Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Interview with chick lit romance author Barbara Valentin

Romance author Barbara Valentin is sitting with me today. We’re talking about her new chick lit romantic comedy novel, Flight Risk (Assignment: Romance book #4).

During her virtual book tour, Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Author of the bestselling Assignment: Romance series, Barbara was named "Indie Star of 2015" by Publishers Weekly. A member of Romance Writers of America, she looks forward to the day when her to-do list includes "Send Oprah a thank you note" and "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester."

Welcome, Barbara. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Sure! It’s the fourth book in my Assignment: Romance series. Each book features a different character from the Lifestyle section of the Chicago Gazette. Flight Risk belongs to Aubrey Thomas, a phobic travel writer. When her editor hands her an ultimatum – jump out of an airplane (for a feature on extreme sports) or lose her job, she scrambles to find someone—anyone!—who can help her overcome her debilitating fear of heights. Enter John Trelawney, a charming window washer who thinks nothing of dangling by a cable fifty stories up and claims he can cure her. Everything about John makes Aubrey nervous... including the way her heart kicks into overdrive whenever he's around. But, at the end of her rope, she decides to take him up on his offer.

What inspired you to write this book?
My real-life day job is located in a high rise in Chicago’s Loop (downtown area). While strolling down State Street on my lunch hour last summer, I got doused with liquid yuck from a window washer’s bucket. My bad for choosing to not walk under the scaffolding that covered portions of the sidewalk, but still! Later that same week, window washers were stationed at my office building. Really hot window washers. That coupled with my fear of heights, and a story was born.

Excerpt from Flight Risk:
            John smirked. "You're not afraid of heights."
            Her defenses on high alert, Aubrey shot back, "Oh yes I am," well aware that she sounded like a fifth grader picking a fight on the playground.
            With a quick shake of his head and that same teasing smile, he murmured, "You're just afraid of falling."
            The thought had never occurred to Aubrey, but it made perfect sense, especially after seeing her first husband fall headfirst to his death.
            As if reading her mind, he added, "And I can totally help you get over that."
            Ah, here we go.
            "Heh. Yeah. I'll be you can." She attempted to stand, but he sprang up first.
            "Easy does it." Taking her clammy hand in his, he pulled her to a standing position. "You sure you're OK?"
            When she nodded, he reached into his back pocket and produced a pen. Next, he uncurled her hand and started writing something on her open palm.
            But the ink wouldn't stick. Her skin was still too damp.
            Which might explain what he did next.
            Aubrey watched, mesmerized, as he held her open palm to his mouth and blew on it. While part of her brain knew he was just trying to dry her skin, when he locked his eyes on hers, the rest of her was all in for him doing more of the same on the rest of her clammy self.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the next book in the series, tentatively titled Order Up. Here’s the blurb: Nancy Braley, the Gazette’s seasoned food editor who views men as little more than garnish, has developed a craving for Doug Johnston, a hot, but bothered coffee shop owner. Quite the dish, he's just what Nancy needs to prove to her oft-married mother that she is not following in her cougar paw steps. Busy trying to fend off an encroaching coffee store megachain, Doug informs Nancy that he's only interested in being someone's main dish, not just a piece of meat. After declining Nancy's invitation to attend her mother's Vegas wedding, the last thing he expects is for her to return with ideas to expand his menu and attract the lucrative lunch crowd. Determined to tenderize Doug's tough exterior, can Nancy get him to eat his words...and melt her heart?

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I devoured books as a kid, but never considered being a writer until I took a creative writing class in college. My professor helped me find and develop my voice and I will forever be indebted to her for all of the support and encouragement she gave me.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
That’s the goal! For my day-job, I edit banking procedures (super exciting stuff). I make time to write during my train ride to and from work, in the evenings after everyone heads to bed, on the weekends, while waiting for my son to get out of his scout meetings, on the way to visit my older boys at college…any time or place I can squeeze it in!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write best at my kitchen table, partly because it’s high enough for me to stand and type at the same time if I want to and partly because I can keep tabs on everybody while still getting my work done. Then there’s the food…and coffee.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve only ever wanted to write, or be a professional book reader.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you haven’t read any of my books, I hope you’ll give them a try. Every book you buy gets me a little closer to fulfilling my dream of being a full-time writer, so thanks in advance for your support!


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thanks very much for having me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Barbara Valentin said...

Thanks again for having me and featuring my current release!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

CJ said...

Thank you for sharing this great interview with all of us! By the way, who designed your cover? It's awesome! :)

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - thanks for sharing!

Barbara Valentin said...

clojo9327 - I'm glad you stopped by! My book covers are produced by Estrella Designs. She does such a great job of capturing the tone of my books!

reneejr said...

I'm so glad that you found and developed your voice!!! Congrats!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Bea LaRocca said...

Congratulations on the book tour and thank you for offering a Giveaway! This sounds like such a fun read!

Bridgett Wilbur said...

I really love the cover, very creative.