Zoe Lionheart Fan Page - 'Bout me, Valerie J. Long

I was born in Germany in the sixties of the last century. I am working as an IT Project Manager for an international company, and I live in Wiesbaden. I’ve chosen a pen name for two reasons. First I know my real name is too difficult to pronounce for most of the world. Second—as an IT person I know about the dangers of too much internet exposure. As a writer, I need a lot of exposure, and the pen name will retain a little privacy for me.
I read a lot. My bookshelves are overloaded with surely more than 2’000 books, mostly fantasy and science fiction. Among my favorites are J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Alan Dean Foster and David Weber, only to mention a few. You bet I’ve grown up with Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker, but I’ve also digested «Barbarella» and «Logan’s run»…
I am a fan of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, I like Alien, Sin City or Kill Bill, but I also enjoy watching Notting Hill.
I also travel a lot. If you read my stories and think—oops, she must know that place well—maybe you’re right, I’ve been there before.

So, what else could you want to know? Just ask, and if it's not too private, I'll answer. (Hmm - I'd rather exclude politics and religion, too.)

For now, let me guess some questions you might have.

My favourites...


Science Fiction and Fantasy comes first. There's Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, Perry Rhodan, Robert A. Heinlein, David Weber and countless others. My shelves are always overcrowded. Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and Shakespeare should be mentioned, too.


LOTR again, Star Wars, Star Trek (Original Score), Tarantino/Rodriguez movies, Matrix, Alien, Marvel superheroes, but also Lawrence of Arabia or Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Or Shrek, Madagascar, Ice Age...


Where to start? My iPod is full. Let me mention a few performers that have influenced my story: AC/DC, Anastacia, Epica, Evanescence, Kamelot, Metallica, Moonspell, Nightwish, Queen.


Hugh Jackman. Hugh Grant. Cary Grant. No, similarities are purely coincidental. Jack Nicholson.


Keira Knightley (Pirates...). Uma Thurman (Kill Bill). Cate Blanchett.

Oooh I'm sure I forgot someone very important to me.

About my writing

Why do I write, or how did it start?

Some stories I’ve written during school don’t count. My student works won’t help. So basically my history as a writer starts with my history as a fantasy role playing game master. Writing fantasy stories for role playing is a very good training for story plotting—players will inevitably spot any hole in your story logic.
I’ve written some very short shorts—some not more than one or two pages—until one day I joined a story contest in a German online community. Result was the beginning of «Lioness’ Heart» (in German, of course). It was a big success, but it quickly became clear that the story could not simply end with a murder. It had to continue.
One chapter a day the story grew. I’m in the fifth year now, and I’m still posting one chapter each day to my small demanding online community. Meanwhile I’m two books and about two thirds of a year ahead of my readers, and my ideas cover one more books that I yet have to write. My readers also demanded a printed version of my stories, and they got it.
I had to make a decision then—try to find a publisher and let my readers wait, or do it all by myself as an independent (self) publisher. I chose the latter, unaware of the fact that some people might call it «vanity press». Remember — demand came first, not the desire to see my name on a book.
A fellow author lead me to eXtasy books. So I translated my first book and submitted it. It was accepted immediately, moreover it was accepted as the first book of a series. This is a 100% success rate!
While «Lioness’ Heart» and my heroine Zoe Lionheart were still in the publisher’s pipeline, I was asked if I would contribute to a collection of erotic short stories. The result was my very first English release «Lilith Rose». This is the first story I did not translate from German, I wrote English from the start — it’s much easier not to switch between languages, I tell you!

How do I write?

First there are some sketches on the storyline, sometimes I envision a certain scene and put it down. In case of Lioness' Skin, the final showdown came quite early. But then I start from the beginning and work my way through the story in sequence. If there's a flashback situation, I try to write the entire past plot before distributing it to the respective chapters, like the briefing in Lioness' Claws (third part of the book Lioness' Heart). Sometimes I have to go back a few chapters and amend logical flaws. When I'm done, I change to edit mode and review the entire story.

Where do I get my ideas?

The best ideas come up when I need them least - while on the wheel or in the shower, or in the opera. Music is very inspiring, while movies and books rather distract me. Fantasy roleplaying really helped me to think like my protagonists.

What tools do I use?

For the English books, I stick to Word. Otherwise I prefer StarOffice or OpenOffice for writing, but pen and paper do the trick, too. I rarely leave home without my little black book or a similar tool, and if, I usually have to borrow a pen somewhere. On vacation, a subnotebook is my best friend.

About Lilith Rose

Lilith Rose was just released as my very first English e-Book. It’s not my first write though, rather my last-but-one. When my Editor In Chief told me about eXtasy books’ Fantasy Games series, that immediately triggered my imagination—I simply had to write the story that came to my mind. It is a Sex&Crime-Drama about one woman and her very special fate—I can’t give away more without spoiling the story, read yourself and tell me what you think about it.

About Zoe Lionheart

Zoe Lionheart (born Zoe Laforge) is my first protagonist and the reason my writing went beyond a private hobby. Zoe grew up as a quite ordinary, if talented, girl who didn’t expect anything special of her life. Her parents both died in a car accident when she was fourteen. She went on, finished school, finished M.I.T. and got a job. She was working as system administrator for a small print shop in Phoenix, AZ. In fact she was the girl Friday, the one who got blamed for everything. The happy side of her life was her friend Rick, and she was looking forward for her «Decisive Date» with him—he wasn’t clear about it, but did he plan a proposal?
That’s where the story and the trouble starts. A dull life at the side of a bike mechanic in Phoenix is not what fate has in mind for her (and me neither). There’s more to Zoe than the eye can see—although the eye can see a lot—and it will take me several books to unfold it all to you, the reader.
Come join me on the rollercoaster ride that Zoe’s life became!

About Wiesbaden, Germany

Wiesbaden is located about 20 km west of Frankfurt where the rivers Rhine and Main meet, at the east end of the Rheingau wine region, known for its famous Riesling. It is a spa, known for its hot springs, and an American garrison — soldiers go from here to Afghanistan with their helicopters. The city has 276.742 inhabitants [2008]. It is the birthplace of tennis player John McEnroe. And now it will become famous as the place where my books were written ;-)

About my readers

Well—this is rather about what I will do with you.
I want to entertain you. I want to thrill you—I want you sit at the edge of your seat biting your nails off. I want to make you laugh, I want to make you weep. I want to make you tremble with fear and then cry in relief. I want to make you hate my antagonists, I want to make you make you love my heroes. I want to make you hot, oh yes, I want to make you come! Can you stand the heat?

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