Meet Joel Van Valin, author of The Grand Dissolute. Joel Van Valin is the author of the fantasy novel The Flower of Clear Burning and the publisher of Whistling Shade literary journal (www.whistlingshade.com). He lives with his wife Lisa, a real life veterinarian, in St. Paul.
What made you pick the genre you write?
I have written in sci-fi, fantasy and historical genres. In the case of The Grand Dissolute, an idea I had about a guy whose girlfriend is a time traveler really captivated me. I wrote a short story about it but it still wouldn't let me go. So I wound up blending sci-fi, historical and romance together in a novel.
How many books do you have published?
Two - The Grand Dissolute and an earlier fantasy, The Flower of Clear Burning.
Have you won any awards with your writing?
A short story I wrote won a local story contest.$500! That's the most I've ever earned for creative writing. I've also won a couple of newspaper poetry contest and had a winning sonnet in a sonnet contest sponsored by the Great River Shakespeare Festival.
Who is your favorite author?
Dead: Edna St. Vincent Millay. Living: David Mitchell.
Where do you most like to vacation?
If you could have lunch with anyone (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
Lord Byron. I would be curious about his opinions on our 21st century world. And also perhaps he could talk about his own personal life (his friends burned his memoirs shortly after his death, for fear of scandal).
Where can readers find out more about you?
My website is www.whistlingshade.com/joel.html