushed through at school. I sounded smart when the teacher and counselor talked to me, so they just presumed I was lazy.
They didn’t know as much about learning disabilities when I was growing up, so their isn’t the type of help there is today. Word processors help but not enough. Spell checker doesn’t do a great job of noticing if you type in the wrong word if it is spelled correctly. The great feature in Word for me is the Speak function. It reads back highlighted section of text. I can never see the mistakes but I can hear them.
– As a member of CNY Writers Haven, would you give some hints what are the benefits of being a member of critique and writer support group?
– Writer support groups are extremely important. It is very hard for most writers to work in a vacuum. Writing is such a lonely business,
With a writer’s group, you have the support of other writers in your quest to bring word to paper.
With a critique group, you can submit your works for review and get valuable feedback on it.
Since they aren’t as close to the work as you are, they can see things you will not.
Even reviewing other peoples work helps you build your craft. You all learn from each other’s mistakes and pick up new tricks and techniques together.
My group does workshops as well. We pick a topic that some of us are having trouble with and then one of us volunteers to do a presentation on it. We do exercises on the subject.