Friday, February 29, 2008

Meet Valerie Hansen - Interview & Book Giveaway

Valerie HansenToday it’s my pleasure to introduce Valerie Hansen. Her latest novel, Frontier Courtship (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical #4), is part of Steeple Hill’s brand new historical line. Let’s meet Valerie!

THE BIO

Valerie Hansen was thirty when she awoke to the presence of the Lord in her life and turned to Jesus. In the years that followed she worked with young children, both in church and secular environments, as well as raising a family of her own and playing foster mother to a wide assortment of furred and feathered critters.

Married to her high school sweetheart since age seventeen, she now lives in an old farm house she and her husband renovated with their own hands. She loves to hike the wooded hills behind the house and reflect on the marvelous turn her life has taken. Not only is she privileged to reside among the loving, accepting folks in the breathtakingly beautiful Ozark mountains of Arkansas, she also gets to share her personal faith by telling the stories of her heart for Love Inspired.

Life doesn’t get much better than that!

THE INTERVIEW

JA: Your latest book is Frontier Courtship. Please tell us about it.
VH: This is the book of my heart. I know that’s often said but in this case it’s very, very true. I was selling only contemporary stories. Those were doing very well but I LOVE history and doing that kind or research, so I began a book just because. It had no market for it and not even a glimmer of a sale. Still, I finally finished it. And, thanks to God’s timing and my wonderful agent, it became Frontier Courtship.

JA: The heroine, nineteen-year-old Faith Beal, faces not only the harsh conditions of a wagon train, but has to care for her younger sister as well. How do you think a modern-day teenager would hold up in such a situation?
VH: I started to say, poorly, until I thought of some of my grandchildren. They didn’t have to avoid hostile Indians or stand up against a nefarious wagon boss’s plotting but they have shown extraordinary accountability. I think we do what we have to do, even though modern times have presented different challenges.

JA: Let’s talk about your hero. Connell McClain takes it upon himself to look after Faith. What qualities do you find heroic in a leading man?
VH: This one is easy. I married him! My husband has been my partner and protector for many years. He backs me in whatever I want to try to do, even writing my first novel. I was doing it on a borrowed typewriter so he went out and bought me one of my own – one that even made corrections! And he was also the one responsible for my first computer. He may not have to actually shoot dinner for me, but he sees that I eat well when I’m writing, too. A man who can cook! And gladly does. Wow!

JA: What do you want people to take away after reading Frontier Courtship?
VH: I want them to appreciate what our ancestors went through to make their way in this country. They were very special people whose faith and inner strength would put most of us to shame. It took a brave individual to face those challenges and triumph. As I think I said in the letter to my readers at the end of this book, we owe those pioneers a lot.

VH - Frontier Courtship JA: Frontier Courtship is part of Steeple Hill’s brand new Love Inspired Historical line. (Congratulations!) Have you been itching to write a historical, or did the LI folks approach you with the idea?
VH: As you’ve seen from my first answer, no. I was already writing for both their other lines, romance and suspense, when Melissa Endlich, an editor who had worked with me in the past was put in charge of the new historical line. It was a match made in heaven, to quote an old cliché. Melissa took a look at the book I had written for my own pleasure and not only loved it, she asked for more. Right now, I have two finished and two more contracted, yet to be written. That should give me two in 2008 and two in 2009, plus about the same number of suspense titles from Love Inspired. Yes, I work hard!

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
VH: There I go again, answering before you asked! Love Inspired is keeping me very busy, PTL, and for relaxation I’ve been entering essay contests in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. So far, I’m a three-time finalist.

JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
VH: Well, I did accidentally shoot myself in the shin last year when I dropped a loaded pistol, but I’ve already managed to work the result and how it felt into a book. The heroine of my second book, Wilderness Courtship, Aug, 2008, is Charity Beal, Faith’s sister. I shot her and used my own reactions to the resulting wound. She and I are both fine, now, thanks. But I still take a lot of kidding about it. And I no longer go hiking with the hammer on a live shell.

JA: If you had a whole afternoon to do nothing but sit on the porch swing and read, what might you grab?
VH: I seldom read longer books when I take a break from writing, usually settling for a mystery magazine such as Ellery Queen and the like. I do, however, have a wonderful porch swing. There’s even a picture of me sitting in it on my website. Living out in the country away from traffic and noise is very pleasant, especially for someone like me who values peace and quiet.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
VH: My website is www.ValerieHansen.com I try to update it quarterly but sometimes get so caught up in actually writing more books that the website lags a little behind. Right now, there is an excerpt of Frontier Courtship that may be of interest, as well as the newsletter and a few pictures of the old farmhouse we restored.

Thanks for letting me tell you about myself.

Blessings,
Valerie Hansen

Thank you, Valerie, and continued blessings on your writing journey!

WIN THE BOOK

You can win a copy of Frontier Courtship here. Just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on March 8th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck!

11 comments:

tetewa said...

This one sounds goo, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

windycindy said...

Happy Friday! This is definitely my kind of book. Please enter me in the drawing. I appeciate it.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Maureen said...

I liked the interview and would love to win the book

mce1011[at]aol[dot]com

Cherie J said...

Enjoed the interview and would like to be entered in the drawing.

cherierjatyahoo.com

Valerie Hansen said...

I don't need to win a copy since I know exzactly how it ends! It's good to hear from all of you.

Blessings,
Valerie Hansen

Valerie Hansen said...

I do so know how to spell "exactly". Well, almost!

Val again

Hannah said...

i've been dying to try the love inspired historical books! i would love to win a copy! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

carolsue said...

Is the contest still on? I'd love to win this book!
Carol
digicat[at]sbcglobal.net

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey Carol - Yep, the contest is on till March 7th. You're entered!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies. It's great to see you all!

Karin said...

I like reading about that time in American history--- but glad I didn't live back then! Please throw my name into the hat. Thanks!

karin56381 (at) gmail (dot) com

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Hannah! Congrats to you, and thanks to everyone who stopped by and left comments!