Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Interview with Emma Cane, author of THE VALENTINE VALLEY Series

Emma Cane was born in Erie, a small Pennsylvania town on beautiful Lake Erie, where the sunsets are some of the best in the world. She fell in love with small-town, heartwarming stories, and created the fictional town Valentine Valley, a small ranching community in the Colorado Rockies, where she sets her novels. A Town Called Valentine was the first in her new series. True Love at Silver Creek Ranch followed in January 2013.

Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting, singing, hiking, and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Uma and Apollo. Emma also writes as USA Today bestselling historical romance author Gayle Callen.

Places to find Emma Cane:



It's the wedding all of Valentine Valley has been waiting for!
Bridesmaid Heather Armstrong arrives for Nate and Emily's big weekend, only to discover that one of the ushers is the man she had a close encounter with when they were trapped by a blizzard seven months before--and he's the bride's brother!
Cowboy Chris Sweet never forgot the sexy redhead, although she'd disappeared without a trace. At first the secret between them keeps them apart, but as they grow closer during the romantic weekend, will Heather dare risk her heart again?


So I have to say that one of the BEST parts about being a book reviewer/blogger is that you get to talk to authors.  Anyone who knows me knows that in person, I just usually stare in awe.  I don’t say anything, because I’m too afraid of having a “I can’t believe I just said something STUPID moment.”  Because you know, I have those.  
But I LOVE being able to interview authors and get to know them.  So today I get to ask Emma Cane questions.  I think I discovered her last year, but I haven’t had a chance to read any of her books yet, but that’s going to change!  So please all say hello to Emma Cane.
Hi, Emma.  Thank you for joining me today.  Can you please introduce yourself and tell us just who Emma Cane is?
Hi Kim! Thanks so much for having me! I’m Emma Cane, and I write the Valentine Valley contemporary romance series for Avon Books. I started writing as a kid, science fiction at first, and then I discovered historical romance in high school, my first being SHANNA by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and I was hooked. Once I was married with babies who were taking naps, I decided to focus on trying to publish. It took me thirteen years and three complete manuscripts before I sold THE DARKEST KNIGHT in 1998, writing as Gayle Callen. I’ve been writing historicals ever since, but since I can write a couple books a year, I decided to try my hand at contemporaries, too, and Emma Cane was born, along with the small town of Valentine Valley, Colorado.
Honestly, I don’t know why.  But I’m always surprised to find out that authors write different genres.  In addition to writing your Valentine Valley series, you also write historical romance.  What appeals to you about the two different romance genres?
First of all, they’re both romances at heart, so that feels much the same to me, two people facing conflict and problems as they fall in love, regardless of the time period. (wink) I do love writing the magic of history, the restrictions women faced and often overcame, the scandals, the aristocracy. It kind of has a fantasy element, you know? My newest historical is SURRENDER TO THE EARL, about a blind woman hidden away by her family, and the earl who never imagines she’ll ask him to help her escape.  Going back and forth between genres, it’s almost like refreshing my writing. Contemporaries have a different feel, of course, since we’re living in the time period of the books. I have to do just as much research as my historicals, which surprised me, but my characters have jobs I don’t hold, so I need to know how they live. And of course, readers can more easily spot a mistake, so I’m very careful.
Tell me about Valentine Valley, Colorado.  How did you think it up?
I’ll be honest—at first, I proposed the town as an upstate NY village set along the Erie Canal. It was my editors who loved the story, but asked for cowboys! And boy, were they right! I immersed myself in non-fiction books and documentaries, learning all about cowboys and ranching in the twenty-first century. And then I decided to set my fictional village right where my son lives, outside Aspen, Colorado, so I could call him for research. (wink) I had great fun creating my own map of the town, naming streets and all the various business. And since I’ve visited the area many times, I can picture it perfectly.
What do you love about the town and people of Valentine Valley?
I like the small size, only around 500 people who all seem to know each other, the good and the bad. Makes for lots of fun gossip, as well as people who care about you. I keep track of every character I use, so I can reuse them book after book, from waitresses in restaurants to the wacky widows of the Widows’ Boardinghouse, my three old ladies who create a lot of mischief in town. They’re the grandmas of several heroes and heroines in the first few books, and they like nothing better than to match make or stage protests or chain themselves to buildings about to be torn down. I never quite know what they’re going to get into next, but it’s always fun. As for Valentine Valley itself, I set it up as a ranching town with an element of romance that tourists swear by. They come to town to propose or get married or simply fall in love.
I love that... One of the reasons I love reading series is because I fall in love with all the characters and I want more of them.  I’m sure the  Grandmas make things VERY interesting around town.  A WEDDING IN VALENTINE is your latest book.  Please tell me about it.
First of all, it’s actually a novella rather than a full-length book. My next two books in the series THE COWBOY OF VALENTINE VALLEY and A PROMISE AT BLUEBELL HILL won’t be out until February and March, so we decided to offer a story as a sort of “bridge,” set during the wedding weekend of my first hero and heroine, Nate and Emily, from A TOWN CALLED VALENTINE. And of course, there’s a little romance built in, between Emily’s brother Chris and her bridesmaid Heather, who had a steamy encounter in the past, but never thought they’d see each other again…
You gotta love those re-encounter stories.  When you came up with the idea for Valentine Valley and wrote the first book, A TOWN CALLED VALENTINE, did you envision this being a series?
Yes, I did, from the beginning. I usually plot in trilogies anyway, but my publisher bought this specifically knowing I would create a whole town and use all the people in it from story to story. Each book stands alone, but it’s fun to bring back characters readers remember. I get emails from readers asking when I’m going to do so-and-so’s story, and I say, “Just give me time!”
How many books are you planning on having in this series?
We don’t have an end in mind. So far I’ve written four books and a novella, and I’m already plotting the fifth book, as well as a Christmas novella. I have so many characters in mind for their own story, so I hope I can keep “living” in Valentine Valley for a long time yet.
I’m sure you have plenty of people who NEVER want you to leave.  What are you currently working on?
Besides my next historical romance, REDEEMING THE DUKE, which I’ll write this summer, I’m busy brainstorming Tony’s book. Tony owns the tavern in Valentine Valley where all my characters hang out. He’s a single dad, a laid-back guy, and I decided to challenge myself by getting him back together with his ex-wife, a driven lawyer.
Oh.  That could be interesting.  I can’t wait to see what happens there.  Thank you again for joining me today.  I really look forward to reading A WEDDING IN VALENTINE.
Thanks so much, Kim! And I appreciate the chance to talk about Valentine Valley and the people who inhabit the town.


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2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much posting the interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me.

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