Okay you guys I am super excited to say this! It is time to finally meet the author of Blood and Silver!

Vali Benson

Vali has been writing since she was able to hold a pencil and has been blessed with the gift of an over active imagination, which is absolutely perfect for a writer! Her creativity and imagination definitely show throughout this book. Vali has started and sold, not just one, but two successful companies. Which is just amazing to me! Way to go! Her career with writing is just as cool. She has been able to write articles for a variety of different periodicals, including History Magazine. Which explains why she did such a good job with this historical fiction book. And recently, she decided to attempt her first fiction creation. Vali’s first published novel, Blood and Silver came out in April of this year. Look at how pretty this cover is!

I got a wonderful opportunity to ask Vali some questions about both her book and a little about herself too. So keep reading to find out what her responses are! I hope to have the book review up soon and it will be full of what I thought about this dip back into the 1880s.

Where did the idea for Blood and Silver first come from?

The story takes place in Tombstone, Arizona. I have been to Tombstone countless times and people are simply fascinated with the town. I wanted to know why, so I immersed myself in research. Tombstone was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco in 1884, with over 150 businesses, including 100 saloons, and a thriving red light district. Apparently this arid little tourist trap, only forty five minutes from my home, was more important than I thought! This information began to spin my inquisitive wheels. I began to wonder what it would have been like to live in this obscure place in 1880. That was what first sparked the idea for Blood and Silver.

I fell in love with Carissa’s courage and was amazed by her quick thinking despite her age. What was the inspiration for her as a character and the thinking about making her so young yet such a strong individual?

Young women grew up in a hurry in those days and Carissa’s special circumstances made her life especially difficult. She had to be strong, she had no one else. Her devotion to her mother fed her determination and gave her the courage to trust her new friends and resolve an unbearable situation.

What inspired you to research and write about the 1880s in the United States?

I have always had a passion for history, fiction, or non-fiction. I believe that I’m just fascinated by what people were able to do without all of our technology or modern machinery. Where I live, in Tucson, we have many buildings that are two hundred years or older, so I was very intrigued with a town that appeared out of nowhere and become a place with seven thousand inhabitants in a little over a year.

It was amazing to find out that China Mary was an actual person and so much like the China Mary from your book. How was it being able to create a story that captures an important figure in history like this and be able to write a story that could have been possible?

The reason I love historical fiction is because I can thread actual people around fictional story lines. China Mary is a great example of this as you rightly point out. It was great to be able to work Mary into my story. She was so important to Tombstone; she had a finger in every pie. The frustrating part is that there is so little known about her life before Tombstone. I hope to find out more of her history for my next project.

Are you working on any other books or writing projects right now? If so, can you give us any hints as to what you might be writing or the era (if it is historical fiction again)?

I’m always working on something – usually several things at a time. But my “fans” seem to want more of the world that I built in Blood and Silver. I am especially excited about digging deeper about China Mary.

Is there anything you would like to tell any of the aspiring writers out there?

A great teacher once told me, “Write about what’s in your own backyard.” I have written several pieces this way, with great results. But if you want to be a writer – WRITE! If you want to be a good writer – READ and WRITE! Treat it as a job. Also, be sure to choose a topic that you truly feel passionate about. If you don’t care about what you are writing about, it will certainly show in your finished product.

Keep on the look out for my review of Blood and Silver!

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