My Books!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Life Less Ordinary

Hello, and welcome to Valerie Bernadine's blog tour. Valerie, thanks so much for coming today.

One of the things that always fascinates me is where authors get their ideas. Where did you get the idea for A Life Less Ordinary?

Thanks for hosting me today.  A Life Less Ordinary began as pure wish fulfillment.  I was 45 and looking at my life wondering how I’d got there and where I wanted to go in the future, and wishing I could run away for a while and figure things out.  I couldn’t do it physically, so I wrote about it instead.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote a lot when I was a kid, starting when I was in junior high, mainly because I wanted things to read.  I never finished anything but I enjoyed the work.  When I was in university, though, the creativity just dried up and didn’t return until ~2008 when I began to write fanfiction – it felt like a dam had broken – LOL!  So, I guess I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life, but it’s only been within the last five years that I’ve been able to produce anything.  (I’ve been loving every minute of it!  :D )


How long did you write before you got published?

Well, Love of Words Publishing Inc. Is my own company, so I haven’t gone through the process of submitting books to other publishers.  I actually plan to (eventually) publish other people’s work as I have a very good understanding of the publishing process...except for the marketing and distribution aspect.  LOL – the most important part, right?  I thought A Life Less Ordinary was a strong book that I could use as a guinea pig to work out the publishing process(es).


What is your favorite scene from A Life Less Ordinary?

Just one?  LOL  I have a ton of favorite scenes from A Life Less Ordinary, so let’s see...there’s a scene around the middle of the book when Manny’s wearing a bikini and has a bit of a panic attack at the thought of wearing it out in public.  I think it’s both funny and sad, and hopefully women everywhere can relate to what she’s saying and thinking.  :)


What are you working on now?

I’m working on an (unintended) sequel to A Life Less Ordinary.  I’m also looking at my two post-apocalyptic stories to see if I can make them good enough to publish.  Both stories are currently available online (Historian’s Daughter and Plugs) – if you read them, please let me know what you think!  I’m also working on a novelization of a script about an alien invasion (currently available here), and I have a romance story niggling at my brain that was inspired by Nathan Fillion’s portrayal of Rick Castle on Castle.  At this point, though, I’m not sure if any of these stories will ever be good enough to be published (for sale, I mean) – but I’m going to do my best!  :)
Victoria Bernadine
For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl.  Now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life.  When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps.  In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house, cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing an ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-zine, What Women Want.  Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
“All I ever wanted was a life less ordinary.”
Manny lay flat on her back, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling while she waited for her clock to hit 6:00. Another day of work, she thought. Another day older and deeper in debt.
She had the alarm timed to the millisecond. The jarring noise had barely begun when she clicked it off. She sighed then threw back the covers and got out of bed.
She padded into the bathroom, glanced without interest in the full-length mirror that doubled as her shower doors and took her morning inventory.
Plain face? Check.
Looking tired? Check.
Thirty pounds overweight? Check.
Dark circles under deer-caught-in-headlights eyes? Check and check.
She shook her head at her limp, mousy hair and wondered when she’d gotten so old.
She sighed in resignation then conjured up her Perfect Fantasy Man–or Harvey, as she liked to call him–to give her a morning lift. She cocked her head to one side as she stared into the mirror and imagined him standing behind her. She smiled at the handsome man, and he smiled back, putting his hands on her shoulders. Everything about him was warm, in stark contrast to the cold shades of grey in which she lived her life. He had warm brown eyes, warm brown skin, and a warm smooth voice that always reminded her of golden honey. Today his hair was black with greying temples, and yes, even that seemed warm to her.
He was perfect, everything she considered ideal in a man–and extra-perfect, of course, because he was a fantasy. Just the thought of trying to establish a relationship with an actual man felt too much like work.
 She sighed and Harvey disappeared.
“Instead I ended up in a rut–everything planned and executed to the minute.”
Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008. She began with fanfiction about a (now-cancelled) TV show called Jericho and particularly about the characters of Heather Lisinski and Edward Beck. From there, she expanded into writing original fic and she hasn’t stopped since.
 Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody’s guess.
 She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild.
 Victoria can be contacted through Love of Words Publishing Inc. ( or through her brand new blog at
 A Life Less Ordinary is available for sale on Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy formats at 
Readers follow Victoria's tour and comment often for a chance to win a grand prize of a $25 gift certificate or one of two $15 gift certificates. Certificates are from Amazon or Smashwords. You can find her tour stops at



Rita said...

Sounds like a great read.

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine - thanks for hosting me today! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rita - thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you think it sounds like a great read!

Andra Lyn said...

I didn't know that you have your own publishing company! Thanks for sharing!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Hi Andra Lyn - just getting started. I actually published this book as a guinea pig to figure things out. :D

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks for coming Victoria. come back anytime.

Kate said...

An excellent giveaway! Thank you very much :)

hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed reading through the post thank you.


Karen H in NC said...

I'm really enjoying the excerpts and interviews during this tour. Love the names of your cats too.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Victoria Bernadine said...

Sorry for not responding earlier, everyone - real life has been getting in the way. :)

Thank you, Elaine! :)

Kate - thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

Mary - great to see you; glad you enjoyed the post!

Karen - Hi, glad to see you drop by. :) I'm glad you're enjoying the tour and the interviews, etc. Those are just some of the nicknames I have for my cats. They're the Grunt and the Runt because one's 20 pounds, the other's about 7. LOL