A few weeks ago another author on Twitter reached out to me about guest blogging. We chatted for a bit and we both decided to interview one another. Over the course of several emails we also got to know each other a little and I was amazed about how much we had in common. We are both fairly new authors trying to navigate our way into this new world, we both are finishing up our second books in a trilogy, and we are also real down to earth moms with crazy pups.
I always think that it is pretty special when you meet someone who you feel like you have known for a long time and I immediately connected with Valerie. Not only are we interviewing each another ( you can find mine on her blog http://valeriedaysanchez.blogspot.com/ ) but we have decided to collaborate with one another for a monthly column that chronicles our different but similar experiences as writers.
I had so much fun doing this and I want to thank Valerie for taking the time to write an article about me and for sitting down to answer my questions to her. I do want to put out a quick disclaimer, I have never been interviewed nor have I ever interviewed anyone so this was a great experience. For those of you that know me well, you’ll see the last question is so me. Sorry Valerie, not only did I have to ask it, I HAD to put in your answer!
So without further adieu please welcome an amazing author and my new friend Valerie Day Sanchez.
1) How did you come up with the idea for your book, ‘Harlow Whittaker & The Soothsayers?
The characters were all inspired by my friends that I met while I was in college. The bond I formed with them was so strong because of the time that I met them. I had just moved away from home and was figuring out who I was and they helped me with that. I think I was very lost at the time and they showed me that there was a place where I belonged by just being myself. A lot like how Harlow is meeting her three protectors at a pivotal time in her life.
2) What research did you have to do for your book?
The connection to family is a major factor with Harlow because she is asked to leave her world and go find the Soothsayers Council and she is missing her family throughout the book. One of the most important relationships that Harlow is constantly reminded of is the one between her and her father, they bonded over woodworking. I know nothing about woodworking so I did have to research that, along with archery. The Archers are all these badass’s with different bows, and I don’t have too much experience with Archery. So some time and research went into that so that the fight scenes were believable and actually possible.
3) Living in the Southwest, do you find yourself inspired by your surroundings?
Constantly, I love to take my kids on walks and when I completed Harlow 1 I was living in the country and would walk farm fields for hours a week and that directly influenced the setting of the first book. Not to mention Harlow is from the southwest and she often describes the climate and the seasons of New Mexico.
4)What is the most surprising thing you have learned in the writing process?
Just that I can actually complete such a daunting task- writing a trilogy.
5) What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Probably that each of my books is outlined on an old store receipt, or whatever scrap of paper that I dug out of my purse at the time that the ideas started pouring in.
6) What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?
I despise editing, because I always start hefty re-writes instead of just scanning for grammar issues.
7) I adored your blog post, ‘Love letter to my sons’, how do you deal with the realities of life and fit in writing? Do you ever have the dreaded Mother’s Guilt?
My kids always come first, so no matter what I’m doing I will stop and tend to them. It has made me a quick writer, because I have to hurry and jot something down before someone starts asking for a snack. Also in terms of Mother’s Guilt, I just try and remind myself that if I’m not happy then my boys won’t be happy either. And writing makes me happy. Moms and Dads need time to themselves.
8) Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
J.K. Rowling, I love love love Harry Potter. Barbara Kingslover because she’s from the Southwest as well and just an amazing author.
9) Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
Write because you love it, and write as if no one is ever going to read it. That way your aren’t plagued with expectations and other’s opinions.
10) Book two is coming out soon, any juicy tidbits?
Harlow Whittaker & The Apprentice is due out this Spring and all I will say is that it picks up right where the first one left off.
11) What is the weirdest thing you have ever googled?
You may not want to put this on your blog, but my husband and I watch a lot of MSNBC’s Lock Up Raw/Extended Stay (a docuseries about life in prison) and they kept talking about fifi’s and we had to google it. BIG REGRETS LOL DON’T DO IT
About the Author…in her own words
Valerie Day-Sanchez received both her B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. She works as a part-time college instructor and has two sons who keep her quite busy. During her free time she likes to give the characters in her mind worlds to live in, which is a slightly off-putting way of saying that she loves to write.
Her passion of the desert southwest is often depicted in her writing.
Writing Y.A. Fantasy is new to her but she is loving every minute of it