As y’all who read my blog know, I love to help promote my fellow authors. I’m especially excited to introduce you to Valerie, whose debut novella, Happenstance, was just released this past December by Turquoise Morning Press. She kindly agreed to answer The Questions and tell us all about it.
1. Tell the good readers of this blog how we know each other.
I met Debbie at a tiny Mexican restaurant in our hometown after a mutual friend introduced us. We laughed and talked all things writerly then she missed the big writer’s league meeting the next day because she was sick! BUMMER. So we live tweeted all the good stuff from the meeting for her.
(dSavannah note: they did. Not quite as nice as being there, but close.)
Thanks so much Debbie, for allowing me to hang out with you today and for being a part of the Happenstance release tour! I look forward to seeing you (healthy) at the next writer’s league meeting!
5. What skill(s) do you wish you’d learned as a kid?
Now that I found my talent in writing, I really wish I’d learned better communication skills in a crowd. Crowds scare me, always have. Even though I’m so much better at speaking in front of one now, I still get the quivering voice and wobbly knees! Which I’m sure will come in handy at a reading of my own novel one day. :/
(dSavannah note: I only got over that fear after a job forced me to speak in front of a hostile crowd once a month. Not that I recommend that method of getting over it, mind you.)
8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?
My favorite book growing up was Encyclopedia Brittanica. No kidding. My dad bought a set from a traveling salesman when I was eight and I devoured every volume. I used them to do book reports, essays, and every writing assignment I ever had. I could always be found with my nose in a mystery novel or scary ghost story, but those encyclopedias saw their fair share of daylight as well. My favorite book today? Homer’s The Odyssey. It has everything — adventure, romance, suspense, gore.
12. Where is your favorite place to create?
My favorite place to write is at my desk, with the door closed to keep out t.v. noise with tinkling piano sonatas playing on Pandora. The music soothes me and allows the words to flow.
(dSavannah note: funny! That’s exactly what I’m listening to as I put this post together.)
20. When did you know you wanted to be a writer/artist?
For no apparent reason, one evening, I found myself behind a keyboard pounding out little snippets of imagined scenes and characters. Then I realized I spent hours on agent blogs, writing classes and author blogs trying to learn everything I could about writing and later on…publishing. It was then I knew I wanted to be a writer. And only later did I remember I’d been good at this all along, I just never took time to explore it.
(dSavannah note: I’m so glad you did!)
31. What aspect of your art gets you passionate, gets you excited? What gets you pumped?
I get super pumped when I’m finishing or have finished a book, a great scene or just sparked a new idea. But staying clued in to the industry is what keeps me going. Each time I log on to an informative site or a debut author site promoting their rockin’ release, I get chills, a big smile, and I type a lot faster.
33. Why do you create in your medium/genre? What about it speaks to you?
I love fast-paced suspense so I incorporated that into Happenstanceeven though it’s Women’s Fiction. As a working mother, writer and soccer/band mom, my reading moments are precious. I want something that I can’t put down so I strive to give that to my readers as well.
I wrote this story using some of the relationship conflict I witness at my day job as an assistant in a corporate setting. And I did what any decent writer would do. I took note of the Peyton Place happenings and filed them away to incorporate into Happenstance! Here’s what resulted:
Blurb from Happenstance:
Taryn Ballard is happily married and a newly appointed analyst for a prestigious shipping company. Her career upsurges in record time but she’s about to discover the real price of corporate life.
While on another business trip, Taryn suffers a brutal attack by a carjacker. Her husband isn’t there, but her co-worker Devin is. The accidental bond Taryn and Devin share pitches them into dangerous and confusing territory. Taryn struggles to discern both her feelings for her sexy protector and Wade’s reaction to it all. Unfamiliar emotions blur the rules of the game and Wade’s ready to quit.
Taryn must rise above disaster to save her marriage. But is she ready to let go of the man who saved her life? In a single moment, Happenstance changes everything.
Excerpt from Happenstance:
“Devin, it’s Taryn. You were right. The execs want me to meet them for dinner and I feel really foolish because I have a GPS and a connect-the-dot map from the concierge and I’m still lost.”
Devin laughed. “Not a problem. Where are you?”
Taryn took a second to locate the green street sign. “At the corner of First and Third at a tiny, ancient-looking convenience store.”
“Oh, I know the one. You’re right next to us. I could probably see you from the tower window. Okay, which restaurant are you looking for?”
Taryn grabbed the hand-drawn map. “Caminas.”
“I know where it is. Actually, it might be faster by freeway.”
“Of course it would. I just came from—”
An unexpected rush of damp, hot air hit her and Taryn turned, confused to see her door wide open. She sucked in a quick breath and saw too late the arm reaching for her. Terror gripped her as she zeroed in on the gun in her face.
Valerie Haight is a short story writer and contemporary romance novelist. She is a member of Ozarks Writer’s League through College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO and a published author with Turquoise Morning Press. To keep up with her level of crazy, you either need to check her sites below or grab your own straightjacket because she won’t share.
dSavannah note: Valerie’s too modest to tell you, but she’s also an award winner! She won first place in the Ozark Writers’ League Flash Fiction contest in November 2012.
Follow Valerie on:
- Her blog for updates on two short stories being published soon! Raeanne Revealed was accepted into the Orange Karen Tribute Anthology out in April, and Magnolia Brides will be published by Turquoise Morning Press in June!
- Twitter for wild chatter
- Facebook for the latest project updates!
- Buy her ebook on Amazon (Kindle), BN.com (Nook), Smashwords, or directly from Turquoise Morning Press (multiple eformats)