And today I am thrilled to welcome author Valerie Comer back as we get to know her a little better. And read all the way through — she’s offering a free book to one lucky person who leaves a comment, and she’s included a sneak peek at her latest book, Other than a Halo.
What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write? Special beverage? Music? Etc.
I’m one of those morning people who is one by default. That is, I’m really, really not a night owl! I’ve found that if I don’t get into my writing mindset first thing in the morning, it’s ten times harder to get into it later in the day. This means my routine starts in the evening with closing my browser and any extraneous files, and leaving my Scrivener file with my work-in-progress open. Oh, and it means setting the coffeepot!
I fix myself a mug of homemade mocha, sit down at the computer, turn on some praise music, and ask God to tell His story through my fingertips. Then I start typing with a usual goal of 2500 words. At about the halfway point, I take a break for a shower, breakfast, and devotions before finishing the chapter. Later, I may write some more or jump into other publishing and marketing tasks. Oh, and it’s a guarantee I’ll spend too long on Facebook.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I’m a pantser, a seat-of-the-pants writer. This means I do not have the story’s plot all figured out in advance. I don’t know what is going to happen in any given chapter until I’m well into writing it. This is both exhilarating and terrifying! I absolutely love that moment when I begin to catch a glimmer of the themes God is sketching into the story. It’s like watching dawn creep across nature, from murky gray to vibrant sunrise.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’d say the key is to not allow the crazy to overtake my life. In the past few years, writing has become my day job, and it turns out I tend to be a workaholic. I’d never seen this level of focus in my life before. I’m sure it’s a combination of finally being able to do what I love and make a living at it, and having the time to devote to it.
My husband I live on forty acres where we farm and garden. I keep my sanity with time spent in nature and in God’s word. Having three little grandgirls (ages 6, 4, and 4) definitely keeps me grounded, as well. When I have them nearby, I want to play outside with them, read them stories, do puzzles, and listen to their young wisdom. They remind me of my own hopes and dreams. They remind me to pray. By their very existence, they challenge me to leave the world a better place. That kind of perspective is vital to keep me from having a hamster-wheel existence.
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 Other Than a Halo, read the complete first chapter, or find purchase links to Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks, click here: http://valeriecomer.com/halo
I’m happy to give away an e-book copy of either of my Christmas in Montana Romances (More Than a Tiara or Other Than a Halo), anywhere in the world.
What do you look for in a Christmas novel?
First page of Other Than a Halo
“Don’t you think it would be great fun for both girls?”
Bren Haddock stared at the mother of her daughter’s best friend. “Um, no. I pretty much think you’re crazy.”
“What’s crazy about it?” Kristen O’Brien’s brown eyes lit up with excitement. “It’s not competitive like the Miss Snowflake is for adult women. It’s just for fun.”
Bren spun her pottery mug on the table in Helena’s Fire Tower Coffee Shop and raised her eyebrows. “Have you never heard of Crowns for Kids?”
“Of course I have.” Kristen giggled. “Wasn’t that reality—” she air-quoted the word “—show nuts? There was nothing real about it. And this won’t be anything like it.”
Bren had watched several episodes, aghast at what some people would do for fortune and fame. She shook her head. “I can’t believe you want to put Lila and Charlotte through that. No way.”
“Todd and I will gladly pay Lila’s entrance fee and buy her dress—”
“No. I’m not a charity case.”
Kristen’s eyes softened. “I know that, Bren. I know how hard you’ve worked to get on your feet and make a solid home for your kids all on your own. How hard you work every single day. This is something Todd and I want to do. Call it our Christmas gift to Lila. She’ll have a couple of adorable outfits and some happy memories of a perfect Christmas week spent with her bestest friend in the whole world.” Kristen’s voice mimicked Lila’s.
“I don’t see how it can lead to anything good.” Bren met her friend’s eyes across the wooden table. Around them, the lunch crowd drifted out. “I really don’t. I appreciate that you guys have money and run in different circles than we do, but I don’t want to get dragged into this. I don’t want Lila thinking she can have whatever Charlotte has. She needs to learn to be satisfied with what I can provide, not want what other people have.”
You can read the full first chapter here: