Thank you for joining me for this special Author Spotlight!
Valerie Comer is a very favorite author of mine and I’m delighted to share this author spotlight with my readers. . .
You’ve come to the right place!
Valerie Comer is a farmer, gardener, and local food enthusiast. She’s also a USA Today bestselling author and two-time Word Award winner of the Farm Fresh Romance series, the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, the Christmas in Montana Romance series, the Riverbend Romance Novella series, the multi-author Arcadia Valley Romance series… with more stories and series on the horizon. Right here, where food meets faith… and fiction.
Valerie blogs where food meets faith. If you’re interested in God’s perspective on the topic, Valerie extends an invite to you to get to know her and her novels. While she might not have all the answers, exploring the subject is close to her heart — and God’s.
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada 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 four adorable granddaughters.
Recently, Valerie chose to participate in a multi-author series, known as Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. I’ll let Valerie tell you about this exciting series in her own words. . .
Welcome to Arcadia Valley, Idaho, where a foodie culture and romance grow hand-in-hand. Join my friends and me as we release a book every month set in Arcadia Valley. You’ll enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones as each of the six authors’ books intertwine with the previous stories in this Christian romance series. Get started with Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley and follow along at ArcadiaValleyRomance.com to make sure you don’t miss any installments!
January 2017: Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley
May 2017: Sprouts of Love
November 2017: Rooted in Love
May 2018: Harvest of Love
Valerie, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer a few questions, so your fans can get to know more about you…
1) Tell us a little about your new book. What is the main storyline?
My upcoming release tells the story of a bookstore manager who falls for a guy who avoids reading. While Harvest of Love is part of the Arcadia Valley Romance series, it can be read as a standalone.
Hot on the heels of a failed relationship, Kenia Akers focuses on her bookstore along with granting her aging grandfather’s desperate desire to get his hands in the dirt through a program at Grace Greenhouse. Reminding herself she’s on the rebound isn’t enough to keep her from falling for the hunky activities coordinator from Granddad’s facility.
Zane Russell is amazed that the fun-loving, pretty bookstore owner is attracted to him, a guy who’s not even in her league. As their relationship deepens, he avoids explaining why he seems allergic to books. Admitting his failures has never been a good move in the past.
Will they find a way to let openness, trust, and acceptance blossom into a harvest of love?
2) What character do you relate to or like best?
That’s like asking me which child or grandchild I love most! It’s impossible to choose one, because each has special, wonderful qualities. My favorite is nearly always the one I’m spending time with at the moment which, right now, is the characters in a Christmas novel to release in October. Recently, I fell a little in love with Zane Russell (Harvest of Love, May, 2018). He harbored a secret from those around him, making him a complex, somewhat tortured hero who sent mixed messages.
3) Did you learn anything new about yourself while writing Harvest of Love?
I always do, even when the heroine is nothing like me. In this case, Kenia Akers is a bookstore manager who comes from a wealthy family and is an extrovert to boot! We don’t have a lot in common, other than that we are both children of God who struggle with insecurities, even though they stem from different sources. I find God has a lot to teach me spiritually through every book I write. Sometimes it feels like a private journal is on public view and being judged by others!
4) How long have you been writing?
I’ve dabbled in writing my entire life, but I didn’t get very far before the summer of 2002, when I landed a job in a small-town flooring shop and found myself with many empty hours at work that needed to be filled. My bosses were totally fine with me setting up a desk in a back corner and writing between customers, phone calls, sales reps, and delivery guys.
In the next ten years, I’d write eleven novels in that corner, final in several writing contests, land an agent, and hold my first published book in my hands. That was Rainbow’s End, published by Barbour in May, 2012, in which my novella Topaz Treasure debuted. It is now out of print.
5) How/when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
It’s always been somewhere in my head. I started dozens of stories as a child, honed my imagination through roleplaying, and both piqued and satiated my curiosity through reading. But I was over 40 when it all came together and I began the process of learning to create characters and stories with complete arcs that others might wish to read.
6) Do you have a special place or atmosphere you like to write in best?
After ten years my bosses at the flooring shop sold the building, and I “retired” to write from home. I set up an office in a spare bedroom upstairs, but found I gravitated more and more to taking my laptop to my living room recliner. Finally I gave up pretending I worked at a desk and gave the room over for grandkids’ visits! I now have a computer that swings in front of my recliner and a lapdesk that holds my keyboard and track pad. I also have a laptop I can use to write away from the living room… but I rarely do.
7) What project are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m writing a Christmas romance, the first book in a new series. I’m not ready to reveal the direction of this new project yet! In 2017 I juggled three series, finishing up the Christmas in Montana series while actively writing on both the Arcadia Valley Romances and the Urban Farm Fresh Romances. With Harvest of Love’s release in May, my part in the multi-author Arcadia Valley Romance series is complete. Three series was too many, but I do enjoy alternating between two story worlds, hence the new series debuting this fall. Hopefully the next Urban Farm Fresh Romance will release in August or September as well. I’m trying not to make promises I can’t keep.
8) What advice would you give a new author?
Write because you love it, because you can’t not write, because God has put stories on your heart that you must share or go crazy. It must be a passion first, because the outcome is not guaranteed. Sure, anyone can self-publish a book these days — every one of my current titles are independently published — but that makes it even harder to stand out since there are so many titles available to readers.
Write the best book you can, then put on your business hat and hire a cover designer and an editor before releasing it. There are many things you can do to draw attention to your book — write blog interviews, pay for advertising, build an email list, be active on social media — but the final results of your marketing efforts are out of your hands and not a measure of your self-worth.
Writing, to me, is first and foremost an act of worship and obedience.
9) How many books have you written and how can we find your book(s)?
I’ve written and published 24 Christian contemporary romance novels. You can find a complete listing by series at http://valeriecomer.com/books.
All titles are available in ebook on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and Google Play. Some are also available on Christian Book Distributors. Most are sold everywhere in paperback, and my two main series are also available in audio.
If you enjoy romantic stories with engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith, please come visit!
Now for a few fun facts…
Favorite vacation spot – Vancouver Island, in BC, Canada. I love the wild Pacific coast and staring out at the ocean, watching for whales
Favorite color – Green, of course!
Favorite food/drink – Too many to count, and it changes season by season depending on what’s fresh from the garden. But I guess I’ll say homemade mocha, being as I have at least one mug every day, no matter the time of year!
Favorite time of year – Whichever one we’re in at the moment. I try to find enjoyment in them all. I’m not fond of the high temperatures in summer, though.
Favorite hobbies – Hanging out with my three young granddaughters. Camping beside a mountain stream. Cooking veggies minutes from the garden.
Favorite holiday – Christmas, at least if both our kids and their families can be home. Family time is the best.
Favorite dessert – I have too many favorites here! The local foodie in me should say fruit cobblers, and I do enjoy them. But… chocolate usually wins.
Thank you, Valerie… and God bless you!
Don’t miss my interview with VALERIE COMER…today on Donna’s BookShelf. – Tweet this!
Interview © 2018 DJ Mynatt