Friday, January 29, 2016

Interview with Valerie Hansen by Cynthia Hickey

Valerie Hansen’s basic nature is to enjoy every day to the fullest – and try to not take herself too seriously. J. 

 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 has written for all three Love Inspired lines, her main focus is on mystery and suspense.

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?
I was turning 40 and trying to decide what to do when I grew up. J A chance came to enroll in a college extension class that I thought was about writing. It turned out to be more about writing for the romance market and at the time publishers were eager for mss. I was published by NAL in less than a year.

What is your writing process like?  Do you write daily?  Are you a plotter or a pantster? 
I work best under pressure. (except for headaches and knots in my neck!) so I really push once I get a contract and have a deadline. I have been known to wash windows or clean the fridge rather than sit down at my computer to write. I sell via a synopsis and opening chapters so I have to plot. That doesn’t mean I have to stick to my original ideas, though.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?  Least favorite?
Writing a synopsis is the worst torture possible, other than maybe having a root canal. Once I get past the middle of the book I’m writing I can hardly type fast enough to keep up with my brain. That’s awesome!

What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered in your research? 
Oh, my. I love it all. Everything interests me at one time or another. The research I did on American Indians – yes, Native Americans – taught me so much I kept stopping to marvel. I even got fan mail from other tribes after that first historical, FRONTIER COURTSHIP, was published. However, because I get so tied up in insisting that every detail be accurate, I can’t write history fast enough to suit my publisher. So I’ve been asked to focus on contemporary suspense – which is really my favorite.

Please tell us about your latest release.

SMALL TOWN JUSTICE is set in my fictional Ozark town of Serenity, Arkansas. I love to revisit that place and its quirky citizens. This time, it’s about a cold case from Jamie Lynn Henderson’s childhood that changed her life forever. Now that she is back, trying to find the truth, she is in mortal danger and the only person who can really help doesn’t believe her. Yet.

Who or what inspired this special story? 

I have a soft spot in my heart for kids who are caught in the middle of adult dramas. I worked in an elementary school for many years and some of those true stories broke my heart. It’s nice to be able to right a few imaginary wrongs, even if it’s only on paper.

Is there anything else you would like to share?  What will you be working on next? 

I’m currently working on 3 things at once, all Love Inspired Suspense. The first of the next books is DANGEROUS LEGACY, also set in the Arkansas Ozarks and coming in July 2016. Then there is SEARCH AND RESCUE, Rookie K-9 Unit series, book #6 in August. Readers will want to catch the earlier ones, beginning with Terri Reed’s book #1 in March 2016. Then, to wrap up that year, I’m doing a Christmas novella with Lenora Worth. She’s a real joy to work with and a great friend.

Can you tell us something about yourself that few people may know?
Hah! Since I started using Facebook as a blog there isn’t a lot that’s unknown. is personal, up to a point. Looking back, everyone will see how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come in the past couple of years. I can actually cook, now! Without having to hold my nose to eat it. J

What is your most treasured possession?
Memories. Without a doubt. After that, my constant, loving companions who happen to have four legs and fur.

If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?
The flash drive with my mss on it! There is no way I could ever bring myself to start creating all that again. Photos are safe in digital storage or I’d take those, too.

Thank you so much!  Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Pretty much everywhere. I have an Amazon author page,  my website, Facebook times 2,,  and Love which will probably have launched by the time you read this. In other words, Google me or look for Love Inspired. You can’t miss!

Thanks for this opportunity,  Val

Please leave a comment for 1 of 3 print books given (good in US and Canada)


  1. Thanks for sharing. This sounds like an amazing read.

  2. If you wash Windows or clean out your fridge to get away from writing, and an idea or thought comes to you in the middle of cleaning, do you drop everything and run to write it down?
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I've read "Small Town Justice"! I really enjoyed it!

  4. Wow, I got tired just reading your list of experiences. Thanks for doing this interview. Your books sound good.

  5. I love your experiences, and as a reader of suspense i sure would love to read theses books
    thank you for the chance

  6. My favorite blanket.

  7. Very interesting interview! I enjoyed reading about all the different experiences you have had. It certainly made me wonder if I should write down all the things I have done in my life. I'm sure it would be The book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win. bettimace at gmail dot com

  8. I loved the interview. I also worked at a middle school. There were some heartbreaking stories from kids about homelife. We never know what they may experience once they leave school, but I believe while they are at school, we should show them how much they are loved and take the time to tell them how smart they are. Can't wait to read your book.

  9. Wow! Your experiences and activities are so varied and you should never run out of ideas for your books. You must possess an abundance of energy! Thanks for sharing and for writing these great books.

  10. I enjoyed reading your interview. I read your Love Inspired Suspense books and would love to win a copy of your latest. If I do not, I will be buying it for my e-reader anyway. :)

  11. Can't wait to read this one! Thanks, Kristie
    tklovenest at aol (.) {com}

  12. Thanks for the interview,I love to hear about the writing process each author goes through. I always wanted to write, I wrote 1 screenplay, and 2 small plays, and my mind decided that was it for me, never seemed to be able to do it again. So I enjoy reading my favorite author's books, and new authors, too. I am so glad I found the Suspense Sisters site. I am able to find new books that I enjoy! I can't imagine writing on a deadline, that would definitely stress me out! I look forward to reading some of your books, thanks again for a look into your writing world!

  13. This sounds like a great book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

  14. Wow!!! You have lots of life experience.
    I need to check out your books, I love suspense.

  15. my e mail is linderellar at yahoo dot com.

  16. Loved the interview, thank you for the opportunity to win! rose blackard (at) gmail (.) com

  17. Enjoyed the author interview, thanks for sharing! LIS is my top favorite of the LI line, so please add my name to the pot to win a copy of your book "Small Town Justice"....sounds great :-) Thanks for the chance.

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. Sounds great. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.