Valéria Hyer, a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She moved to the United States in 2000 to marry her American husband. She later earned her Bachelors Degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003. She has worked as an interpreter and translated documents into the Portuguese Language for different firms. She also translated into Portuguese Don Finto’s YOUR PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE (Regal, 2001), in which she fell in love with Messianic Judaism. Valéria resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three homeschooled children.
Visit her at www.valeriahyer.com
Welcome to the blog, Valeria! I’m so happy you could join us today!
So tell us… When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was in fifth grade. I’d write short stories about princesses being rescued by brave and handsome princes. I was raised and born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so all those stories were written in Portuguese. While everybody in the U.S. was reading Laura Ingalls, Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain, I read Brazilian literature classics. By the time, I reached high school, my little fairy tales became contemporary romances. During my teenager years, I fell in love with the English language. I wanted to eventually teach American and British Literature in a college in Rio, but my life took a different route when I met my American husband and moved to the United States. Here, I finished my degree in English and started writing my own short stories in English. Those stories were never published. I graduated and took a break to raise my children. It was not until one year ago that I started feeling the itch for writing again. I wrote my first book Into the Blue Crystal Sea, the story of a Brazilian girl and a Messianic Jewish guy. I hope to bring diversity to Christian Fiction in a way that will appeal to Americans, but yet reach into many different cultures.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on short stories based on Bible characters that had encounters with Jesus. I’m also writing my second romance novel about a Portuguese girl, Laura, who inherits a bankrupted winery. After trying to drown her sorrows with Port wine at a local pub, she wakes up the next day married to a stranger. This stranger happens to be David Sorento, the man who wants to buy Laura’s farm and take away her family business.
Awww, I’m intrigued! 😉 Sounds like a fun story to write too.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite characters you’ve written so far?
Guadalupe Montoya Garcia. She is a vivacious Latina in my first book Into the Blue Crystal Sea. I needed to bring a free spirited and fiery secondary character to the plot. The heroine has a lot of trauma to deal with. Guadalupe spices things up and shows Jacquie, the protagonist, that it is perfectly fine to be yourself.
What’s something you love about your home state?
I love the people from Tennessee. They are loving, welcoming, and warm.
What’s one of your favorite books?
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
What is one of your favorite Scripture verses?
Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Can you tell us about a special moment from your writing journey so far?
2016 was my first ACFW. I had finished Into the Blue Crystal Sea, but still needed to do all kinds of edits. I didn’t want to pitch the book to an editor, but an opportunity opened up. I decided to take it. This editor and I had a great conversation, and he asked me for the manuscript. I was in awe. The book didn’t end up being what this editor was looking for, but I felt honored that he took a chance on this newbie here.
That’s so neat. I love hearing about authors’ big moments like that at conferences. 🙂
What’s been one of the most challenging aspects of writing?
Prepositions. They are arbitrary, so I always have to make sure I have them right.
Name a few authors who inspire you.
Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, C.S. Lewis, Buchi Emecheta, Charles Martin and Becky Wade
Some of my favorites there too. 😉
Can you share a word of advice to other writers out there on the road to publication?
Don’t give up. Our worth isn’t measured by rejections or how many books we have sold. Published and unpublished authors are all part of the kingdom. My perspective changed as I settled in my identity as a daughter knowing that if God called me to write books, I had to do my part, and He’d have to do His. I felt like a big burden fell off my shoulders because I believed I needed to make things happen. That was sucking the joy out of my writing and stressing me out. I learned to abandon myself in Him and trust that my Heavenly Father has the best for me. Being established in our sonship is pivotal to any process we feel called to. Enjoying the road and the process can lead us to major internal transformation. Sometimes, we benefit more from this journey than the destination. I’m not saying it’s easy, but doable and oh, so special.
Thank you for that, Valeria. It’s been so nice chatting with you today. Do YOU have a question for our readers?
Was my answer to the last question an encouragement to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Readers, you can learn more about Valeria by visiting the pages below. ..
My website www.valeriahyer.com
Have a great week, everyone!