Today’s Sunday Chat is hosted by Victoria (January) Valentine.
About Victoria (January) Valentine:
January Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and Indie Book Publisher. Several small international presses have published her fiction and poetry. She has self published a poetry collection, a horror collection, a children’s storybook, and has completed an inspirational romantic short story & poetry collection which is awaiting publication. Love Dreams contemporary romance novel was released in February 2012. Victoria is currently completing Sweet Dreams, a novel about a serial killer, to be released in September 2012. She has written song lyrics and produced a rock CD. Victoria designs and formats her own books, and annual anthologies which contain the stories and poetry of other writers.
VV: Hello, Sienna. Please tell us a something about yourself.
SA: Hi, Victoria. First, I’d like to thank you for doing this interview. Having the opportunity to talk to others has helped me through one of the darkest times of my life.
A bit about myself … where to start … I’m twenty-eight. I was born and raised in Ontario by two wonderful women: my mother and aunt. My dad passed away when I was a small child, but I remember the patient, loving man he was. Unfortunately, the next man in my life was not as kind and gentle.
VV: You suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of someone you trusted. Are you comfortable sharing this terrifying experience with our readers?
SA: At times I feel I’m still working my way through fear, and perhaps a small part of me always will, but yes, I can share some of the details. I knew of Rob Lucas in high school, but we didn’t connect until college. We dated occasionally, and he showed no signs of violence. In fact, he appeared to be a perfect gentleman, thoughtful and kind. Despite his almost perfect persona, I wanted nothing more than a casual relationship and made it clear that I was not ready to be serious with anyone. My sights were set on a career in business administration, and I couldn’t let anything interfere with my future plans.
VV: How did Rob feel about this?
SA: He appeared to be okay with it, although at times he expressed the desire for more intimacy than I could offer. Mid semester of my first year at college, my grades were not as high as I would have liked them to be, so I threw myself into my work. That’s when problems began to surface. Rob resented the fact that I had less time to spend with him. He seemed edgy, easily agitated. That’s when the controlling began, and arguments erupted. As time went on, the altercations escalated until …
VV: Is that when you attempted to end the relationship?
SA: No. Not at that point. I tried to reason with him, which was futile. I felt sorry for him. He had no one close he could turn to, or so he said. He started drinking heavily, and using drugs. I supported him through legal problems and rehab programs, but nothing helped. The outbursts continued. I knew I had to get away from him.
VV: What happened when you finally told Rob he would no longer be a part of your life?
SA: He exploded and put his fist through the window of his pickup. Then he apologized, but went through phases where he’d act repentant, then turn violent when I told him there was no turning back. He wouldn’t leave me alone. Things got so bad, after graduation, I decided to quietly leave Canada. I had to get away from him. He was making my life miserable, and I feared for myself and the safety of those close to me. I moved to a small town in upstate New York where I drifted into a false sense of security. Never in a million years did I think Rob would follow me, hunt me down like an animal. Torment me. Rob was always that ghost in my peripheral. Haunting. Threatening. When his attempts to reconcile failed, he became furious. I wore bruises. I cried, couldn’t sleep. Restraining Orders did nothing but anger him more. It was like living in a nightmare.
VV: What finally happened in New York?
SA: He broke into my apartment … and …
VV: We can stop the interview, Sienna. I can see you’re becoming upset.
SA: No … it’s okay, Victoria. I can do this. He broke into my apartment and … he was like a madman. He tried to kill me.
VV: Obviously, his attempt was unsuccessful, thank goodness. I understand a neighbor found you and called for help. How is your life these days?
SA: My life has taken a three sixty. I have a good job, loving friends, two adorable pets … and …
VV: Suddenly you’re smiling. From across the table, I can feel the positive vibes. Now you have me smiling … and wondering. How did you manage to recover from such horror?
SA: It took time to put it all behind me, but with the help of a counselor, I’m finally at peace and have overcome the nightmares. I’m fortunate to be alive, and thankful. Rob is out of my life, for good, so I no longer live in fear. I’m independent. I’m strong.
VV: Your smile is growing broader. Will you share?
SA: The negative has turned to positive, and I feel like I’m surrounded by love. In my spare time, I volunteer at a local shelter where we care for abandoned pets, find homes for them. It’s very rewarding and a big part of my life. And I’ve met someone who shares my passion for … Let’s just say, I’ve met a very nice man and leave it at that.
VV: I understand you’ve been selected to be one of the main characters in an exciting new book.
SA: Yes. I’m thrilled to be a part of January Valentine’s project, Love Dreams.
VV: Tell us about Love Dreams.
SA: Love Dreams is a contemporary romance, charting the tumultuous journey of a young woman who has survived a devastating, toxic relationship which has left her emotionally challenged. She’s broken, plagued by night terrors, unable to move on . . . until . . .
VV: Does she find romance? If so, is she capable of trusting another man after what she’s been through?
SA: She’s sworn off men, but one special guy manages to break down the barriers. The hero in January’s book is a beautiful, physically handicapped young man who shares the heroine’s inability to accept the hand dealt by fate. The story focuses on their struggle to overcome tragedy and find inner peace. Although things seem impossible, after a series of ‘accidental’ encounters, they can’t help but surrender to love. It’s a sweet, gripping romance, somewhat erotic. There is a strong back story, which makes it more than an average romance. Love Dreams is more of a hit and miss, romantic drama.
VV: Do the two lovers finally manage to get together?
SA: You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I can tell you this: There are two men vying for her affection, making her chaotic life even more complicated.
VV: Love Dreams sounds like an interesting book. I wish you and the author the best of luck. Thank you for visiting with us. It’s wonderful to hear that you have conquered the dismal past, and have evolved into the delightful and secure woman sitting right here before me. I know you’ll join me in wishing the same success for every woman, especially those who have been affected by any form of abuse or adversity. May you live the life you choose and live it well, enjoying health, happiness and serenity.
Victoria’s books can be found on Amazon.com and Water Forest Press Books. Her ebooks are available in numerous Internet stores.
Water Forest Press Books:
Love Dreams is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook.
Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Dreams-ebook/dp/B007GPGZYM
Thank you Victoria and Sienna!