WHAT’S NOT SAID by Valerie Taylor – SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

All Cassie O’Callaghan wants to do is leave her abusive husband, Mike and be with her lover, Chris whom she met five years ago on vacation. But her plans are crushed when she learns Mike has been suffering for years from kidney disease. They’ve been living like roommates in the same house and she has always taken care of Mike and put his needs ahead of hers. This isn’t going to change. In fact, he gets more demanding. But I think you’ll be surprised how this is resolved. Or is it?
Debut author, Valerie Taylor’s novel, WHAT’S NOT SAID (SheWritesPress) is a well thought out story that flows with characters that are pretty unlikable. None of them are flawless. You feel invested once you start reading. WHAT’S NOT SAID hooks you at page one and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Marriage and infidelity – In many ways these are stories we I also like the charming cover design.  know or have heard about, but there are twists and turns in this novel that you don’t see coming. WHAT’S NOT SAID is perfect for book-clubs. All Cassie O’Callaghan wants to do is leave her abusive husband, Mike and be with her lover, Chris whom she met five years ago on vacation. But her plans are crushed when she learns Mike has been suffering for years from kidney disease. They’ve been living like roommates in the same house and she has always taken care of Mike and put his needs ahead of hers. This isn’t going to change. In fact, he gets more demanding. But I think you’ll be surprised how this is resolved. Or is it?
Debut author, Valerie Taylor’s novel, WHAT’S NOT SAID (SheWritesPress) is a well thought out story that flows with characters that are pretty unlikable. None of them are flawless. You feel invested  once you start reading. WHAT’S NOT SAID hooks you at page one and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Marriage and infidelity – In many ways these are stories we all know or have heard about, but there are twists and turns in this novel that you don’t see coming. WHAT’S NOT SAID is perfect for book-clubs. I also appreciate the charming cover

We got the opportunity to ask Valerie about writing WHAT’S NOT SAID.

How difficult was it to write about domestic violence?

That’s a really tough question. I hadn’t considered domestic violence a significant theme in What’s Not Said, but on reflection, I get it.

Both Kassie and Mike aren’t angels. Did you purposely balance them this way?

Funny you should ask. An editor who’d read an early draft remarked that Mike was too much the villain and recommended I give him some redeeming qualities. I tried to be kind to him occasionally, but I didn’t want to let him off the hook.

On the flipside, I showed both sides of Kassie early on—she wasn’t totally innocent.

If you consider Kassie’s character arc, she took care of Mike until she didn’t, and then she did again. And Mike was a scoundrel, but he didn’t really want to lose her, until he was forced to accept that he had to let her go.

So balance? Certainly. I believe in the yin and yang of life.

What’s our obsession as readers with secrets? WE JUST LOVE THEM in a story. Why?

There are secrets, and there are lies. As readers, I think we love solving the secrets and figuring out if and how the lies will matter in the lives of the characters.

Solving secrets gives us power. Did we solve the puzzle before the reader next door, up the street, or in our book club?

Sometimes secrets surprise us, especially if we didn’t follow the breadcrumbs the author has sprinkled along the plot’s path. How many times do we say, “I didn’t see that coming!”?

In real life, secrets can be fun. Secrets often involve whispering and promises. From the time we are children, secrets excite us and spur our imagination, and often make us feel special.

Authors love weaving secrets into stories as a way to infuse intrigue and to motivate the reader to keep turning the pages when they should be turning out the lights.

How do you write? With an outline? What is your technique?

After retiring, I enrolled in a pricey online writing course. I discovered I’m neither a plotter or pantser—I’m a hybrid. In creating What’s Not Said, I wrote a few scenes and then scribbled a couple of key words or bullet points on a notepad. Before ending a session, I wrote the first line of the next scene. I still do this. When I get stuck on a scene, I repeat these words, “Just say it.”

When I completed the first draft, I created a story grid both in longhand and on my laptop. I tracked the purpose, setting, character, action, climax of each scene, enabling me to easily move, delete, or create new scenes.

I revise, edit, and proofread the heck out of my manuscripts. It’s amazing the mistakes I find.

My process for writing the sequel, What’s Not True (She Writes Press, August 24, 2021), was slightly different. Because I hadn’t planned a series until I was encouraged to do so, I sketched out a high level outline which, in retrospect, made writing it easier than the first.

So, you’d think I would’ve learned, eh? Seems I’m back to my original hybrid process as I write the third book in the series. As I approach the middle, the story screams for structure. Where’s that notepad?

Please contact me at: www.valerietaylorauthor.com

Or follow me:

Facebook.com/valerietaylorauthor

Twitter: @ValerieEMTaylor

Instagram ValerieETaylor

Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She graduated twice from Sacred Heart University in CT with a B.S. Business Administration and an MBA. She climbed the proverbial ladder in her early years at Xerox and then helped launch Executive Development Associates, a start-up executive education and coaching firm. There she dabbled in writing business communications and newsletters.

Her writing career took off when she joined Optima Group, and then later Clarion Brand Communications, where she focused on branding and crafting dozens of retirement planning programs for banks, mutual fund companies, and insurance companies. Because of her reputation in this niche, Russell Investments recruited her to join the firm in Washington State. During her ten-year tenure there, Valerie led the firm’s defined contribution marketing efforts for both pre- and post-retirement investment programs.

After a Rick Steves’ tour to Venice, Florence, and Rome, Valerie retired and returned home to CT in 2016 where her children have grown up and settled. When she’s not writing, reading, practicing tai chi or cheering for the Boston Red Sox or the New England Patriots, she’s sharing her wisdom and values with her granddaughter, who’s growing up way too fast.


Professional affiliations:
The Authors’ Guild, Independent Book Publishers Association, CT Authors and Publishers Association, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association

Thanks to I-READ Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the best book you’ve ever read about marriage. We’ll choose soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please 

#newrelease #chicklit #womensfiction #romance #giveaway

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25 thoughts on “WHAT’S NOT SAID by Valerie Taylor – SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

  1. Oh my, Cindy. You’ve got me on this question. The books I read about marriages are psychological drama and thrillers. Not the kind of book one should be reading about marriages…..and this book certainly fits the bill for MY KIND OF BOOK. Last week I read is TWO MINUS ONE by Kathryn Taylor.

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  2. This book sounds so intriguing! Definitely one to read and review. I worked at domestic violence shelter at one time. I enjoyed Kimberly Belle’s The Marriage Lie.

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  3. Wow, this book sounds intriguing and like a very good page turner! I just finished Shadow And Light and it has some to do with Marriage. Thank you for the chance of this awesome sounding book, thank you so much for sharing about it, I really want to read it now for sure. I will be adding it to my TBR list. Have a Great week.

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  4. Firefly Lane and Fly Away by Kristin Hannah. These books are about a friendship between friends, but there is a dynamic married couple that stand the test of time and a cancer diagnosis making this book for me also about the ups and downs of a long time marriage.

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  5. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve read many books about marriage. I love books that show women overcoming adversity and abusive relationships.

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  6. Again I have to mention The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr and The Art of Remembering by Alison Ragsdale because they cover very well the breakdown of a marriage and the recovery process. I have just started A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King and I am getting the feeling it’s going to be a strong contender! I have read so many books of different genres that have marriage as a theme I’m not sure I could choose one that was THE BEST. Maybe the infamous Love Story of the 1970s is an example of how it can be.

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