Welcome, Valerie! Please tell us about your novel Wild Mint Tea: A Fresh Farm Romance 2.
She’s rooted deep. He flies free.
Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.
Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
This story continues the saga of three young women who buy a farm together with the goal of proving they can live a sustainable life. Each of the three women has a unique background and personality with a romantic tale tailored to match, and you don’t have to have read the first to enjoy or understand the second.
Because I am a great believer in the benefits of local food, one of my characters needed to be a chef who’s frustrated with the difficulties of not only cooking mainly seasonal, local food but with educating those around her to understand why she cares.
Noel, the hero, loves food and is a pretty good cook in his own right, but he has a tree-planting business to run. He needs someone to feed his crew good quality fuel to see them through their challenging work days. It’s not that he disagrees with Claire’s ideals. He just doesn’t see them as practical.
Please describe the setting where you write? Also, do you need silence or noise in the background?
My little office is on the second story of our farmhouse with a west-facing window that looks out over my vegetable garden, our pastures, our neighbors’ farms, and on across our valley to the mountains beyond.
More important than expansive desk space is a large inspiration board with all kinds of items pinned to it relating to the current story I’m working on. On another wall, I keep a large whiteboard where I jot notes and do impromptu brainstorming as required. I can’t work without these boards nearby.
I’ve tried writing with music, but I find it distracting. Sometimes I’ll put on some nature sounds, but most typically, I prefer silence. Thankfully, that’s easy to come by on the farm with no kids left at home!
I imagine just the view from your window would be inspirational! I recently moved from writing on the couch to sitting at a desk and I had to get some art work to surround me, so that I could be inspired. It’s amazing what a difference the view/setting makes for we creative types. 😀
I prefer silence too, Valerie. If I need to drown out the noise of the children playing at the nearby school, I play instrumental music, but I’m finally getting used to their noise and don’t need the music much anymore. 🙂
When did you start writing and when was your first book published?
I started writing in 2002. Some writers find their first stories have strong bones and just need revisions to get them to a publishable standard. Not so with me! My fifth novel finaled in ACFW’s Genesis contest, but my first sale (a novella to Barbour which released in 2012) didn’t come until I’d written seven. My eighth completed novel, Raspberries and Vinegar, was my first solo sale—the first book in the Farm Fresh Romance series. It released in August, 2013.
Don’t you love the Genesis contest?! My first published book The Christmas Promise semi-finaled. To all you aspiring writers, if you haven’t already, you may want to consider entering ACFW’s Genesis contest.
What is next for you, Valerie?
The third book in the Farm Fresh Romance series, Sweetened with Honey, releases in early 2015. I’m enjoying getting into the romantic tale of two characters I’ve come to know and love over the past several years.
Before then, though, I’ve got a Christmas title, Snowflake Tiara, releasing this September with my friend Angela Breidenbach. Angela has written a historical novella, and mine is contemporary. Both focus on a Christmas beauty pageant in Montana, 125 years apart. And yes, my story, The Model Queen, holds to my “brand” at the juncture of food and faith. You’ll have to read it to see how!
Very cool! I’ll keep an eye out for it. 🙂 What do you do for fun?
My husband and I love the outdoors. When we’re not too busy with the farm and garden, we enjoy taking our little holiday trailer out beside a mountain stream and just soaking in nature for a long weekend. We like to hike, snowshoe, and ride our ATV into the back country.
My biggest joys, though, are my three little granddaughters, all under the age of 4. I love spending time with them! We read together, cook together, garden together (ask me how that goes, lol) and bounce on the trampoline together. They mean everything to me!
How fun. Thanks for joining us, Valerie. Readers, Valerie has offered to give an E-book away to one lucky commenter. Please a reply in the comments to be entered.
Drawing Rules: There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. The drawing ends 3/9/2014. The winner will be contacted by email on 3/10/14 and have until 3/16/2014 to respond or forfeit–no new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law.
If you’d like to see the book trailer for Wild Mint Tea: A Fresh Farm Romance, then check this out. http://youtu.be/9Gus85lL5kc
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 stories. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released in August, 2013.