Sunday, March 15, 2015

*New* Author Interview with Valerie Comer

Today's featured author Valerie Comer, agreed to give away one e-book copy of her book, Dandelions for Dinner. If you'd like to win that copy, answer the questions in the Rafflecopter box at the end of this interview.

So without further ado, please welcome back an old friend of this blog (she's been featured several times before), Valerie Comer! 

Questions from Alexis are in bold. Answers from Valerie are not in bold. 

Alexis: Dandelions for Dinner is quite the creative title! Tell me about it. Is it literal or figurative? Why did you choose this title for your latest book?

It's both literal and figurative, which is a lot of fun. I was able to work actual dandelions into discussions and meals into the story, as well as more general themes of the weeds we have in our lives, and how they affect us. 

I brainstormed the title with a friend before the story was written or even planned. It had to be three words, catchy, and go with the existing titles in the series. Once I had the title, it wasn't hard to see how it could help shape themes.

Where is the setting for this story? How did you decide on it?

The entire Farm Fresh Romance series takes place on Green Acres Farm in a redrawn northern Idaho. Okay, they go into the town of Galena Landing occasionally. ;) When I wrote the first two novels, I was aiming for traditional publication which did not want Canadian settings. I live in Canada quite close to the Idaho border, so I just slid my imaginary farm south a few miles, so I'd still understand the climate and growing season.

We (the readers) meet Allison Hart on the first page of Chapter 1. What can we expect from Allison throughout your book? Share her motivations, desires and conflict.

Allison isn't a very nice person at the beginning of the book. She detests men, putting up with them as little as possible and always with distrust. She's hiding something, and the reader won't know what for many pages (unless they're smarter than Allison's author, which is possible.)

She's drawn to the farm because of the three women who started it. It's a place where Allison can sink her inheritance, make a difference, and safeguard herself. Where she can live alone (yet in community) and get herself a big guard dog.

It didn't take a lot of imagination to see Allison in conflict. When she walked in at Green Acres Farm on page one, she was a human porcupine ready to spring her barbs in every direction and with little notice.

Creating situations where she could learn to trust and where she could change, little by little, was a joy. I'm hoping readers will see Allison's journey as a realistic one, that they will root for her from the beginning and come to understand her as they continue on.

As the story starts after page one, Allison meets Brent Callahan. She seems to be surprised by his Irish name. Why?

She sees a man of Asian descent, who introduces himself as a Callahan. It does make her do a little double-take!

What can you tell us about Brent? What are his dreams and quirks? How would you describe his personality?

Allison isn't the only one hiding things in her past. Brent is, too. He's determined to stay single because "he wouldn't inflict his issues on a God-fearing woman, and he was done with the other kind."

He's a contractor, hardworking and meticulous in the finest details. He respects Allison as his client for whom he is building a timber-framed house. He's patient with her even when she doesn't really deserve it.

I like Brent a lot. I think a romance author has to fall in love with the hero in her story, or it will show to the reader, and they won't root for the couple to get together!

At the start of Dandelions for Dinner, the reader may think that romance may bloom between Allison and Brent. What can you tell us about those two without giving away your story?

It's a romance novel in Allison's and Brent's point-of-views so, yes, the reader will expect them to get together. But we don't read romance novels for the destination; we read them for the journey. Several conflicts between and around Allison and Brent make things rocky in the middle, and I truly hope the reader enjoys the twists and turns and finds the story sticking with her after she closes the cover.

What would you say is the climax of your story? Why?

Ah, now that's a question I can't answer without giving away the biggest twists in the tale! All I'll say is it involves a small boy named Finnley.

Did the ending to Dandelions for Dinner play out the way you originally planned when the story idea was in your head? Or did your characters have other plans?

LOL, my characters always have other plans, so I've stopped planning my stories in advance. I know the couple will get together in the end, but the "black moment" and actual resolution are pieces that come to me over time as I'm writing.

What did you love the most about writing this book? Why?

I loved watching Allison unfurl from a hard, tight knot into someone who could reach out and help other people.

What was your go-to food or drink when you were on deadline for this book?

It's always a homemade mocha or two (or three, but don't tell) that fuels my writing mornings!

Now that your book is on the market, tell us about your next work in progress.

As always, I have several stories on the go right now, in various stages. Pinky Promise, the second Riverbend Romance releases in April, so I'm doing the final edits and tweaks to the story these days… and loving the pint-sized matchmakers in this fun novella.

I'm also writing Plum Upside Down, the fifth Farm Fresh Romance, planning for a summer release.

Complete this sentence: After my readers read “the end,” to Dandelions for Dinner, I want them to______________because______________.

After my readers read “the end,” to Dandelions for Dinner, I want them to cry because they can't get the fifth book in the series yet.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Valerie! Please leave a question for my readers to answer which will qualify them to enter the book giveaway contest.

Valerie's question for the readers: Have you ever wished you could live in a community setting, sharing property with other families? How do you think that would work for you?

Author bio:
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 adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.

Connect with Valerie:

Buy Valerie's books: 
Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Wild Mint Tea: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Sweetened with Honey: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Snowflake Tiara: 2-in-1 Christmas Collection by Angela Breidenbach, Valerie Comer

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Alexis, for hosting Brent, Allison, and me here at your blog!


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