Readers, we’re honored to have author Valerie Goree with us today. Gather ’round as we hear a bit about Valerie’s journey as an author.
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Thank you for joining our chat and for offering one of your books to someone who *comments or asks a question below. Winner of the drawing will be announced next Tuesday, October 18 on this blog and on Facebook.
***UPDATE: Congratulations to Andrea Hamilton, recipient of a signed copy of Valerie Goree’s Weep in the Night!***
The pre-author life of Valerie Goree
I was born in South Africa, as were my parents. My grandparents immigrated from England and The Netherlands in the early 1900s. We moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when I was seven years old. I claim both countries as my heritage. (Tweet That!)
College years and beyond
After I left high school, I was given the opportunity to attend a Christian college in America. Wow! At seventeen, I’d never been away from home by myself for more than a week at a time. I will never forget landing at JFK, Labor Day weekend, lost luggage. If someone had pointed out a plane to me and said it was headed back to Africa, I would have been on it in a flash. But, thank the Lord, that didn’t happen. I spent four fantastic years at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and will never regret my time there.
During my senior year, I met Glenn, who just happened to want to serve as a missionary. We married the next year. After we received our Masters degrees, we returned to Zimbabwe where our two children were born.
After six years, we lost the mission support, and since Glenn is from Texas, we have since lived in this great state. I focused my teaching career on students with special needs, and retired about 10 years ago.
Becoming an author
Many authors state that they’ve always known they were writers. Not me! A high school English teacher required us to read our essays in front of the class. Her critiques devastated me. I don’t remember any positive comments—there were probably some, but I do recall the negatives. That experience killed whatever creativity I may have possessed.
Years later, after we’d returned to Texas, I completed a writing for children correspondence course. That sparked the idea that maybe, just maybe, I could be creative with words.
Busy with a family and a career, it still took a while before I penned my first novel. My first three attempts are gathering dust. One day I will revise and submit them.
My first published novel is titled Deceive Me Once. At the time I didn’t have an agent, so pitched it myself. After several rejections, needless to say I was ecstatic when Parson Place Press agreed to publish it. Reviewing cover designs was one of the highlights of the experience. A real-live book with my name on the cover!
Other books authored by Valerie Goree
Parson Place Press published Colors of Deceit, the sequel to Deceive Me Once. Those who know me well will recognize my handwriting on the cover design.
My third novel, Weep in the Night, received the ACFW Genesis Award in the romantic suspense category and was published by Pelican Book Group. I’m working on the sequel, but life seems to be interrupting my attempts. I find it hard to concentrate when a family member is going through a major health crisis.
Life today for author Valerie Goree
Now, I help take care of my mother who immigrated after my dad passed away, have fun with our two grandchildren, and write when I can.
Encouragement and advice
I have been blessed by my association with the American Christian Fiction Writers organization and individual members of our local chapter. My husband is incredibly supportive. (By the way, he is an author too! I edit his books and use that as one of my excuses for not completing my novel.) Associate with fellow writers who will understand your struggles, join a critique group, read craft books, and most importantly, write, write write.
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Thank you for joining us, Valerie. Your novels are indeed romantic and suspenseful and inspirational. I personally recommend them as sterling examples of excellence in the writing craft with just the right touch of romance, suspense, and inspiration.
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Lord, we come before You declaring You are the Author of the Greatest Story Ever Told. We bow in adoration and raise our hands in thanksgiving that You have revealed Yourself in Your Word and that you allow us to share in the telling of Your Story. For Jesus’ sake …