Valerie Comer will give away an e-copy of either Secrets of Sunbeams or Butterflies on Breezes. Winner’s choice. 🙂 Leave a comment for a chance to win.
A little bit about Valerie
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. 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.
Valerie is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances.
Connect with Valerie
The Friday Five with Valerie
- What inspired your latest story?
Butterflies on Breezes is the second book in my new Urban Farm Fresh Romance series. I knew I wanted to write a take-off of my flagship series, but set in a city to explore local food themes from a different mindset. I made a list of a whole bunch of angles that might work in such a series, then began to develop a cast of characters to inhabit my community. It seemed as though my characters began to step forward and volunteer for various urban farming ideas! So while the first book, Secrets of Sunbeams, featured an animal control officer with her own escapee goat and a solar architect, Butterflies on Breezes is the romance of a landscape designer and a master carpenter who are hired to design and build a community garden. Of course, it’s not quite that simple!
- What is your writing process like?
I’ve been writing since 2002, and my process has changed a lot. I tried very very hard to plot in the early years, as I’m basically a fairly organized person and thought outlining a book would be a natural outcome of my personality. But then God laughed at me and said He had other things to teach me.
These days, I start by creating a setting and a cast of characters, like I mentioned above. I make sure that the people are real, assorted ages, different personalities, different levels of education, etc, just like many real communities. I also know what the story will be ‘about’ as far as some ideas I expect to explore. I write romance, so I know the ending, but not what curves the journey will take.
Then I sit down and just start typing. I usually write 4-6 chapters a week and have a completed first draft in 8-12 weeks, depending on the length of the book. I’ve found that writing a story without an outline is both terrifying and exhilarating, and I’m so thankful God is with me through the process!
After that, I spend a week or two going back over the manuscript before sending it to beta readers. Once I’ve incorporated their suggestions, I send it to my editor. Then a final pass and I release it to the public!
- What the hardest thing about being a writer?
The hardest thing for me is what we call BICHOK — butt in chair, hands on keyboard. I know I have to allow some thinking time while the back of my brain works out what will come next in the story, but I’m not sure that endlessly surfing Facebook is particularly helpful to the process.
- What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Speculative fiction author Holly Lisle describes writing fiction as ‘telling lies for fun and profit.’ I’m so very blessed to have a mind that incubates story ideas and that people are willing to pay money to enter my hallucinations! I can’t thank God enough for this wonderful career, doing what I love, giving people an escape while, at the same time, encouraging them to a deeper life in Christ.
- Are you an introvert or extrovert? What’s that best thing about being an (introvert or extrovert)?
I am a socially functioning introvert. That means I can ‘do people,’ but I find it exhausting, and I’m content with minimal interaction. While I enjoy going to coffee with my friends, it usually has to be their idea. Otherwise a few weeks might go by, and I won’t even notice that I haven’t been off the farm except to go to church and pick up groceries!
The good side is that I can entertain myself indefinitely with my fertile imagination. I would guess (though I don’t know) that it must be difficult for extroverts to spend so much time alone while they write. Maybe those are the ones who frequent coffee shops with their laptops! I love my quiet space, and can get a lot done there. So long as I turn off Facebook.
About Butterflies on Breezes
Like a butterfly on a summer breeze, LOVE RARELY LANDS WHERE IT’S EXPECTED.
Working for her dad’s landscaping business stifles Linnea Ranta. When she’s invited to design and build a community garden with an intriguing master carpenter, she seizes the chance to unfurl her wings, but at what expense to her heart?
Logan Dermott eases back his flirting when he senses Linnea’s fragility, but she has more backbone than he suspected. As they work together, Logan finds he’s falling for her, but it may be too late to win her love.
Will Linnea break free of her chrysalis and fly away before Logan realizes what he almost had?
Find out more! http://valeriecomer.com/books/butterflies-on-breezes/