I have missed my blog. I am hoping to spend more time during the autumn and winter nights ahead working on new posts. Of all the regular features I have built into my website, it’s The WEDNESDAY WRITER Series that I loved the most. Every Wednesday I was publishing an interview with a brilliant WordPress blogger. It’s been a great honour to be able to feature so many great bloggers.
Well last weekend, I had some time to chill and catch up on some of the posts I had in my drafts folder. The one I really wanted to concentrate on was an interview with the fabulous Val Portelli, writer and creator of the website Voinks.
Val sent me her answers to the WEDNESDAY WRITER interview questions ages ago, just as I was taking a break from my blog because work was exhausting and I needed to spend some time catching up with family after the Pandemic lockdowns. So this post is long overdue!
HI VAL. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRINK WHILE WE ARE CONDUCTING THIS INTERVIEW WITH YOU?
I’ll start with black coffee, no sugar, please, but if we’re still chatting later this evening, a whisky and lemonade would be nice. No ice. Thanks.
COULD YOU TELL US YOUR BLOGGING NAME AND THE NAME OF YOUR SITE PLEASE.
I’ve actually got two blogs. The main one was originally under the pen name ‘Voinks’ which I used for my books, but I changed it recently to ‘Val’s Tales,’ to tie in with my audio project.
The other one has been rather neglected, but ‘Quirky Unicorn Books’ was set up as the publishing site for my own books, and to showcase the works of other Indie authors.
WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?
When my first book was published in 2013, my niece insisted I needed a social media presence so I set up a Facebook account, and then a blog. Initially it was intended as a site to shout ‘Buy my books’ but morphed into a place to post my short stories. From there it became somewhere to discuss writing and the joys and tribulations of being an author, and ended up as a mish-mash of whatever grabs my attention.
This is the latest of at least six books that Val has published and are available on Amazon and other sites:
WHICH IS THE MOST POPULAR POST ON YOUR SITE?
I have absolutely no idea. 😀
I’m sure there’s a way to find the stats, but since WordPress changed everything to blocks, I find it much more difficult to navigate. It’s not helped by the fact that since the changeover it’s developed a glitch which suddenly decides I’m not authorised to post. There’s no apparent reason, and half an hour later the gremlins will let me carry on again. Every response is valued but if I did find which was the most popular, I’d probably be quite surprised.
I looked over your posts Val, and based on “likes” alone, this one seemed to be the most popular post so far:
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
Reading other people’s blogs, and receiving lovely comments on my own.
FOOD THAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
Val, I am going to slide your whisky and lemonade over along with the chocolates.
…a party table full of nibbles waiting to be shared….
…in fact anything except eggs, (unless they’re the Easter variety.)
IF I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU FLOWERS AS A THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME INTERVIEW, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
I love all flowers with perhaps a particular fondness for roses, carnations and lilies.
Sunflowers make me smile and wild flowers or tiny rockery plants are delightful, even cyber flowers are lovely.
I saw on one of your other interviews the reason for this question, and have a feeling the shop you mentioned might be fairly close to where I live. Now my interest is piqued to know if I’m right.
I live in South London Val – and I work around fifteen minutes from where I live. Sometimes I have to go to other branches of our pharmacy chain when they are short-staffed. Whichever route I go, I get to pass my favourite florists, and they always make me smile.
DO YOU HAVE A SONG? ONE THAT FITS YOU AS A PERSON OR YOUR LIFE?
It would depend on my mood. Late night music might be ‘Tomorrow is a long time’ by Elvis, one of his less well-known ones but thought-provoking lyrics.
I love Rock and Roll, and it might be a cliché but Happy by Pharrell Williams always starts me smiling.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING IN LIFE?
It’s good to have a plan but life can throw curve balls to completely change the destination.
This was brought home to me about nine years ago after a freak accident, so for now I’m content to follow the yellow brick road and see where I end up.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT YOUR BLOG TO TELL THE WORLD?
There are so many interesting people in blogland, and even if you never meet them, strong, supportive relationships can be built. Storytelling is universal, whatever your life style, culture, age group, ethnicity or background.
As Spike Milligan so aptly said ‘Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu’. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.’ I guess my message could be summed up by ‘Read, respond, smile and share.’
Thanks, Jacob. I’ve really enjoyed being your guest and answering your unusual questions.
Thank you Val! I loved your answers to the interview questions. Sorry you had to wait so long for me to get back to my blog. It’s been such a privilege to feature you.