I've really been looking forward to having Valerie back to feature this book.
My faith is crucial to my life and therefore putting it to use in my writing is second nature. As for the romantic element, I always liked happy endings, even as a child, and was grown before I found out that everyone doesn’t dream up a better ending for sad books and movies.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That’s a tough question. I need at least 3 to cover it all. When I married my high school sweetheart and when each of my 2 children was born.
How has being published changed your life?
I sincerely hope being published has NOT changed my life. One of the nicest things a bookseller ever said to me was that even after publication I was still just the same as before. She couldn’t have said anything that delighted me more. As for lifestyle changes, since I started selling historical novels I have treated myself to more research books – without guilt!
Yes, I could spend a fortune on historical reference books. What are you reading right now?
As I think I said before, I seldom read in my own genre when I’m writing. I don’t want to accidentally pick up anyone else’s ideas so I stick to history research and short mystery stories, plus the daily newspaper. Have to have my crossword puzzles.
What is your current work in progress?
By the time you read this, I will be deep into my next historical, set mostly in the San Francisco of the 1850s. It involves recently orphaned children and their older sister, Sara Beth, who must not only survive an unseen nemesis who killed their parents but also clear their father’s name. Sara Beth teams up with doctor Taylor Howard at the Ladies’ Protection and Relief Society Orphanage and together they face her demons.
Sounds wonderful. What would be your dream vacation?
My husband loves to travel so we’ve seen most of the Unites States, including Alaska. I think I’d still like to see Norway, the country of my father’s birth.
One set of my grandparents came from Norway. One from Sweden. Maybe someday I'll get to go to that part of Europe. How do you choose your settings for each book?
After the first one, FRONTIER COURTSHIP, one has sort of led to another. They’re not a series but the era and area are similar. I feel as if I’m so attuned to this time period it’s the natural way to go. And, having lived and/or spent lots of time in the parts of the country that I write about, I’m able to put myself into the scenes fairly easily.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I know I’d like to meet Billy Graham. When I started to try to come up with someone else, I drew a blank so I guess this is it. Even at his advanced age, I’m sure he’d be a blessing.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to fish and hike in the woods behind our farmhouse. I’m also a pretty fair artist but since I’ve started writing I haven’t done much of that. And I absolutely love gardening in the warmer months. I really miss the sunshine in the winter and getting my hands dirty is good for my thought processes if I get worn out writing.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult obstacle is ME. When I’m between books I’m a total basket-case. I need to work. I love to work.. I’m so obsessive sometimes that my husband has to remind me to take breaks. He’s right, of course. I just hate to stop when the words are coming so fast and my ideas are fully formed. Those are my favorite times.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read. Lots. And then write, even if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you’re a true story teller, the other skills can be learned.
That is so true. I'm a natural-born storyteller, but I've had to learn a lot of skills to make my stories publishable.
WILDERNESS COURTSHIP is set in the 1850s. It begins in San Francisco with Charity Beal, the ditzy sister from FRONTIER COURTSHIP. Charity has matured and is helping her father by working at a hotel where they are lodging. When handsome hotel guest, Thorne Blackwell, is forced to hire her to look after his nephew, her adventures begin and eventually take her all the way north to the Oregon territory. After the Whitman massacre, the local Indians have not caused much trouble but times are changing for both the Nisqually tribe and the settlers. As Charity travels with Thorne, the child and the child’s mentally unbalanced mother, she falls in love with both the little boy and his stern but loving uncle. All she has to do is survive long enough to find her own happiness in the midst of turmoil and danger.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
This is easy. www.ValerieHansen.com
And thanks for giving me this forum!
And thank you, Valerie, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy.
And don't forget to come back and see if you win. We still have some people who haven't contacted us about their book. Just click on the Winners label and check out the last few winner posts.