Hello everyone! Please welcome Valerie Bodden in for coffee with me today, plus she is giving away a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card AND an ebook version of her newest novel, see how to enter below!
PM: I am so thrilled to get to know you better, thank you so much for sitting down with me today of coffee! What are you reading for fun right now?
VB: Thanks for having me on the blog—I always love to talk books! I just started reading Elizabeth Maddrey’s Courage to Change, and I’m loving it so far!
PM: I have to say that is one of my favorite books by Elizabeth! What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
VB: Oh, this is a hard one. I’m not sure there’s too much that’s shocking about me, lol! Maybe that I started out as a computer science major in college. Though I enjoyed it, I quickly realized it wasn’t where my passion was—that had always been writing. Some things never change!
PM: Do you write stories more from your own experiences, or do you spend a lot time doing research on the type of characters your creating?
VB: A little bit of each. In all my books, there are at least some things taken from my own life. For example, in Not Until Forever, there’s a park bench that plays a significant role. And that’s because my husband proposed to me on a bench at “our” park. For our anniversary a few years ago, he made me a park bench for our front porch, with our initials carved in it. I know…aww. But other parts of my books are definitely researched. My newest release involves a character dealing with PTSD, and a veteran from church was kind enough to give me insights into his experiences with that.
PM: That was one of my favorite scenes in your book, the park bench, yes, so “aww, romantic” lol! I have had a love for all things Wisconsin since reading a story set in Door County many years ago, what is your favorite part of loving in there?
VB: The little towns of Door County are the inspiration for Hope Springs! And all of Wisconsin is a beautiful place! We don’t have mountains or oceans, but we do have rolling hills, lots of trees, and the Mississippi River on one side of the state and Lake Michigan on the other. I think my favorite part of life here is the changing seasons. And for the first time in my life, I can even include winter in that. I’ve always been resistant to the snow and cold, but this year, for whatever reason, God has worked on my heart, and I now appreciate winter too.
PM: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
VB: I am so bad at choosing superpowers, lol. I’m not sure how far this would go toward saving the world, but I’d love to have the power to know exactly the right thing to say at the right time, especially as a parent.
PM: Wow, that is awesome, I can honestly say I needed that super power many times while raising my son….! One of my great love’s is chocolate as well! What is your favorite? I adore dark chocolate the best!
VB: I’m definitely a dark chocolate girl, too! I love Dove dark chocolate with almonds. Also, pretty much any variety of M & Ms.
PM: Do you have any family pets that currently own you?
VB: Oh boy! We have a zoo here, with one dog, two cats, a tank full of fish, and also a bowl of sea monkeys (that were supposed to last six months but are going on six years).
PM: Oh my goodness, I never heard of sea monkeys! So….. I naturally Googled them, wow! What fun! You mention wishing to live in a warmer climate, any particular dream place in mind?
VB: I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because my family went to Florida this summer in the middle of a heat wave—and our vehicle’s air conditioning chose that time to die. My northern babies (and my husband and I) just about melted. So maybe somewhere with a little less heat and humidity than that. Even more than the warmth, I think what I’m looking for is sunshine. Days and days of sunshine!
PM: As a Floridian of many years now, yes, i definitely feel the melting every summer, sigh…I’d love to move to a cooler place! If you could have dinner with anyone from history, other than Jesus, who would it be, and why?
VB: I have such a hard time choosing one answer for questions like this—there are just so many people I’d love to talk to! But I’ll make myself stick to one. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and I think it would be a blast to have dinner with her—or better yet, attend a ball with her and see it through her eyes.
PM: That is a wonderful answer! I wouldn’t mind joining you, lol! What is your favorite go to snack, midnight or any time?
VB: I love popcorn popped on the stove.
PM: I’d love to know more about your non fiction children’s books, can you elaborate on them a little?
VB: Yes! I actually got my start in publishing 15 years ago working as an editor for a children’s publisher called The Creative Company. While working there, I started writing nonfiction books for them, and even after we moved away, I continued to write for them and for several other publishers as well. Over the years, I’ve written more than 300 nonfiction books about everything from animals to history to literature. But my favorite of my nonfiction books is one called Understanding Christianity. Writing that book showed me what a blessing it was to spend every day writing about God’s Word—which sparked my desire to write Christian fiction.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
VB: The best way to keep up with me is by subscribing to my newsletter. All subscribers get a free Hope Springs story (that just happens to be a Christmas story)! You can sign up on my website at https://www.valeriembodden.com/. Or, if you prefer to stay in touch on social media, you can follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValerieMBodden.
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
VB: Decaf coffee with skim milk (it’s what we always have in the fridge) and plenty of sugar. Not in the morning, though—after lunch!