Congratulations to Heidi who won last’s weeks giveaway.
This week we get write to the point with Valerie Comer.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 grows much of her own food and is active in the local food movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Check out her website and blog at http://valeriecomer.com.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I’m a gardener, beekeeper, farmer, wife, mom, grandma, and local food advocate. Thankfully I also have a day job at a small town flooring shop or I’d never have time to catch my breath or write!
Like most authors, I’ve been dabbling in writing for as long as I can remember, but an entire novel always seemed too big a task. I didn’t have any idea how to start. When I got this job in flooring and realized I’d have many hours most days to devote to my own interests (so long as I put clients, bosses, sales reps, and freight concerns first–and dust and vacuum occasionally), I knew this was a God-given opportunity.
That was ten years ago now. I’ve written nine novels, most of which will never see the light of day–whew! But I’ve learned so much from each and every one that I can’t regret the winding trail that’s gotten me to where I am today.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
I grew up in a Christian home and remember, as a very young child, kneeling with my mother to ask Jesus into my heart. The bigger problem was assurance. Had I said the magic words correctly? Was I really saved? I struggled with this for many years.
Tell us about your latest book.
My novella, “Topaz Treasure,” is the first tale in a 4-in-1 collection called Rainbow’s End written with Annalisa Daughety, Cara Putman, and Nicole O’Dell (Barbour, May 2012). Rainbow’s End is set around the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, with all the characters participating in a geocaching challenge set up as a church outreach event.
“Topaz Treasure” is the story of Lyssa Quinn, who’s the volunteer coordinator for the challenge. She’s shy about sharing her faith, and hopes canvassing businesses for sponsorship will help get her out of her shell. But at the very first business she walks into, a soon-to-open electronics store, she encounters her former college professor–young, handsome, and decidedly anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy. To her surprise, he’s interested in the geocaching hunt and, apparently, in her. How can she trust someone who once shredded her best friend’s faith?
What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
Of course I’d like them to sigh over a satisfying romance. I’d like them to check out geocaching and use it as a way to get out in God’s beautiful world with their friends and family. But for a lasting impression, I hope they’ll think about what it means to share Jesus with others. Are they bold in their faith, or afraid like Lyssa? Maybe her experiences can help challenge someone else.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I have two blogs, and post on each of them three times a week. On my personal site at http://valeriecomer.com/blogging, I post something ‘green’ every Monday. For example, I recently posted a series on food preservation as a way to keep the cost of eating local organic food to something affordable. On Wednesdays I post a book review, usually of a current Christian release. Fridays I blog about writing and promoting. I’ve had a lot of guests on Fridays talking about everything from Goodreads to Tumblr to author newsletters, etc. I have some very interesting topics coming up in June, too.
In January I began Romancing America as a way to help all the authors of Barbour’s 4-in-1 collections get the word out about their 2012 releases. Each month the focus changes to the newest release, where we share excerpts, author interviews, and posts from the authors on items related to their novellas. For example, right now we’re in the midst of talking about Rainbow’s End, and a big focus for these posts has been geocaching. Thankfully (except for this month!) I don’t write the articles for this site myself but organize and schedule what the various authors send me.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
My favorite book changes often, but an author I keep returning to is Sandra Bricker, as I love her humorous style of writing contemporary romance. Possibly my favorite of her books is The Big 5-Oh, in which Olivia tries to outrun her ‘birthday curse’ by house sitting in Florida. If only the elderly neighbor didn’t insist on swimming in her pool every morning, and the dog didn’t need a lampshade collar, and there wasn’t an alligator. To say nothing of the man-next-door and his flirtatious twenty-something son.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
I have to say that nothing comes to mind when I consider this. My life (thus far) has been fairly uneventful in those large unsettling ways. So may I talk about my character, Lyssa? When she was in college a few years before the novella, her humanities professor made a game of poking fun at Christians. He definitely meant it for harm, successfully for a number of years. Still, this wedge was used by God (seems weird to talk about my own story this way…) and became instrumental in teaching Lyssa about standing up for her faith.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I love 2 Peter 1:3-11, which begins this way: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
The rest of the passage goes on to explain the practical aspects of HOW we may lead that godly life. I’m a list kind of girl, so I appreciate things being spelled out. However, recently God has been reminding me (again) that it’s not about the steps I take in a particular order, but about my soul responding to him in worship without my mind cluttering things up.
Where can we find you on the web?
- Website: http://valeriecomer.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valeriecomer.author
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/valeriecomer
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/valeriecomer
- Blog: http://valeriecomer.com/blog
- Blog: http://romancingamerica.com
Valerie, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to my readers today.
Readers, I have a paperback copy of Rainbow’s End to give away to one commentator. Leave a comment for Valerie by 5:00 PM on June 5 and you will be entered to win.