Q&A: Valerie Hansen
As a fire captain, Mitch Andrews has seen his share of fires. But one in particular, one in which he saved the lives of three children, continues to haunt him. Now one of those children has gone missing from her foster home and it's up to Mitch and Jill Kirkpatrick, the sweet widow who's the children's foster mother, to find out what's happened and keep the rest of the family out of danger.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE NIGHTWATCH?
I was talking to a friend who mentioned the CASA program, "Court Appointed Special Advodates" for children. Her involvement as a CASA volunteer started me thinking about all the good those folks do and I decided to feature them in a suspense book. That one idea led to a contract for 3 books, loosely tied, as "The Defenders" series. Each stands alone but they all feature some of the same characters and, of course, CASA.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
I read everything in the beginning, only I didn't just read lots of romance novels, I critiqued them, listing what I thought worked and what didn't, in a big notebook. As I grew as a writer, I found that my tastes were always changing so I really can't pinpoint one author above others. I have always loved a good mystery.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
My faith is my writing. It's such an intrinsic part of my life and of the way I see my personal world, it's actually a struggle to leave it out of a manuscript. That's one reason why Love Inspired was such a good fit for me, right from the start.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I used to write, draw and compose music for fun. I still think it's fun to do all three but lately it's the writing that absorbs most of my time. It feels totally natural. I don't know what I'd do with myself if I wasn't busy writing something. Even when I'm between books I do little thing, such as entering short story contests, etc.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I find that, in spite of the way I intend a story to go, it often takes off and proves a point I hadn't even considered. I think of those instances as God-given gifts that I'm able to share with my readers. Although different people may gain different things from each book, I believe the Lord has blessed me with this job and I pray that I'll carry out His will and His plans. I try not to preach but to show by example that nothing is impossible for God.