About Valerie-Anne Baglietto
I was born in Gibraltar but came to England when I was three. I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was four, pure fiction about a little boy whose mother's nose was incredibly long and spiral shaped. With that, the writing bug had bitten.
To begin with, I had a Day Job, working in London as a graphic designer in my young, free and single days, but I always wrote in my spare time, sometimes into the small hours of the morning - when I still had the stamina to get up at 6.45 to catch my train!
My first novel THE WRONG SORT OF GIRL won the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writer's Award in 2000.
In total I had four books published by Hodder & Stoughton before motherhood took over my life. I've lived in North Wales with my family for over a decade, and while my youngest was very small I experimented with different writing styles and genres, whenever I had a chance. I even wrote a children's book, to fill the void after I turned the final page of the last Harry Potter novel (possibly a sad reason to do it, but it was fun to write and I learned a lot from the experience).
Although I love children's literature - the imagination and the energy of it all - I wanted to return to adult romances again, and with ONCE UPON A WINTER I married both loves to create a contemporary adult fairy tale. It's common knowledge that the early fairy tales weren't exactly suitable for children - by today's standards - and now grown-ups seem to be poaching them back again. But I don't 'retell' the classics, I write completely new ones. Well why not? They were all original once!
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by Valerie-Anne Baglietto
by Valerie-Anne Baglietto
Every so often, we all update our image. We never remain static. New outfits, new hairdos; a new frame of mind even, to help us cope with life and everything it might choose to hurl at us. Even if we feel we’re stagnating, we’re not, because day after day microscopic cells in our bodies are regenerating, or doing whatever cells do without us even being aware of it (it’s been a good few years since my biology O-Level). And regardless of whether we’re happy with our appearance, the aging process means we’re going to change. Whether we like it or not.
As authors, doesn’t it make sense then that our individual identities ought to evolve, too? To some extent, I think it does. It seems mandatory these days for everything under the sun to have a ‘brand’, and for this brand to have a shelf-life. How many times has your favorite magazine, website, shop, or even your children’s school, had a ‘makeover’? Everything and everyone seems to be getting one these days. Even the cushions in our lounge need refreshing every season, or so we’re told in numerous glossy brochures, to keep up with fashion or just jazz things up according to the time of year. The amount of waste this ideology generates must be astronomical. I’m glad that ‘up cycling’ is now a major trend all of its own, and that the market in vintage furniture, clothing, bric-a-brac etc. is thriving.
So, back to business. Back to books. And the fact that my more recent ones – contemporary romances with fairy tale twists – are gradually being rebranded, starting with Four Sides to Every Story.
It seemed like the right time for change. Four Sides is turning one this summer, and I decided to celebrate its first anniversary with a mini, spread-out-over-the-summer-months, blog tour. Very informal, no dates scheduled in a list, as such. These are being worked out with the lovely bloggers as I go along. Everyone has been so kind, super supportive, keen to help. Four Sides has got a fresh, bright cover that seems to glow with little sparkles (yes, even in e-book form); a more intriguing blurb, and a batch of new reviews lined up. I honestly couldn’t ask for more. Well, OK, extra sales would be nice!
Let’s admit it, that’s why brands are fluid. To keep up with the times (even if that means a fashionable retro look). To trigger interest. To remind the world that they exist. To sell more of whatever it is they’re representing.
A brand makes something recognizable and helps it stand out from the competition – yet conversely, in publishing, it’s more about blending in. How many covers out there blatantly scream chick-lit or psychological thriller? In the book world, it seems our brands package us up into neat and distinct groups. As authors, it ought to mark who we are, and the type of stories we create, which is why things become tricky if we write across genres. We need some sense of identity, as much for ourselves as for our readers, but whether we LIKE the way we’re packaged and marketed by publishers, or publishing trends, cover designers or publicists, is a far more complex issue and one I won’t go into here.
All I can hope for is that my own change of image when it comes to my books resonates with potential readers as much as it does with me!
And before I sign off, huge thanks to Anniek and Suze for having me here on their gorgeous blog.
In Fools Castle things are about to change. Lily and Sophie have both rented the same cottage for the summer. They agree to make it work since the cottage has two bedrooms. Lily can keep an eye on her job much better now that Sophie is in the same house and Sophie will be hauled up in her room writing anyway.
Lily is a beautiful young woman who sounds like an angel with her long hair and her natural glow. She is different, but yet so much herself. Lily's job is being a female cupid and together with a little magic she is very good at her job. Her next assignment is to get Sophie and Sawyer to become interested in each other.
Sophie is a blog writer and she is also trying to be an author. Fools Castle is the perfect place to write about on her blog. It has everything readers love to know about. It is a small town with its own charm and of course there's the Castle. The family who owns and lives in the Castle are a bit strange and have to cope with their grief and day-to-day life. Sophie isn't a warm person and she will do anything to keep emotions away from her heart. This makes her come across as a bit harsh, but she still is a likeable person. She just needs to be fixed.
Sawyer is a successful author who lives with his mother-in-law and his step children in the Castle. His wife died in a car crash and Sawyer was the one behind the wheel. He is having a hard time coping with his new way of living. He works odd hours and he misses out on a lot of the things his stepchildren do. Because of the fact that their father died he does see them as his own. He wants to be a better person and to become whole as a family again, but he doesn't know how.
I love to read fairytales and I fell in love with Four Sides to Every Story immediately. Lily is impossible not to love and I was really hoping for everything to turn out the way it should. My heart was aching for the children who lost so much already in their young life. This story really touched my heart and I couldn't put it down.
Valerie-Anne Baglietto has created an amazing romantic story. She describes Fools Castle so perfectly that I was able to 'see' what she was writing about. Her writing style makes it impossible not to fall in love with all the characters, because she's made them so real. If you love romance with a little touch of magic then I highly recommend Four Sides to Every Story.
One very lucky winner will receive a digital copy of Four Sides to Every Story by Valerie-Anne Baglietto.