Val Penny’s Thoughts

First off – what would you like to drink?

Please could I have a decaf Earl Grey Tea? I find I don’t sleep well if I drink too much coffee or caffeinated drinks.

Good idea – we have hundreds of types of tea! I have all kinds of home made cake, jam, bikkies etc – choice?

I can never resist home-made cake. I like baking cakes, but eating it is even better! Do you have any coffee and walnut cake?

One of my standards! Let’s start with your books – do you write under just one name or several?

I write under my own name. I remember discussing pen names with Peter Robinson some years ago. His view was that it felt good to be recognised for your work, and I suppose I accept that. When I asked Karen Campbell, she said her name was as good as any other. I think that’s right. She, like me writes under her married name.

How many genres do you cover? How much have you had published including anthologies?

I have had various poems included in national anthologies and have had some success in poetry and short story competitions. However, my first novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ is a crime novel set in Edinburgh.


Crooked Cat is publishing it. The launch date is 02.02.2018. I am very excited. I think this is a very auspicious date as 2 is the only even, prime number, so it is one of my favourite numbers. I am now working on the sequel to ‘Hunter’s Chase so, to date, I have stuck with the crime genre. But I would like to look at the children and young adult markets in the future. At the moment, it is one genre at a time.

How long have you been writing professionally?

I am still very much finding my way in this profession, so I do not yet feel that I am a professional writer. It is such early days, but I am so excited about this stage of my career. My husband is equally excited and keeps thinking TV and film rights. At six feet four inches tall, he is my biggest fan!

I imagine that, like all of us, you wrote all your life before “turning pro”

I have had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, I have not yet achieved either of my childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, I have turned my hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

What was your first published work?

My first professionally published work was a poem I wrote for my husband, Sleeping Warrior. It was included in a collection of poetry ‘Homeland’ published in 2013.

What are your ambitions / hopes for your writing career?

I am currently writing the sequel to ‘Hunter’s Chase’ it is entitled ‘Hunter’s Revenge’. I hope people will enjoy my first book enough to invest in the second one. I have chosen Edinburgh as my setting for DI Hunter Wilson’s stories. It is a beautiful, vibrant city and I hope readers will enjoy exploring it with Hunter and me.

Now on to you, the author. Where do you live and with whom?

I am an American author living in SW Scotland. I have two adult daughters of whom I am justly proud and live with my husband and two cats.

Describe a perfect day at home for me.

My favourite day in the year is the day my husband and I make our Christmas pudding. It is one of our family traditions. We both take an active role and have such fun together, messing about in the kitchen and creating a item that will form a pivotal part of the Christmas meal for the whole family. However, as we are very partial to our pudding, we make a big one and can be found having it sliced and fried with bacon and eggs for breakfast on January first after the Hogmanay festivities.

Outside of writing and any other work, what is your main passion?

I do not smoke or drink to excess, but my great passion is travel. Travel broadens the mind, not just the feet. Indeed, it has been said that I would go to the opening of an envelope! I love meeting new people, experiencing new things and visiting new places. I particularly enjoyed the different culture of the people in China and the cactus forest in Arizona is amazing.

Tell me two or three interesting facts about you that I haven’t asked.

I like watching cartoons. The traditional Disney classics are amongst my favourites.

Handbags are my guilty pleasure. My husband once asked why anybody would need more than one…. (in each colour and material, I added!)

I have always loved cats. I was given my first cat by my great Auntie Lizzie when I was 3 and have kept cats ever since, so it was with great delight that ‘Hunter’s Chase’ was accepted for publication by Crooked Cat Books.

Finally and most importantly – Bio and links 

I review books on

I review travel experiences on

My website is

You will find the Facebook Group, Friends of Hunter’s Chase at

The Group is first to learn about the novels relating to fictional detective ‘Hunter Wilson’ created by Val Penny.

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