Friday, March 23, 2018

Interview: Award-winning author Valerie Hansen--and a free book drawing!

Roxanne Rustand here, delighted to share with you an interview by award-winning author Valerie Hansen, whom I have admired for years!  Be sure to leave a comment to be in a drawing for a free copy of her book!

1.     If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? Valerie never quits, never gives up, because she leans on her Savior.

2.     What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies? I love to garden and play with my dogs, usually at the same time. Living in AR gives me sufficient rainfall that I actually look like I know what I’m doing when I grow gorgeous flowers.

3.     What was your favorite book as a teen or child?  Has that book informed your writing in any way? I read everything. Literally. I see writers – and readers – as sponges who soak up whatever is available. Another reason why I favor Christian books and cozy mysteries. I don’t want to scare myself!

4.     What is your writing process? Panic. Left to my own devices I’d still write in spurts because I long ago decided I also needed a personal life, but there is nothing like a looming deadline to get me going. At the beginning of a book I explore different angles. Then an editor starts to steer me in the direction she wants me to go. Once I get a firm contract I plod along to about page 150, then catch fire and race to the end. I know how the story ends by then but I need to “see” it.

5.     Tell us two things about yourself that might surprise your readers. I was a late bloomer. My writing career didn’t begin until I was 40 and by that time I had grown children. (I’m still 40, by the way!) I’ve been a vet tech, a Kindergarten aide, a fire department dispatcher, a dog breeder, a shoe store clerk, a 4-H leader, built dulcimers, raised guinea pigs,  taught extension courses in Jr. College, visited every state except Hawaii, taught Sunday School, won top prize on the game show Super Password, been accidentally shot when I dropped an antique gun and am actually a crack shot. When the gun is in my hand. (I used that experience to “shoot” my heroine in Wilderness Courtship, a Love Inspired Historical)   

6.     What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not? I began with secular romance, progressed to Silhouette Romance by using my game show experience, then moved to Love Inspired when I renewed my faith in the rural Arkansas Ozarks. After that, when LI started a suspense line I was ready. Same thing happened when they branched out into historical. I had a manuscript written and they bought it. “Frontier Courtship” is about the American West and I actually got positive fan mail from a Native American about the way I handled their culture. 

7.     Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? Been there, done what I’m comfortable with. It takes longer to write a historical because I insist on correct research and since LI has stopped that line, I will probably stick to mystery/suspense. It’s my fave, anyway.

8.     If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? I’m not sure. If I had started younger there’s no telling where I’d have ended up. I’m happy right where I am, doing what I do.

9.     What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? READ. That’s it. Once I made up my mind what to write, I actually studied published romances, making notes on the strong and weak points and what worked for me and what didn’t. When I began to write it wasn’t easy, but at least my subconscious could help.

10.   Tell us about your book. What drew you to this particular story?  Were there difficult or amusing  aspects to the writing process or your research?  Tell us about your hero and heroine. As many of you may already know, I’ve participated in lots of K-9 continuities. When you’re asked to write a series story you’re dependent upon others as well as editorial input. That makes it harder in some ways and easier in others. This time, with “Bound By Duty” being part of an air force Military K-9 Unit series, I had to put myself into my own version of school to learn a lot about the air force. It was tough. Complicated. And at the same time 7 other authors were doing the same thing. There is a prequel by Terri Reed in this group, 8 regular length novels, then a 2-novella Christmas book that I wrote with Laura Scott.  Whew!  We work hard, make lifelong friends of other authors, pour our hearts and souls into the combined stories and breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all done.

By that time, most of us are vowing we will never, ever do it again. Then we get the call and we say yes. Why? Because we are writers. We have to write. It’s in our being and has to come out. I thank God daily for the opportunities I’ve had and the future I look forward to writing the new stories already contracted for. I’ll be working through 2020, at least, the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

Valerie Hansen

BOUND BY DUTY: Canyon Air Force Base, Texas. Her serial killer brother has escaped - but it's single mom Zoe Sullivan who's under suspicion! Sgt. Linc Colson trusts two things; his instincts and his Rottweiler K-9 partner, Star - and certainly not the pretty face he's been assigned to monitor. Linc has done everything to keep Zoe from getting under his skin. Now he must stop those who want to put her six feet under.

         Valerie Hansen’s basic nature is to enjoy every day to the fullest – and try to not take herself too seriously. She married her high school sweetheart and they raised two great kids before leaving California to pursue their dreams of a rural lifestyle on an old, eighty acre farm in the Arkansas Ozarks.
         So far, Valerie has over 50 books to her credit.  Besides doing extensive research, she has plenty of interesting experiences to draw upon. Ready? Veterinary assistant, teacher’s aide, volunteer
fire department dispatcher, Emergency Medical Technician, bank worker, professional artist, store clerk, bookkeeper, 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, gospel singer/songwriter, winning quiz show contestant, dog trainer, college extension-class instructor, and antique restorer. She’s built dulcimers and a psaltery, laid bricks and tile, designed stained-glass windows, roofed a house, decorated store windows for the holidays, helped pour cement, raised fancy guinea pigs and finches, driven a long-haul moving van, and was once the proud owner of twenty-three Newfoundland dogs at one time. Don’t try that at home! Although she has written for all three Love Inspired lines, her main focus is on mystery and suspense.


  1. Thanks for joining us Valerie! Loved reading your interview!!

  2. Lovely to meet you here Valerie.


  3. Thanks for the interview. I love your books, Valerie!


  4. My favorite books are Christian suspense, so thank you for writing those!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Time to visit Hawaii. It's beautiful.

  6. Thank you for the interview, now I want to read your book! I really enjoy the Love Inspired Suspense books.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  7. Hi Valerie, I enjoyed learning more about you. You have enjoyed many different jobs and roles and I'm sure that these experiences have benefited your writing. I am a fan of historical fiction and mystery/suspense so I look forward to reading your books.

  8. Valerie, it great to learn more about you. I love reading your books!

  9. Love Valerie's books and loved learning more about her!

  10. Wow, you’ve had quite a few jobs in your life! Reminds me of me. I love reading suspense by the way.

  11. I guess it is true that if you want to get something done just ask a busy person. All of those jobs plus writing 50 books. Wow! fishingjanATaolDOTcom

  12. I’m so glad you have stuck with suspense because your books are good and I truly appreciate you and the other authors hard work so much! I so enjoy reading stories and that I don’t have worry about bad language or graphic scenes. Thank you!!!!
    jennydtipton At gmail Dot com

  13. What an interesting life you have led! Lots of things to write about! Thanks for the chance to win! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

  14. Thanks so much for sharing. My preferred genre is historical, but I have had the opportunity to read so many wonderful suspense novels lately, that I am beginning to Thanks for the giveaway.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

  15. Thank you so much for the interview. It was fabulous. I have to admit, I did jump away just for a moment so I could look up what a dulcimer was. Valerie is certainly multifaceted!



    Hi Valerie,
    I like reading historical fiction and mystery/suspense. My, what varied occupations you have experienced!
    I enjoy reading books featuring dogs. I am excited about reading your book.
    Have a great day!


  17. Love the interview and your books. Thanks for being such a blessing to your readers!

  18. What a fascinating interview. I enjoy reading mysteries/suspense, so look forward to reading your books.

  19. Love these books would love to win

  20. It has been awhile since I read one of her books. But love them.

  21. Loved your interview. Bound by Duty sounds awesome. Thank you!Rose blackard (at) gmail (dot) com