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Author Feature: Austin Valenzuela

Author Feature: Austin Valenzuela

SciFi, Fantasy, Gothic, Romance Writer

is our featured author today. Listen in or read along as Austin talks about his writing journey. As a writer, I’m sure you can relate to many of his insights and his favorite quote/poem. As a book lover, you may be intrigued to learn more about Austin’s stories!


Welcome to Bookends, a podcast about the books, chapters, and pages of our lives and the writers behind the stories we love. Today, we will get to know science fiction and fantasy writer Austin Valenzuela. If you want to get in on the fun by doing an author interview, answer the questions you can find at Now, on with the show!

Welcome back, bookworms! I'm your host, WriterKat. Today, I am doing a Q&A with Austin Valenzuela. Austin lives in Tampa, Florida. He says it’s too hot half the year, perfect weather the other half, and beautiful year-round. Austin lives with his lovely wife and two fur children–one feline and one canine. Other than writing, Austin loves software development and is into making video games.

Welcome to Bookends, Austin. What inspires you to write? 

Hi there. Thanks so much for this opportunity! I think it is so cool what you're doing with this podcast. 

Oh, the dreaded question about where ideas come from. It always seems like a blending of multiple interests that inspires me. I always try to stay curious. Writing every day helps get my brain into story mode.

How many books have you written?

I've written quite a few books, actually, but published only three so far.

Three is a great start! What is the most recent book you have published?

Tournament of Hearts: The Trial. It's my first fantasy romance story, and I'm interested in seeing how it will do. 

Romance?! I’m buying it now! 

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope readers take away that they can live their lives no matter what society tells them is right or the people they're told they should respect. Sometimes, there are greater forces at work inside one's heart. It's usually a better idea to listen to that instead.

What was your biggest challenge in getting your book published?

The most challenging aspect for me is getting over my perfectionism. I always want to do everything I can to make the book perfect to the point where I'll be editing one book for the rest of my life. Eventually, you have to move on, and I personally think the best way to do that is by starting another project.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I love reading horror. I'll read anything and everything as long as it's good, but I got into reading with the King, and he's always a delight to return to. On the other hand, I love a good thriller audiobook or a spicy fantasy romance to get me through the day. When I have a vacation ahead of me, I'll take a big epic fantasy to read. All of this stuff influences my own work.

What is your writing routine, and any habits or rituals that help you stay productive?

I like to write in the morning. For me, it's all about routine and momentum, so I try to write almost every day and give myself breaks only when I really need them. Brown music also helps me focus, along with having some coffee and maybe sunflower seeds on my desk.

Brown music. Looking up that term sent me down the rabbit hole. I’m fascinated by different forms of music and excited to learn that brown music helps tinnitus! 

How do you handle writer's block or moments when you feel creatively stuck?

I actually don't believe in writer's block. Personally, that feeling always comes from the thought that I'm not good enough or don't know where to start, and there are always ways to overcome that—going for a walk, brainstorming, etc.

What are you working on next?

The sequel to Tournament of Hearts launches on November 1st. I also have a Substack where I release a new short story every Friday, and now I'm collecting all of these stories into the first Valenzuela Shorts collection. I love short story collections and am thrilled that I now have enough material to put one together. There are some really unique stories in there.

I love Substack and highly recommend it for aspiring authors. I’m glad to see fiction popping up and you taking advantage of the popularity. I’m looking forward to reading your short story collection!

If you could do a book signing anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Good question... I know it sounds weird, but I've been interested in the Sydney Opera House lately. I don't know what I'd do with all that space, but at least the venue would be cool.

Ooh, that’s a good one! I visited their website and saw they have a variety of shows. A book signing could work. I like the way you dream big! 

Where is the most exciting or unusual place you promoted your book? 

I left my book at the Renaissance Fair one time. It wasn't that unique or even so much promotion, but I had fun and like to think a few sales came out of it.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Go read the poem 'So You Want to Be a Writer' by Charles Bukowski, then ask yourself again if you want to do this. If the answer is still yes, then keep writing, write all the time, and never stop, no matter what anybody says. And don't be afraid to be judged.

What is one thing you love about being an author?

I love that my job is literally imagining stories. It's my favorite thing to do, and the idea of getting paid for it baffles me daily.

What do you dislike about being an author?

Well, I'd like to say nothing but perhaps the seclusion. You definitely have to be an introvert to spend this much time reading and writing.

What has helped you sell the most books?

Getting my name out there and word of mouth. It's always word of mouth.

What is the most valuable lesson you've learned on your journey as an author that you wish you had known before you started?

I wish I'd known that I don't need anyone's permission to make money as an author.

What is your favorite quote? 

The entire Charles Bukowski poem mentioned earlier. 

I haven’t read that poem in years. Thanks for mentioning it, Austin. It’s a perfect poem for writers. I especially like the last few lines:

“Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it. Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it. When it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself, and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. There is no other way, and there never was.”


Where can we find you?

At valenzuela.austin on Instagram, at on Tiktok, on Amazon, and

Is there anything else you want to share?

Thanks to all for taking the time to listen to or read this interview! I wish you all the best.

Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us, Austin Valenzuela. And thank you, listeners, for tuning in. If you enjoy fantasy, romance, science fiction, or short stories, check out Austin’s books!  

If you're an author with a book release on the horizon or want to participate in a Q&A interview,  visit for the author interview questions.

Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, and remember that every story has the power to change lives!

That's a wrap for this episode of the Bookends Podcast. Thank you for listening! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Austin Valenzuela. Please follow so you don't miss any future episodes. We'll be back soon with more great conversations about books and authors. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy those special moments between the bookends of your life.

Until next time, happy reading!

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