I am always on the look out for Valerie’s latest and greatest book. So a while back, I got this crazy idea to contact her and asked if she’d be a guest on my blog and she graciously said yes.
Please welcome Valerie Hansen!!
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Tell us a bit about your April LIS release Canyon Standoff that includes your novella Canyon Under Siege. I was surprised at how heroic National Park Rangers are once I started researching this subject. They can be police, fire fighters, rescuers and much, much more.
How long does it take you to write a Love Inspired Suspense novel? The answer to this question depends upon a lot of factors. A novella is shorter, which is why there are two in one for this book. If I’m on a roll, the words flow so well I can hardly type them fast enough. If not, a break or chocolate may be called for. Deadlines help too. It seems as though the more rushed I am, the better I work. Call it the “PANIC” method.
What is your writing process? Get up in the morning, drink coffee, check email, then dive into the ms., reviewing what I wrote the day before, polishing it a little if necessary, then moving ahead. By the time I reach the halfway point I’m always sure it’s terrible but soon after that I hit my stride again and power through to the end. (It’s never really terrible. I’m just insecure sometimes)
When did you do publish your first book and what was it? Eons ago I wrote under a pseudonym. That person died a terrible death at the hands of my conscience and was reborn around 1986 as Val Whisenand for Silhouette Romance, beginning with “Treasure Hunters”. She then reverted to her maiden name, Valerie Hansen, for Love Inspired in about 1999 with “The Wedding Arbor”.
Where do you get your ideas for your books? Anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes an editor will suggest something, as happened when mine asked for a National Park Ranger novella. Sometimes I’m slower in developing an idea and it can go through multiple plot possibilities before it’s settled on.
What is your typical day like? The dogs wake me. Every day. Without fail. They do not take weekends or days off into account, which means I have a pretty strict schedule. Up with the sun – and the dogs, then coffee and doggie treats (for them, not for me) Breakfast. Email. Maybe a little scattered web surfing if I’m not sure where the book is going, then I’ll usually knuckle down and write. Unless I don’t. As the years have passed, I’ve discovered I’m a better writer if I’m not worn to a frazzle or obsessing over deadlines. I sometimes need to give myself permission to goof off.
When did you start writing? I have written all my life. My first short story was published while I was in high school. I wouldn’t remember except my mother saved the magazine it was in! What I first sold was a genre romance to New American Library back in the dark ages. Everybody was trying to find the secret that made Harlequin so successful and there were many opportunities then. I also did some for Kensington and Silhouette Romance before it became a part of Harlequin.
What is the hardest part about being an author? Convincing myself, over and over, that I really do know what I’m doing. It doesn’t take much to shake my confidence no matter how many successes I’ve had in the past. I suspect self-doubt is typical of many of us. And I’ve written over 70 books.
Who is your favorite author? No fair asking that question. I have so many dear friends in this business I can’t begin to choose. What I read when I’m working, however, is usually out of the romance/suspense genre. It needs to be different from whatever I’m writing at that time. Otherwise it’s not pleasurable. I end up critiquing when I should be losing myself in the story. The same thing happens with TV and films. Give me a plot hole to stumble over and the whole show is spoiled for me.
Now for the important questions:
Pepsi or Coke? Alas, water. I used to practically live on Pepsi!
Candy, cookies, or cake? Hey, as long as it’s chocolate, I’m open to any and all.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee hot and tea iced. Raspberry iced tea is my fave.
Favorite vacation? Anniversary trip to Norway where my dad was born.
Favorite TV show? NCIS as long as Leroy Jethro Gibbs is on it.
Favorite Movie? “Romancing the Stone” or the “North Avenue Irregulars.” The first because she’s a romance writer and I almost got thrown out of the theater for laughing so much. The second because it’s a women’s Sunday School class vs. the mob and hilarious.
Any hobbies? Pets? Activities? My three dogs would be disappointed if I listed them as pets. They are my doorbell, my constant companions, my guardians, my lap warmers, my food scrap cleanup crew, my critter chasers, my psychologists, and my best buddies. I also love to garden, weather permitting. The dogs help with that, too.