And today I am happy to welcome back Valerie as she answers some tough questions and gives us a sneak peak at her latest book, Secrets of Sunbeams.
Read all the way through, because Valerie is giving away a free ebook!
- What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock was the belief that writers were either plotters or pantsers (seat-of-the-pants writers). For some reason, it took a very long time for me to understand that there is an entire spectrum in between. Then it took more time for me to find my own spot on that spectrum.
I’m an organized person in Real Life, so it seemed I should plot books. I tried very hard for eight or ten books, but I just couldn’t see into the murkiness of possibilities. Through trial and error, I’ve come to find my own best practices.
For each series, I create a detailed setting, sometimes riffing off a real town or neighborhood using Google maps and giving it a new name. I create a starter cast of characters, aiming for a variety of personalities, ages, education levels, etc, then choose ideas to explore in the various stories.
For my new Urban Farm Fresh Romance series set in Spokane, Washington, I adapted a neighborhood near downtown and called it Bridgeview. I created six heroines and six heroes, gave them personalities and careers, and decided which of them would be in the first book. Then I assigned the story ideas to the first six titles and couples.
I was ready to start the first book. I delved deeper into the Myers-Briggs personality of my first hero and heroine, made sure they had solid goals and motivations that would lead to conflict, and jumped in without a detailed plan. It takes me about 8-12 weeks to write a first draft this way, once the series foundation has been prepared. It is both terrifying and exhilarating, and I depend on God every day to provide the story as it is needed.
- Tell us about your next book & when is it being published? Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Butterflies on Breezes, the second Urban Farm Fresh Romance, is out this week! It is the story of a shy landscape designer and a master carpenter who tackle the job of building a community garden with a few bumps along the way.
I write where food meets faith and fiction because I believe God cares what we eat. It matters to Him how we treat our planet, how we treat those who grow our food, and how we treat our bodies. My stories showcase believers wrestling with those issues in today’s society… while falling in love!
- Do you have a dedicated place to write, or a nook or corner of a room, or the kitchen table? (send a picture if you want)
After a decade of writing in the back corner of the flooring shop where I worked, I became a full-time writer and moved home. I’ve tried a few different spots in our very small house. It turned out my favorite place to work was in my recliner in the living room, so we bought and mounted a swing-arm iMac as my main computer. Now you could say I’m tethered to one spot, but I do have options. I can swing it up and use it as a standing desk, which I try to do several times a day for half an hour, or I can always grab my old laptop and go wherever I want. Mostly I am quite addicted to the large monitor and the speed of the new computer, and the laptop isn’t as tempting anymore as I thought it would be!
Valerie Comer is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner who writes where food meets faith and fiction. Her life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for her stories of contemporary Christian romance. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
To learn more about Secrets of Sunbeams, read the complete first chapter, or find purchase links to Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks, click here: http://valeriecomer.com/books/secrets-of-sunbeams/
Leave a comment, and we’ll draw a random name to win an e-book copy of either Secrets of Sunbeams or Butterflies on Breezes, anywhere in the world.
How would you describe your relationship with food?
First Page of Secrets of Sunbeams
Eden Andrusek stopped so suddenly the screen door slammed her backside. Where was Pansy? Eden shaded her eyes and glanced around the backyard. No way. She’d only been inside a minute.
“Pansy!” she yelled, jogging down the three steps to the barren yard. “Where are you?”
The answer seemed to be… nowhere. Eden’s gut clenched. No, no. No, no, no. This can’t be happening.
The gate at the side of the small house was definitely closed. The backyard was completely fenced with no hiding places. Except…
Eden’s pulse quickened at the sight of a vertical board in the side fence hanging slightly askew. She ran across the yard, stumbling over the metal bucket Pansy had been playing with, and pushed at the errant board. It swung aside. That was definitely enough room for the escape artist.
She crouched and peered through the gap into the neatly mowed lawn of the Victorian next door. A side table with a glass of something clear and red sat beside an empty deck chair facing—
The goat only glanced over as she chewed the paper dangling from her mouth.