~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
--BLOG TOUR STOP--
-- 'ENDURING PROMISES OF THE HEART' --
AUTHOR VALERIE LOVELESS
~Post Includes: Book Spotlight, Links to Excerpts,
Author Bio, Unique Guest Post & Giveaway~
About the Book
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: February 8, 2019
“What if I told you there is a way that we could all be happy? That if I were to propose to you, your father couldn’t deny us?”
“What is it, John? Tell me!” Just then the basket hit the water and the sea began to stream in through the spaces between the reeds. This was the end. The year is 1887, and the small community of Pleasant View is abuzz over Penelope Pottifer’s serialized romances in the local paper.
Since the release of the first volume, the thrilling story has captured the hearts and minds of the entire town— and several towns over! Each successive edition of the Pleasant View Gazette spins a breathtaking tale of kidnappers, pirates, and forbidden love. Between volumes, however, Pleasant View resident Mary Clarence, the story’s toughest critic, hears a rumor that Penelope Pottifer is not, in fact, the author’s real name. Determined to uncover the mystery, Mary drags her friend Elizabeth Black into a hunt for the elusive author’s true identity. But fiction and reality seem to entwine when along the way, Mary and Liz discover unexpected truths, exciting adventures, and dramatic romances of their own.
About the Author
Valerie has a love for stories with happy endings and bright comedy. A native to the California high desert, she now considers Utah her home where she lives with her husband, three children and two chihuahuas. Growing up in a family of seven kids, Valerie learned to embrace her unique creativity and way of looking at the world and hopes it will enrich other's lives. In 2015 she published two children's books, Singing Not so Sweetly and Anabelle Loves Babies. She believes writing is the ultimate end-all for creative pursuits because there are no limits to what you can create. A picture may say a thousand words but a novel is usually around seventy-thousand.
Behind-the-Scenes Facts Shared by the Author:
The most frequently asked question I have received since my book got published, (besides how can I do it too) is where did you came up with your ideas? Ideas for me are daily things I witness that spark a cascade of memories, thoughts and feelings within my brain. If they are good ideas, they will stick around and start plot mapping themselves.
One day I was watching old reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I had a little baby at home and there was not much I could to, timewise, besides have the TV running in the background of the chaos of three kids. Anyway, there’s a character that writes a little town gazette and she wrote a story in it that had details about everyone’s personal lives in it. The whole town turned against her. This is where the spark for my story began. A small-town Gazette, who writes it? What do they write about, and what happens when it interferes with everyone else’s lives? I had the potential to be dramatic, funny and clever.
Another influence was the BBC special Lark Rise to Candelford, one of my favorite series. One of the Pratt sisters reads a trashy romance that comes out in the paper every week. She is obsessed with it and as she is reading it aloud, it sounds so silly, but she just can’t help herself. She’s hooked and everyone around her becomes hooked as well.
These two images above are where the spark for Enduring Promises of the Heart began. It is not just your average romance novel-- it is about a silly, slightly scandalous newspaper serial romance and how it seeps into the lives of the whole town, and how they interact with it. Each chapter is a mix of what happens in the town and what the residents are reading in the paper.
How I chose the name of the story was simple, I strung together the most romantic and dramatic sentence I could think of.
I got stuck one day, unable to think of a turbulent and dramatic storyline for the gazette story, so I asked my 8-year-old to tell me a story and he told me about pirates, it resonated with me big time, and subsequently there’s a lot of pirates in the book!
You might call it a satire, but I’m not making fun of all romance, just the trashy romance of that era. The type you would read today and think, how could anyone ever read this and take it seriously? While I wrote the gazette stories, I just let a stream of creativity come straight out onto paper, no matter how silly it seemed. I just let my silly side lose on the page and it turned out to be great.
I wanted a contrast-- the yin and yang about how real-life romance is-- awkward, timid and not smooth versus the idealized romance that has the perfect hero, the perfect heroin and their experiences that keep them ever apart, and always yearning for each other while maintaining perfect hair.
With google, it’s easy to write an accurate period story, if you know what it is that you should be researching in the first place. One matter I struggled with was exactly what fashions were in at the time. Lucky for me, fashions didn’t change as rapidly as they do now and they were regional, therefore I could take a standard for the time and then make it my own by taking the basic form of a dress of that time period and choosing the details and stylings myself.
Hats are a big topic in this book. The Main character has a bit of an obsession over them. She buys one whenever her heart is a little tender or she is bored. So, I spent a great deal of time looking at the basic styles of hats of the time and then using my own design instincts to describe the beauties in my head.
When it came time to edit, I was quite pleased there were only a few items that the editor felt was out of time. It came down to tweaking the wording and descriptions to fit the time rather than discarding the entire scene or element.
It can take a lot of time to write a novel that you are not sure will ever be read by anyone but you. At one point the poor thing sat on my hard drive for about a year, untouched. And when it came time to have others read my works, it was apparent that I had improved the characters significantly since the beginning and had grown as a writer myself. The beginning of the novel underwent the most significant changes over the course of editing because of this. I had to go back and add in the new character development of the characters and the style of writing I had developed.
When I write, I sometimes base characters off people I know, sometimes they need to be a specific person to fit a specific part, and sometimes they are just a slice of me. My two main characters, best friends, are each about one half of my personality. I’ve never gone through all of what I put them through, but it was the best way to emulate the many feelings and responses they had to the elements in the story. It’s funny when you spend years writing a book, these characters become real to you. As if they are old friends and you can guess how they would react to different situations.
Enduring Promises of the Heart was intended to be a monthly short story that came out in succession mirroring the way it came out in the gazette in the story. But I found that the editing and the continuity was too difficult at that time. So, I just kept writing it and keeping it to myself until I had a fully formed novel. I let my mom read it and she liked it, but she usually likes anything I show her, moms are good that way. My husband was telling my father-in-law about how I was writing a novel and he offered to read it for me. You’d be surprised how hard it is to get people to read an unpublished novel, so this was a welcome offer. He loved it! I thought, wow, this older man really likes this story, and he has no business liking this type of novel, maybe I should pursue it a little more. So, I sent it to my cousin, an avid reader, and she helped me get it polished enough for submitting to publishers by giving me feedback and doing some light editing.
I sent my manuscript out to about a dozen publishers and literary agents and within 13 days I got an acceptance reply. I was so shocked! I expected to be sending out manuscripts for the rest of my days! It may not be with a big publisher, but in terms of values we are a good fit. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my joy and laughter with others and I hope that those who do read my book are touched by the heart I put into it and can enjoy the laughs it will bring.
LINKS TO EXCERPTS:
The first 2 Chapters are available on www.mybookcave.com and Amazon.com, there is also a prequel at www.valerieloveless.info/prequel that is updated often with new volumes.
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