Bio: Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western
provides the seed for
stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters,
Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local
foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her
creations enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with
her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Valerie writes Farm Lit
where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her
award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories. Canada
Welcome back, Valerie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Oh, this is so true,
Lena. I'm so amazed and blessed, and I'm so excited as I
look into 2015. In the past year, I've had the privilege of independently
re-publishing two novels from my previous publisher plus three original novels.
In 2015, I expect to release three more novels as well as several novellas.
It's so much fun to write again!
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married for 34 years. We live on a small farm in western
grow much of our own food. I'm especially excited about this because we can
help provide real food, nutritious food, organic food for our three little
granddaughters (and their parents, LOL). Canada
Our son lives in a mobile home on our farm with his wife and their little girl, and it's such a delight to see them nearly every day. My daughter's family lives only 90 miles away, but the two mountain passes between make it seem further! My daughter is my cover designer, which is another thrill for me.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes and no. I've always read a lot. Since I began writing, my reading time has fluctuated, but I usually read fiction for an hour or so before bed. I love my genre, contemporary romance, and love discovering fresh new voices. I'm reading more consistently than I used to, and I have my Kindle to thank for that. Living in a rural area meant I didn't always have access to the books I wanted to read. Now that's not an issue.
What are you working on right now?
These days I'm finishing up Dandelions for Dinner, which will release in early March. It's the fourth book in my Farm Fresh Romance series. I expect to write and release the fifth and sixth books in the series in 2015, as well, so I'm keeping busy!
What outside interests do you have?
I’m a true introvert and, since my job left me two years ago, have become a fulltime author and freelancer. My vegetable garden and my family are my two major non-writing interests! My husband and I enjoy traveling in western
camping beside the ocean or mountain streams. This time of year we're snuggling
down for cold weather, though. I hope we have enough snow this winter for
snowshoeing. Getting outside and moving around is vital for both my physical
energy and mental energy. Canada
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The Farm Fresh Romance series is set in northern
Idaho, which is not far
from where I live in .
I chose it because I needed a climate and growing season familiar to me for the
farming aspects of the series. When I began the books, I was writing for
traditional publishing houses that didn't want to see Canadian-set books. The
series I'm eyeing for 2016 will likely be set on Vancouver Island, off Canada 's west
Oh, I’m so glad. I love books with foreign settings. I know the
US is foreign for
is foreign for me. If you could spend an evening with one historical person,
who would it be and why? Canada
My dad, I think. He died in 1998, a few years before I began writing, and I believe he'd have been very proud of me and interested in my progress. He enjoyed writing, too, but no one could read his handwriting. He wrote a lot of poetry. I'd love to compare notes with him as the woman I am today rather than who I was back then.
I so understand. I’d choose my mother who died when I was 7. I’d love to know her as a woman. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I'd learned to trust my instincts sooner. I lived under the mistaken impression far too long that a writer was either a plotter or a seat-of-the-pants writer. I couldn’t do either, and it was extremely frustrating. I've since learned that it's a spectrum and that I fall very close to the middle. I need to know certain things about my story in advance, and then I need to jump in and trust the process. There's been much less deep revision to do in the past several years, and my stories hold together so much better. How did I not figure this out five years earlier? It's a mystery.
Me, too. I’m closer to the seat-of-the- pants side of the spectrum though. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I find it interesting how much God teaches me through the novels I write. It's like He has some master plan or something. ;) But the characters in my current novel need a large dose of self-forgiveness and hope, and I'm finding myself challenged through their problems and conversations.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Write another book. Don’t just write proposals, even if you're aiming for traditional publication. Write the whole thing. Write in a series. Keep in practice.
2. Grow your newsletter subscriber list. It's your most important tool. Send letters regularly. Create a giveaway for your subscribers that can be delivered to them automatically when they sign up. I recently changed up my giveaway to a short story that lands between the second and third books in my series. Peppermint Kisses is only available to subscribers. It seems to be quite effective. J
3. Create a business plan. Figure out how many books you can write in a certain time period and what marketing you can do. Lay your schedule out on one giant calendar, and push yourself a little.
And a bonus #4: Ask God to show you where He wants you every day. Let Him guide your imagination and fingers!
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
Sweetened with Honey: A Farm Fresh Romance 3
Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing,
once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife.
Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again? Idaho
Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe’s health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in
Now he’s back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long
enough to spark a romance? But Sierra’s hope falters when she begins to suspect
she can’t give Gabe the life he deserves. Romania
Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Sierra Riehl had done a lot of strange things while studying natural medicine, but this seemed right up there with applying leeches to let blood. Straight out of medieval times.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” She set the jar containing two honeybees on the table in her naturopathy office.
“I think so.” Her friend eyed the bees crawling up the side of the glass. “I’ve read a lot of reports that say stings really help. My rheumatoid arthritis seems worse every day.”
“I know. That’s the only reason I’m agreeing.” Probably not what she should say out loud — and not what she would, if Doreen Klimpton’s symptoms hadn’t taken over so quickly. Her once-vibrant friend had shrunk in on herself in recent months.
“Where are you going to apply it?” Doreen kept her eyes on the jar as she settled her bony frame in the reclining chair. “Are you going to sting me twice?” Her thin fingers gripped the armrests.
“Maybe.” Sierra slipped a lab coat over her lilac dress. “I plan to start with one as a test. If things go well, we can do a second one. Or not, as you wish.”
Doreen nodded. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” She took a deep breath. “Getting stung on purpose.”
Sierra couldn’t, either. Yet, since she’d taken up apiculture, she kept hearing old beekeepers say they never had arthritis. The venom from the many stings they inevitably incurred in the line of duty kept their joints at ease. Unprovable at the moment, but she’d be glad of the side benefit as she aged, no doubt. She’d never expected her boss to test the theory.
Doreen closed her eyes. “Do it already. The anticipation must be worse than the sting.”
Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My home base is http://valeriecomer.com . Once there, you can sign up for my newsletter, follow my blog, find out where food meets faith, or connect with me on social media. Oh, and find out more about my books, of course.
And it's a great pleasure to have you here, Valerie.
Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Sweetened with Honey (A Farm Fresh Romance Book 3)
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