A Cafe For Authors and Avid Readers
Author Val Tobin worked in the software industry for ten years before she turned her attention to full-time writing in 2010.
Val studied general arts at the University of Waterloo, then went to DeVry Toronto to get a diploma in Computer Information Systems. She became a certified Reiki Master/Teacher in October, 2004, and acquired ATP® certification in March, 2008, in Kona, Hawaii from Doreen Virtue, PHD.
Val received her Bachelor of Science degree in Parapsychic Science from The American Institute of Holistic Theology in September 2010. In April 2016, she received her Master's Degree in Parapsychology through AIHT.
At the end of October 2008, Val returned to Kona, Hawaii to complete the Advanced ATP® training and in April 2010 to take the Spiritual Writing workshop and the Mediumship Certification class.
Val contributed a story to Doreen Virtue’s Hay House book Angel Words. Her first novel, The Experiencers, is now available on Smashwords and Amazon. The sequel to The Experiencers was published in fall 2014. She has published three romance novels since then, and is currently working on her sixth novel.
Val has done paranormal investigations throughout Ontario and the United States with the Paranormal Investigation Society of Toronto and the Haunted Barrie Meetup Group, and participates in sky watches with different UFO groups.
She recently had the enjoyable experience of having a one-line cameo in the indie film Route of Acceptance, followed by a speaking part in the still-in-production film I Met You First.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Newmarket, Ontario? Newmarket is a great town in which to live. It has a small-town community feel, but big-city culture.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Reading inspired me to become a writer. I’ve had my nose in a book since I learned to read. The writers I admire most are Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Tolkien, Ayn Rand, and so many more I can’t list them all.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2010.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? The environment certainly played a role, my upbringing likely did, but on an unconscious level. I would like to believe I’ve used it to my advantage.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The title came after I wrote the manuscript. I had a working title while I worked on it, just to save it as something other than “novel.” I called it Unidentified and changed it after the first draft was completed. The working title for the sequel was In the Valley of the Headless Men. It then became A Ring of Truth.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? The genre for my first and second novels is New Age Science Fiction, which means it’s science fiction with a paranormal flavour. It happens to be where the story fits, but it’s not necessarily my preference. The novels I wrote after that were paranormal romance and romantic suspsense.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I’d attended some sky watches with a UFO group and did the “what if” thing with it. I wondered: what if a UFO group having a sky watch actually managed to get proof that UFOs exist, and what if this group had already drawn the attention of a covert agency that didn’t want the news to get out. A few scenes popped into my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. It had to come out.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I like the revision phase. It’s a golden time, when the story is told, but it needs fleshing out. I can play with it and manipulate it.
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I didn’t finish writing projects out of fear. I had to do a lot of work on myself to overcome that. I actually saw a couple of therapists over the years to battle my insecurities.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The satisfaction that comes from people reading the novel and enjoying it enough to contact me to discuss it.
Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? It hasn’t happened to me personally, but recently I’ve heard of two authors who’ve had their novels plagiarized. I don’t know how to avoid something like that. If someone targets your work, you don’t know until you stumble across it. You would think fear of a lawsuit would prevent this, but it didn’t in these cases.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write the first draft fearlessly. Make sure you finish it before you show it to anyone. This is not a time for allowing others into your creative inner sanctum.
Who is your favorite author and why? Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings was brilliant. I loved the storytelling, the themes, the characters, the plot, the depth. I first read it when I was fourteen and it rocked my world.
The Valiant Chronicles: Volume 1
Michael Valiant, Agency black ops assassin, deals death without question. He knows it’s all in the name of duty and the fight against terror, particularly at a time when the earth is as close as it’s ever been to self-destructing. But when his orders include silencing members of a UFO group who look less like terrorists and more like housewives and UFO buffs, he decides to do some digging.
His curiosity arouses the ire of his boss and his partner, who warn Michael that his actions are putting him in danger. When Michael’s wife dies in what appears to be a traffic accident, Michael, with his partner’s help and support, pushes aside his doubts and immerses himself in the jobs he needs to complete.
Carolyn Fairchild, Psychic medium and believer in angels, lives happy and contented in a nice home in Newmarket, Ontario, with her husband and daughter. All Carolyn wants is to live in peaceful obscurity. When Carolyn loses her husband under suspicious circumstances, and other members of her group die or disappear, Carolyn grows desperate to uncover the truth and save herself and her daughter.
Ordered to kidnap Carolyn and turn her over to the Agency, Michael confronts Carolyn in her home, ready to complete his assignment. But when Carolyn connects to Michael’s dead wife and reveals to him the truth about her death, Carolyn forces him to choose between saving himself and doing what’s right.
Unaware that they are repeating a pattern enacted over many lifetimes, Michael and Carolyn must find a way to break the cycle, or continue playing it out over lifetimes to come.
A New Age Sci-Fi thriller that delves into existing UFO and doomsday weaponry conspiracy theories, The Experiencers keeps readers riveted with non-stop action while the characters struggle to control destinies that may have been predetermined lifetimes ago.