Sunday 1 March 2020

Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ Val Portelli

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo

I'd delighted to welcome author, Val Portelli

☼Good Morning, Val. Happy Sunday !

What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

I’ve brought along chocolate and cheese with some savoury nibbles. We can sit and chat while my personal chef does the cooking bit. 

Would you like a pot of English Breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz? 

I’m not a tea drinker, so the Buck’s Fizz would go down nicely, with the strong Americano for later. Thanks. 

Which of your literary heroes are joining us today? 

I’m pleased you hired a mansion for our brunch as there are so many, they wouldn’t all fit around a normal sized table. It’s good that the time machine is working too. That looks as if it’s a fascinating conversation between Shakespeare, Denis Wheatley, Jodi Picoult and Agatha Christie. Shall we join them? 

What’s the title of the book nearest to you? 

At the moment it’s my own, ‘Summer Kisses, Winter Tears’ which has just been released. The nearest on my laptop is ‘When Stars will shine,’ a charity anthology in aid of ‘Help for Heroes,’ which I hope will have reached the No. 1 spot by the time you read this. 

What’s the oldest book on your book shelf? 

Possibly ‘The Story of O,’ or ‘I’ll dress you in mourning’ or ‘The Kappillan of Malta.’ There might be older ones, but as they are double/triple stacked, the whole bookcase might collapse if I started rummaging. Actually, I’m wrong. The family bible handed down through generations must be older than me. 

Which book do you really want to read but haven’t had time for …yet! 

There are loads, mainly from Indie authors you’ve probably never heard of, and the list gets longer every day. Hopefully Santa will have brought me gift vouchers so I can cross a few off the list. 

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure, and if so will you tell us about it? 

I have two of my previous work colleagues to blame for this. I asked a female colleague what she was reading and she replied ’50 Shades. It’s filthy,’ so I had to buy it. An elderly male colleague was reading ‘Harry Potter’ so I thought, ‘If he can, I can.’ 

If the house was on fire which book would you rescue? 

Selfish, I know, but it would be my laptop which contains all my books and short stories. The other ‘books’ are those containing old family photographs which I need to scan and save before they disintegrate. 

Do you have a reading/writing playlist on Spotify, or a favourite CD to listen to when reading/writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel happy? 

Elvis and Rock and Roll make me happy, but I tend not to listen to music when I’m writing as it’s too distracting. Some songs inspired me to write a series of short stories based on the titles, about thirty so far with plenty more on the list. They include everything from ‘Not Fade away’ to ‘You don’t own me’ (an old favourite I was delighted to see has been revived for a TV advert), ‘Venus in Furs’ ‘Race with the Devil’ and ‘Time to say Goodbye.’ 

Do you have a favourite place to settle down to read/write? 

Normally, I read in bed and write at my desk. When I go on holiday, I take a packed kindle but usually end up borrowing a paperback from the hotel library. I go prepared to write loads whilst lying by the pool or on the beach but somehow it never happens, although I do come back with plenty of ideas for new stories inspired by my surroundings. 

Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs? 

Friends who are fellow authors to support, nag, beta read, encourage and celebrate as they appreciate the high and lows, and have worn the same T-shirt. 

A never-ending supply of coffee. 

Spare fingernails, a large box of tissues to mop up the tears, and some bubbly to celebrate. 

Degrees in marketing, IT, tax, accountancy, 48-hour days, and Never give up-ness. 

I’ve got the first three items, the others are on the TBD list. 

What can you tell us about your latest novel, or your current work in progress? 

When I was in my 20s, I met a very special man and fell in love with him and the island where he was born. My first book ‘Changes’ was based on some of those memories and has now been republished under the title ‘Summer Changes, Winter Tears.’ 

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With that finished I intend to get back to my WIP ‘Murder of Changes,’ which is in a totally different genre, and has been languishing on my computer waiting for some attention. It's difficult to fit into a category as it’s not exactly horror, has a hint of historical interest, a smattering of romance and a quirky twist. 

I’ve been told authors should stick to one genre, but I love to experiment. Once I’ve worked through them all I might have decided where my passion lies. 

Thanks for a wonderful brunch, Jo. I’m pleased the dogs got on so well with Jaffa, and the Unicorns didn’t play up. We’ll have to do it again. It’s been fun. x


Name Val Portelli 

Pen Name Voinks 

Twitter @ValPortelli

Amazon author pages 

Follow on Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo

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