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Meet Val Portelli

This week, I showcase the work of the wonderful, Val Portelli. Her writing is excellent, her humour, legendary.


Singing for my supper.

Have you ever heard a few bars of a song from your childhood, and immediately had memories come flooding back? I was lucky enough to have grown up in the 60s and 70s when music was at its best, and the variety was second to none. My grandparents had a collection of 78 r.p.m. records which might now be collector’s pieces, if a cousin hadn’t inadvertently sat on them and broken the lot. One I remember was ‘In a Monastery Garden,’ and after doing some research I was amazed to discover it’s around 100 years old, but still available on YouTube today.

Photo: Gardens of Serenity.

My mother enjoyed opera, my father preferred Blues or County music, and I loved Rock and Roll! I fell in love aged around ten with a tall, dark and handsome rebel from Tupelo, Mississippi, and his photos still adorn my house half a century later. During my late teens I followed a local group, ‘The Wild Angels,’ who become quite famous, and backed both Bill Haley and Gene Vincent on their UK tours. Unbelievably, they are still performing and are due to play a gig in London’s West End later in the summer, with Wee Willie Harris of 2i’s coffee bar fame.

What has all this to do with writing?

As music was so much a part of my life, I was inspired to write a short story based on a song title. One thing led to another and I ended up with a collection of more than fifty stories, one of which was inspired by Rick, who kindly invited me as a guest on his blog today.

Photo: Race with the Devil.

Earlier this year I was involved in publicity for the Christmas charity anthology ‘When Stars Will Shine,’ releasing my book ‘Summer Changes, Winter Tears,’ writing short stories for my blog and Facebook author pages, editing my long-neglected murder/thriller, proof reading for others, and dealing with life in general.

Photo: Summer Changes, Winter Tears.

With so many other things going on, naturally I thought it would be a good idea to rush release some of the song title stories into a collection in time for Valentine’s day. As they were already written, I assumed it would be a straightforward process to put them together and publish in a short period of time. Wrong! My usual cover designer had distressing family health problems, my service provider decided to upgrade my Wi-Fi resulting in constant loss of connection, and the stories themselves needed serious editing. Despite all the problems, for once the Amazon gremlins decided to give me a break, and contrary to all expectations, ‘Listen to Love’ was released in February.

Photo: Listen to Love.

Despite the romantic title, you might be surprised at the contents. The themes are as varied as the songs that inspired them, and many include my trademark quirky twist. Writing is a way of keeping sane in a crazy world, and rather than becoming depressed at the doom and gloom news, it’s an author’s pleasure to provide an escape route for readers.

Link: Listen to Love:

Someone upset you? No problem. Give an author some background and we’ll put them in a book and make them suffer horribly.

Having a bad day? No problem. All a reader needs to decide is whether they want to read about someone who puts their problems into perspective, or if they would prefer to escape through the pages to Narnia, and enjoy a Happy Ever After.

Although Rick and I write in totally different genres, we have become ‘cyber’ friends through our mutual ideal of laughter is the best medicine to cure all ills. Add in music and books, and what more could you want? Well okay, Chocolate, if you insist.

Thanks, Rick for inviting me onto your blog. I promise to bring chocolate next time.

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