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Valerie Hansen's Writing Inspiration

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message 1: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
1. What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
I find my mind works better if I actually leave the computer and go outside. It's good for the rest of me, too! I love my yard and garden. Since we live in the country on 80 acres, I also have the option of hiking in the woods and fishing in one of our farm ponds. It' not only beautiful, it helps restore my soul. Believe it or not, writing is WORK.

2. How do you balance real life with writing life?
They used to be more separate when my kids were little. Now, it's pretty seamless. Although if you asked my husband of umpteen-jillion years he'd say the writer in me is never far from the surface. My mind is always working on plots or characters or looking for new ideas.

3.What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I get this question often. And I never answer it directly because I love so many books and authors. We long ago ran out of shelf space for all our special books and now we've also run out of walls on which to build more. I love reading reprinted journals from the American west and if you only counted those books you'd see that I have hundreds! Then there are the technical ones and on and on. As for fiction, I like to read mysteries to relax. When I'm working on my own books, I seldom read fiction.

4. Which of these have had the biggest impact on you and why?
Now you're getting technical again. I understand why, I just can't say for sure. My life is constantly changing, constantly developing. I have enough varying interests that I may be reading a diet book, a novel, a historical record and a magazine or short story all in the same day. If you need a specific answer, let's say the Bible. There is not one other book that has had the impact on my life that scripture has.

5. What is the biggest challenge you've faced as an author?
Self-confidence. Beyond a doubt. I've had over 40 books published already and still I have moments when I wonder if I can do this. I know it's crazy but I also know I'm not unique. If authors weren't so sensitive, I don't think we'd be as good at understanding the motions driving our characters. Then, when a book is done and I read it anew, I find myself surprised at
how much I like it! No kidding.

6. What writing organizations do you belong to, and what value have you
gotten from them?
I joined RWA so long ago that I have a very low membership number. It was at an RWA conference in Memphis that I met face-to-face with the senior editor who bought my first Love Inspired novel. It's hard to top that moment. I also currently belong to ACFW and FHL.

7. What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Getting the synopsis approved and having to put a book aside while I wait to hear if an editor liked the premise. Many readers don't know that I don't just sit down and write a book. I have to present the entire idea and the three opening chapters, get approval from my editor, then proceed if she likes it. That means I can either plunge ahead and take a chance that she may not
want the story, or set it aside while I work on something else, only to have to come back and try to pick up where I left off. That can be much harder than just writing one book at a time. Sometimes I'll have 3 or 4 in the works and have to go back and forth. It's especially difficult when I'm changing from contemporary to historical. In that case, I usually give myself a week or
so of reading history to get in the proper mood.

8. What is the most enjoyable part of the writing process for you?
The actual creation of the book, even though I sometimes agonize over getting everything just right. Once I'm engrossed in the lives and trials of my characters, it's as if I'm watching their story unfold. It plays in my imagination like a movie, often with wonderful surprises that I had not planned. I know that sounds crazy but it does happen. Often.

9. Are you a plotter or pantser?
This question fits with the one above. Yes, I have to have the overall story approved before I get seriously involved in writing the book, but there are also "Ah-hah!" moments that thrill me. Those are the seat-of-the-pants times. I often wonder what would happen if I started a book without any idea where it was going and just typed page after page without censoring myself. Maybe I'll try it someday. In the meantime, I'll continue to do as my editor
says because I love writing for Love Inspired.

10. How has writing for Love Inspired impacted you personally?
Thinking about this question brought many answers to mind. The blessings are amazing. I've been writing the books of my heart, have been able to share my faith and, judging by the mail I've received, have been well received. Beyond that, there are the many author friends I've made in the eleven years I've been working for Love Inspired. We understand each other, pray for
each other, and share our personal and professional triumphs and trials. It's a support system I did not have before and one I thank the Lord for daily.

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share with all of you.

Valerie Hansen for Love Inspired -
Romance, Suspense and Historicals The Doctor's Newfound Family (Love Inspired Historical) by Valerie Hansen

message 2: by Judy (new)

Judy I had no idea that a book needed to be approved before writing it. Thanks for sharing Valerie.

message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Hansen (goodreadscomvalerie_hansen) | 32 comments Judy wrote: "I had no idea that a book needed to be approved before writing it. Thanks for sharing Valerie."

Actually, the only reason to want approval is to get the book bought and PUBLISHED. LOL! I can write anything I want. Selling it to a NY editor is a whole other thing. Sometimes, if I'm on a really tight schedule, I'll go ahead before I get any feedback but that can mean a lot of wasted time. If the editor I'm dealing with doesn't happen to like the premise, she may want a total rewrite. And then the completed manuscript has to be approved by multiple higher-ups. One lone person does not make the final decision for acceptance. This business is a LOT harder than it seems on the surface. The only thing that keeps me sane is my faith and my dh.


message 4: by Love Inspired (last edited Jun 07, 2010 03:06PM) (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
Val, you make it seem so effortless. Your books are all so good! :)

message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (texasaggieteacher) | 434 comments I just bought it today!!

message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Hansen (goodreadscomvalerie_hansen) | 32 comments Oooh, thanks! If you begin wondering if all those crooked officials are real historical figures - they are. All but one. The more I delve into history, the more surprised I am. It's really fascinating.


message 7: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
Oh I love it Val! Thanks for sharing that tidbit. Those always make the books more interesting.

message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (texasaggieteacher) | 434 comments I love history! That's why I read historicals alot.

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