I had the pleasure of reading Brandy Vallance’s debut, award winning novel, The Covered Deep. You can read my review here.
Today Brandy has been gracious enough to answer my questions and visit the blog. So grab a cup of tea (trust me, even coffee drinkers will be in the mood for tea after you visit Bianca’s world) and settle in.
Your book The Covered Deep was released October 14 of this year. I read that this story was a fourteen year process. How does it feel to finally have readers devouring it?
Brandy: It’s a very surreal experience. When the book finds those it was written for, that is an amazing thing. It sort of feels like The Covered Deep doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to the readers who love it. It makes me smile whenever I hear people talking about the scenes I’ve lived with for so long.
I love what you said just there: “When the book finds those it was written for, that is an amazing thing.” What a wonderful perspective. That is a very healthy perspective for an author. I think that keeps the purpose of writing right there in front of you.
Your first novel is an absolute hit – currently you have five star reviews piling up on Amazon and Goodreads. Were you surprised to have your novel so well received?
Brandy: I think every author is nervous about the launch. When the good reviews started coming in, I was very relieved. I love Bianca and Paul’s journey so much. All the characters hold a special place in my heart. Reading the comments that echo what I’ve thought all along is a great gift.
Tell me all about where you were when you found out that you won “Operation First Novel”. What was that day like? I imagine quite a bit of jumping up and down. 🙂
Brandy: I was at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs at the Writing for the Soul Conference. Jerry Jenkins went to the podium and welcomed everyone to the conference. After a few matters of business, he asked the finalists of Operation First Novel to stand. I had seven guests with me that night (my writing support group, family, and literary agent). When he announced my name, it was like a resonating yes went through my body. As I walked to the stage, I whispered thank you to God and tried to keep from crying.
How special to have friends and family there for that moment! I have toured the Broadmoor during the Christmas season and I cannot imagine a better setting than that beautiful hotel for such a wonderful moment.
One of the things I absolutely loved about The Covered Deep was the dialogue. The interactions with your characters was smooth and engaging. Can you tell us how you so fluidly carry along conversations in your writing? Why would you say this is such an important part of story-telling?
Brandy: Thank you very much. I always try to capture the feel of authentic dialogue by portraying real emotion and going deep. I love the subtle things that come out in dialogue. In the end, my characters are much more clever than I could ever be on the fly. They normally just tell me what to put on the page. 😉
Those pesky characters always have a mind of their own. Yours are so very loveable.
You have such exquisite imagery in your book that at times I felt like I was enjoying a classic poem. I actually underlined sentences in your book because they were so beautiful. Do you write poetry?
What an amazing compliment. Wow! That totally makes my day! I don’t write much poetry but I read a lot of it. I also love reading the King James Bible, which is so lyrical and poetic. I especially like reading Victorian poets, for obvious reasons. 🙂
Can you tell us a little bit about what your next book is about? Please tell me we won’t have to wait fourteen years to read it!
Brandy: I’m over the moon excited about my next novel, Within the Veil. It’s a sweeping Scottish romance set in 1885. Feya is the heroine, a half-Scots gypsy. The hero, Alasdair Cairncross, is a Royal Horse Guard. There’s a cameo appearance by Robert Louis Stevenson, a castle on Loch Ness, a mysterious phenomenon, and a feud. This novel took me deep and I’m completely in love with it. I pushed myself to explore some hard places and I cried for three days after I wrote the end. It’s not sold yet, but hopefully soon!
It sounds wonderful! Did you hear that publishing world? It’s not sold yet – get on it and contact Brandy Vallance soon! I can’t wait to read it.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Brandy: Wow. That’s a hard question. It’s a tie between Bianca and Paul. Bianca is so much fun and she just makes me laugh. I loved Paul’s P.O.V. because of his love of history. Paul and Bianca both have such longing and I loved exploring that. However, I have to mention Sir Adrian. There are a couple of his scenes that really affect me.
Yes, Sir Adrian. I couldn’t help but adore him. He was such an interesting character. I agree with you about Bianca and Paul. I’m torn between the two as well.
You have described yourself as an Anglophile. What does this mean? How and why did you become one?
Brandy: An Anglophile is a lover of British culture. We typically love to drink tea and watch BBC period dramas. It was a dream come true when I was able to visit England in 2011. I love the rich history and the British accent. I also think British humor is the best.
I love it. I have friends that are very similar and I watch them in awe. I love to see them dress up in the beautiful dresses they have made.
What is your favorite genre of book to read? I would guess historical fiction, but I’m not one to assume.
Brandy: Historical romance to be precise. ❤
Ah, yes. I love those as well, obviously 😉
Final question: I am a staunch coffee drinker. But The Covered Deep made me crave tea! What is the best kind of tea and how should I doctor it to be the way that Paul likes it? (He just makes me feel like I need good strong tea, you know?)
Brandy: Awww, I love that! You need good, strong black tea, as Paul told Bianca. I like Twining’s Irish Breakfast, Taylor’s of Harrogate Scottish Breakfast, or a good English Breakfast. Steep it for 4-5 minutes, add about a teaspoon of raw honey (or the sweetener of your choice) and a little half-n-half. You want it to be a nice caramel color. Savor it, and think of Paul roaming ‘round the world searching for artifacts. J
Thank you, Brandy. And thank you for the joy of reading your beautiful book.
Brandy: You are very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Covered Deep!
There you have it: my first author interview. I am so glad I had such a classy lady here to visit. I honestly loved her story and believe you will, too. So much so that I ordered her book to give away to you! Please enter the raffle and invite your friends to join as well.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**I apologize that I cannot get the Rafflecopter widget to show up here, but if you click the clink above, you can enter the contest! Good luck!**