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Interview with Valerie Comer

Everything about Valerie Comer is lively. Her smile, writing, and witty jokes—she makes the people around her feel great. When she admitted to me she’d talked her way out of all but three traffic tickets, I was stunned. Look at her picture! Can you see her speeding down the highway, as if she races professionally besides writing?

No. Writing is her full-time gig. And successful series after successful series, she keeps readers coming back asking for more. Yet, instead of racecar drivers on racetracks, her books revolve around farms, gardens, and kitchens. And the romantic tension in her latest novel, Sprouts of Love as an example, doesn’t come from miscommunication and misunderstanding between the couple, making the reader frustrated with the characters. Instead, the two are pitted against the world, which makes for lively banter and sweet romance.

How does she create such amazing books? Is it the breakfast cereal (yes, I asked) that keeps her writing fresh? “We are into Nature’s Path organic cereal. My favorite is the maple crunch Sunrise.” So, perhaps. Also, she does believe bigfoot is real. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, and “we know these things.” So she’s attuned to the deeper secrets that many authors don’t know.

Her own words give us a clue as to her passion. Her skills and interests come from her faith. “I love the blend that’s possible, weaving a spiritual life into that of my characters’ more mundane existence.” The possibility of separating her love for Christ from her work are incomprehensible. “I struggle when Christian authors talk about writing books that don’t have a faith thread. It’s not that I try to weave a spiritual thread into my stories. But my faith guides me every day and it seems like I would be cutting a part of myself out and throwing it away to excise God from my books. He is my reason for being.” Despite having a large unbeliever fan base, “my books are unabashedly Christian and are written for a Christian audience.”

Valerie Comer’s writing skills, especially dialogue and unique, deep characters, come from a distant idea from her youth that writing a novel might be a pretty neat idea. As a child, it never occurred to her “that normal people could write books. Now I know that writers aren’t normal people.” In high school, Valerie was “shy, opinionated, and awkward, all at the same time.” A straight-A student. She dabbled with writing while raising her children, but she felt it took her away from her family, so she set it aside. If she could talk to her former self, she would say “it’s okay to have hobbies and passions outside of your children. It can even make you a better parent.” But she’s okay with her decision, and in 2002, she took a job that gave her time to learn how to write a novel. And now, when walking by her bookshelf, she’s “astonished to see an entire shelf” of her books. “I’m so blessed!”

With her children grown and families of their own and work schedules for her husband are four days on, four days off, she likes to start her day around his schedule. When he’s working, she starts with devotions, coffee, then goes straight for a 1100-1300 word count. Shower, breakfast, connect with the world through Internet, then tackle another scene. After lunch, if running behind, she might write more, but usually “I get swept up in editing, formatting, marketing (I’m terrible at social media), learning…sometimes I even go for a walk.” When Mr. Husband is home, she loves spending time with him, visiting kids and “grandgirls,” hiking, and yardwork.

Valerie is an introvert, it took years of writing in silence to detox her ears and brain from the chatting people at her day job. But writing full time at home has finally cured her, and now she’s able to listen to worship music—“lyrics and all”—while she writes!

Her current series, the Arcadia Valley romances, is a group project with five other authors. Details were meticulously planned, settings were created, and a rough outline for each author was written within the larger scope. The level of collaboration isn’t something she’s used to, but is enjoying.

Writing in a series can give secondary characters a choice to stand in the limelight. She carefully plots their lives within settings, general themes, and interviewing the characters, all the while keeping a Myers-Briggs chart open for reference. She gives the characters such terrible problems to overcome! Once she has these details, she starts writing by the seat of her pants, letting the plot come as she works, knowing that the couple will get together in the end but not entirely sure how. “I write to find out what happens.”

Valerie creates every book in the series with unique plots and real world issues. And while she admits being a little addicted to reader feedback and reviews (who isn’t?), she finds “when readers email me and let me know how much they were challenged through one of my romance novels, I’m just so grateful to God for the opportunities He has given me. I keep telling people: I have the best job in the world. And the best readers!”

And while Valerie wants to live by the ocean and watch whales go by when she grows up, we’re glad she still types out lively stories. Drive carefully, Valerie!


Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. For entertainment, he reads historical books, where he finds ideas for new novels. Whenever he has a chance, he takes his wife and two homeschooled children on crazy but fun research trips. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at

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