Carla: Tell us a bit about yourself and your pen name.
Valentinno: To my family and friend I’m Kevin Brian Wright (but to my international following, I’m best known as Valentinno.)– A romantic poet, letter writer, renaissance thinker, and author of the critically acclaimed book, ” A Romantic’s Passion: The Tenth Muse”.
In this business a pen name, book cover, even the title of a book can affect how your book will sell. So being that I am a romantic poet my birth name “Kevin Brian Wright” sounded more corporate to me. Perhaps it would fit better for someone writing a book on finance. It wasn’t very marketable for someone writing romance. But the name Valentinno being a variant of valentine which also means, romance, true love, heart, etc., was perfect in every sense of that word for me.
Valentinno: You’re absolutely right I am a screenwriter and that was my main focus, but I wore many other hats in the film industry as well. I was an award-winning action and fight director, I choreographed stunt, fight sequences and starred in over eight films. But the thing I most enjoyed was writing the scenes and watching them come to life on-screen.
After writing screenplays for so long I wanted to pursue other creative avenues. At the same time I was working on several collections of romantic prose and I wanted to tell my love story to the world. So I basically took a very long vacation and decided to concentrate on just my poetry, and so I published my first bestselling book in Europe in 2006. I guess being a screenwriter will always be in my blood because, it seems I’m back from that vacation. Today I have two feature screenplays written with my business partner, Christina Sampson. One is an action science fiction film named, “Vooshaday” and the other is an action movie entitled, “Organized Crime Bureau.”
Carla: You’re incredible popular in Europe and your latest book, “A Romantic’s Passion: The Tenth Muse”, that was released in January, has already sold out in France and Germany. What element of originality do you feel fuels your popularity?
Valentinno: January 25th 2011 my book was published and by the 28th it sold out in Germany and France. Since then,”A Romantic’s Passion”, has been getting a lot of media attention. I have been doing radio tours, appeared on talk shows, been on the front cover of numerous newspapers, and have done many interviews, etc. It has been very exciting.
As for how I feel, I really go by what the reader feels because they are your true critics. According to my readers my popularity stems from the old world romantic style and my elaborate imagery.
“O’ beauty, her endearing armor, that meets my elated glance,
My dear warrior! The courier of Saint Cupid’s almighty bow,
Where I have only pressed my lips against the cheek where
Rests love’s fair kiss and passion kindles those votive rays,
But a lover’s bliss, that blessed day!
When that seraph light retained my soul upon her
Flowering face and the tender tones of her sweet accents.”
Carla: Name the most unusual place you’ve found inspirations for your writings.
Valentinno: Honestly I don’t have to be inspired; I can just sit down at any time, pick up a pen and just write. Maybe because I write about my true life romantic experience, so the muse, emotions and visions are already the reality of my mind.
Carla: You’ve used photography in your latest book to coincide with your poems.
Valentinno: I used photographs in my book so readers can not only read the love story through words but visualize the romance through photos. I wanted to give the audience something different.
Carla: A line of poetry that changed your way of thinking.
Valentinno: I don’t think a line of poetry could change my way of thinking, but writing, “A Romantic’s Passions”, opened my eyes and mind to many new things. Even though I’m an expert on the subject I am still just a student of the world and love will always be the greatest teacher.
Carla: What was it like writing for the Queen of England? Was the process a bit intimidating?
Valentinno: I was honored and very excited to write for Queen Elizabeth II. The poem in which I wrote was entitled, “O’ Blessed Nightingale.” It’s now displayed in her private estate, in Balmorals Castle.
Regardless of how high-profile someone is you have to look at them like every other reader. You can’t get intimidated or you won’t give your best work. So I sat down behind my computer and wrote the poem like I would for anyone else. Weeks later I received a letter by royal mail telling me how much she loved the poem, it’s presentation etc.
Carla: When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite thing to do to unwind?
Valentinno: I always like to unwind with a good run or walk, or a couple of hours in the gym.
Carla: What did you have for dinner tonight?
Valentinno: Chicken stuffed with crab meat and asparagus
Carla: Your most beloved coffeehouse?
Valentinno: Tea and Sympathy; because I’m a tea drinker.
Carla: Favorite romantic vacation destination?
Valentinno: Venice, Italy
Carla: Cats or Dogs? Cats
Thank you Valentinno! I wish you much success, in your future endeavors.
While he now writes full-time, Valentinno has more than 27 years of award – winning writing experience. He has received 60 international literary awards in less than 5 years, including a nomination for the Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was inducted into the “Who’s Who of Poets.” Valentinno also won best manuscript at the Christopher Newport University’s annual writers conference, as well as composed poetry for Queen Elizabeth II. Valentinno is a consummate writer and his excellence in his craft has earned him international fame. He is no emerging romance writer. He has already earned worldwide recognition for the finest embodiment of the art of poetry, thus ranking him among the greatest old world romantic poets.
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