Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy’s love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book. Brandy is the 2013 Operation First Novel winner and the 2012 winner of the ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance.
You can connect with Brandy via her website: www.brandyvallance.com
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Brandy! First of all, Congratulations on your new release, The Covered Deep. What was your favorite part about writing this story and what was the hardest part?
Brandy: Thank you very much! My favorite part about writing The Covered Deep was the writing into the wee hours of the night. Those are the magic hours for me. When you get a phrase just right, you fell it deep. When the house is quiet, and it feels like you and God are the only ones in the world, that space becomes holy. I remember one particular night when I was struggling with a plot point in the story at 3am. When I finally broke through, it felt like God had given me the key. Tears streamed down my face and I put on the song “My Redeemer Lives” by Nicole Mullen. The following minutes were intense. Now, every time I hear that song, I think of that time in my office. I am reminded how much God cares about the little details in our lives, and the details in our stories.
Another favorite with the writing was getting to know Paul and Bianca. They grew so much throughout all the different drafts (the book had 11!). Now, all the characters are so real to me. I still think about them all the time.
The hardest part about writing The Covered Deep was perhaps the research, although I had a blast doing it. I corresponded with the British Museum in London, read lots of Victorian etiquette books, and travel books. Sometimes when you write historical, it takes weeks just for one small detail to fall into place.
Savanna: I just finished your book last night and really enjoyed it. It was obvious you spent a great deal of time researching the details and bringing it to life. Thank you for that. If readers could only take away one lesson from this story, what do you hope it would be?
Brandy: True love has to be fought for daily.
Savanna: You’ve won multiple writing awards. What has been one of the greatest lessons and fondest memories from participating in these contests?
Brandy: Wow. One of the greatest lessons for me is that you can’t give up hope. You have to believe in your story even when no one else does. Take colossal risks. The publishing world rewards bravery.
The fondest memories come from the friends who believed for me when I didn’t have the strength to believe for myself. The late night Facebook chats of encouragement and the phone calls were amazing.
Savanna: Your website mentions you also do speaking engagements. What has been one of your favorite workshops you’ve presented and why?
Brandy: I love teaching and paying it forward because so many people did that for me. One of my favorite workshops is a workshop on personification and metaphor because I love using both in my fiction. I like to take the story to a deeper level by making the reader feel emotion subconsciously. When the writers I’m teaching get how to do that, I can usually see it click on their faces. That is a really amazing thing for me.
Savanna: Of all the places you’ve traveled to, what has been your favorite location to visit so far and why?
Brandy: I was able to go to England, Scotland, and Wales in 2011. It was a life-long dream trip for me. I adore the British Isles! Everywhere you look there is history. Every street you wander down has a story to tell. I could easily live there and be quite content. It helps that it’s never difficult to find a good cup of tea. 😉
A highlight from the trip was standing in the British Museum where my characters meet for the first time. Also, Bath, England is really fantastic. The Roman Baths are amazing, and the Pump Room that Jane Austen mentioned is lovely. There’s this eating house called Sally Lunn’s. You can get these buns that are absolutely delicious. When I was there, an opera singer was singing in the main square. It was an absolutely perfect day!
Savanna: How fascinating! I love the fact that you got to stand where your characters meet in the story. Too cool! 😉 It’s clear to see that history is very important to you. Can you name a historical figure you would have enjoyed getting to meet in person and have lunch with?
Brandy: Queen Victoria!
Savanna: What does your writing schedule look like from day to day? Any helpful tips – or secrets – on how you manage all your writing responsibilities?
Brandy: I work all day and usually well into the night, but that’s me snatching every available moment and doing a lot of other stuff in between. As far as tips, you’ll never have enough time to write. You have to make time and something always has to be sacrificed—the dishes, laundry, sleep, etc., etc.
Savanna: Thanks, Brandy, for being our guest this week. It’s been great to have you here! Readers, be sure to connect with Brandy through her sites below:
Website – http://www.brandyvallance.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrandyVallance
Brandy has graciously offered to give away TWO copies of THE COVERED DEEP! So two of you have some great reading ahead of you! 😉
–Leave your name and email in the comments below. (You MUST include your email to be qualified)
GET EXTRA ENTRIES:
(Be sure to tell me in the comments below)
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Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends October 28, 2014.
Winners will be notified by email.
I subscribe, like, follow and shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! I am looking forward to reading this story! Thank you for sharing your interview and your books!
Hi Cindy! So glad you could join us. You’ll receive 7 entries in this drawing. Good luck! Hope you get to read Brandy’s story soon. 🙂
I love the cover of this book! It is beautiful and draws you right in. I look forward to reading it. It seems you have done your due diligence in getting it written. I love how you recognize God giving you the right words!
I like you on Facebook, follow on Twitter, subscribe and will share.
I agree, Nancy! The cover is as intriguing and beautiful as the story! 😉 Thanks for visiting. You’ll receive 5 entries in the giveaway. Good luck to you!
Wonderful interview with Brandy! WOW, visiting the British Museum must have been amazing. I can’t wait to read “The Covered Deep”.
I subscribe to EG, follow your author page on facebook, shared giveaway on my facebook.
Hi Caryl! So good to see you here! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Didn’t Brandy’s trip sound amazing? Reading her book will make you want to see those places even more! 😉 Hope you get to read The Covered Deep soon. Thanks for following my blog. You’ll receive 4 entries.
What beautiful cover. I look forward to reading this. Blessings!
Welcome, Lucy! Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Good luck in the giveaway and have a great day!
I subscribe, like, and shared. I love getting into historical fiction and its great to find one that’s in Britain!
Me too, Rachel. The setting of this story is just fascinating! I’m sure you’ll love it too. Thanks for joining us. You’ll receive 4 entries in the drawing. Good luck!
Thanks so much for the kind comments! I hope you all enjoy reading The Covered Deep!
Thanks so much, Brandy, for joining us and sharing your story with us!
Looks like a great read! 😀
Hope you get to check it out soon, Nancy! Have a great week!
I am intrigued by this book and would love to read it! Thank you for the wonderful interview and for the chance to be a winner!
mauback55 at gmail dot com
So glad you could join us, Melanie! Good luck in the giveaway. Hope you get to enjoy Paul and Bianca’s story soon. 😉
I really enjoyed learning about Brandy’s new book. Your trip to England sounds fascinating. What a great experience.
boernerb (at) fuse (dot) net
I subscribe to your blog
Liked you on FB
Follow you on Twitter
Tweeted about the contest
Thanks, Becky! It’s great to have you here today. You’ll receive 5 entries in this drawing. Good luck to ya and happy reading!
I love that I just discovered Brandy’s writing and your blog separately a few days ago, was intrigued by them both, and now you’ve got her here for an interview! Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway! Looking at the extra entry requirements, I’ve already liked your FB page, subscribed to the blog, and followed you on twitter, lol. So I just shared this giveaway on Google+ to get the fourth one in. 😉 nataliedmonk (at) gmail (dot) com
I’m a little star-struck and struggling to overcome a little hero-worship here. I browsed your website recently, was drawn in by the book blurb, then read how your story came to be and how much work you put into it. I’m working on my second manuscript, and hope someday I’ll write with a skill like yours “when I grow up.” 😉 I’m very much looking forward to reading “The Covered Deep.” Thanks for the chance to win your book! God bless!
Hi Natalie! So fun to see you here. Thanks for stopping in and sharing with us. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the interview. You’ll love Brandy’s book. She has a beautiful way with words and has written a captivating story. You’ll receive 5 entries in this drawing. Here’s hoping for a win, right? 😉
Have a great week! And blessings on your second manuscript!
Thanks for the interview and chance to win! I’ve had this book on my Amazon wish list for months…
I am a subscriber, I liked you on FB and follow you in Twitter!
Wonderful, Patty! We need to get a copy in your hands then, don’t we? 😉 Good luck in the giveaway. You’ll receive 4 entries.
Thank you for this introduction to Brandy.
I subscribe to The Engrafted Word
I have liked Savanna Kaiser author page on fb
I follow you on Twitter
I have shared the giveaway on my Twitter page @cps1950
Connie Porter Saunders
cps1950 at gmail dot com
Thanks, Connie. I’m thrilled to introduce Brandy to you. I hope you get to know her more through her book as well. 🙂 You’ll receive 5 entries in the drawing. Good luck to you! And have a great day!
What a great interview! I like that you recognize God is all about the small details of our lives… and your writing! What a precious time that must have been at 3am!
Thank you for the interview and for the giveaway!
kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com
I follow you here and on FB, and have shared the giveaway on FB!
Thank you, Kelly. We’re so glad you enjoyed the interview. I hope you get to enjoy The Covered Deep soon as well. 😉 You’ll receive 4 entries in the drawing.
Savanna, I just read your review… Oh my! You have such a beautiful way with words and certainly have me longing to dive into this book myself! Whew! What a great review!
Thank you, Kelly, for your kind words. They blessed my heart! So glad you enjoyed my review. I hope you enjoy the book even more! 😉
Hi Savanna! Thank you for the lovely introduction to Brandy Vallance. I enjoyed her interview and would love to read The Covered Deep!
I am a blog subscriber, like your Author Page, follow you on Twitter, and shared the giveaway on Twitter.
texaggs2000 at gmail dot com
Wonderful, Britney! I’m happy to introduce you to Brandy! Hope you get to enjoy her story too. Thanks for all your support to my blog. You’ll receive 5 entries in the drawing. Good luck!
Looking forward to reading your book. I am always fascinated to see the gift of storytelling that comes from God to His children in creative writing! Keep up the good work!
Thanks for commenting, Susan. Good luck in the giveaway and have a great week too!
Wow! So many lovely comments. Thank you! I’m excited that you all are excited about reading The Covered Deep! And Natalie . . . <3 I really think perseverance is key. Don't give up! As you may have read, my journey to publication took 14 years. Write the story that is your passion. Be brave and go deep.
Thanks, Brandy, for stopping in to comment and for being such an inspiration to so many writers, myself included. I’ve loved having you here this week!
“I corresponded with the British Museum in London…” ~ when I read this I wondered if you met someone there in your research and then…reading further, find that you were there! Very awesome. I too like the early hours ~ quiet now except for buckles hitting the dryer sides! My rebirth day is October 28th! Hope I win one of the copies of The Covered Deep. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net
I tweeted about this interview ~ https://twitter.com/LaneHillHouse/status/525889801593946113 ~ I am receiving e-mails when you post here at The Engrafted Word as a subscriber; I previously have liked your Facebook page, and am a follower of your Twitter page. I shared this interview link on my Facebook news page. Thank you Savanna and Brandy for this interview. Kathleen
Thanks for sharing, Kathleen. It’s always great to have you join us. You’ll receive 6 entries in this giveaway. Hope you get to read Brandy’s book soon. We sure appreciate all your support!
😀 Tomorrow’s the day! Blessings, Kathleen
The book sounds good! I like you on FB and get The Engrafted Word!
Thanks, Joan! You’ll receive 3 entries in this drawing. Good luck to you and happy reading! 😉
I loved hearing about your 3 AM break through, God is so good! I can’t wait to read The Covered Deep, it sounds wonderful.
I’m a subscriber.
I follow on Twitter.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com
Thanks for visiting, Merry! Hope you get to read Brandy’s book soon. 😉 You’ll receive 4 entries in the drawing.