Valerie Massey Goree ~Deceive Me Once~ Book Giveaway
First of all, A J thank you so much for interviewing me. Your blog is inspirational and informative. What a service to writers!
Thanks, Valerie. I enjoy learning more about my favorite authors. What are you currently reading?
I have several books in line at the moment. I’m into the Lonestar series by Colleen Coble, and have started Predator, by Terri Blackstock. I enjoy suspense, crime dramas, police procedurals.
What is your favorite season and why?
I love the fall. Growing up on the High Veld of Central Africa I didn’t experience the four seasons. We had hot and not so hot. Here in south Texas I relish the cooler days of autumn with little or no humidity, and the clear blue skies remind me of Africa.
When did you first discover you were a writer?
I had to think long and hard about this question. In middle school I had an English teacher who encouraged us to write, but then we’d have to read our essays out loud in front of the whole class. She would critique our efforts publicly. I remember being mortified more than once. That experience crushed my creative spirit and it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I tinkered with a word processor – remember those days? – and began to create a make-believe world.
What other book have you written?
That first novel I wrote back in the 90s was a romance set in Australia. Then I penned a romance set in Zimbabwe. Both received a few nibbles from interested publishers, but I didn’t know enough about the industry to pursue the leads. And with family and career obligations didn’t take the time to investigate. Since joining ACFW and attending a variety of writers’ conferences, I wrote Deceive Me Once, released September 2010, it’s sequel, Colors of Deceit – as yet unpublished, and Weep in the Night, the first in the Eye Witness Series, which won the 2010 Genesis award in the Romantic Suspense category.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?
Keep on writing! If you want to learn how to play tennis you can read a dozen ‘how to’ books, but until you pick up a racket and practice, you will probably never learn how to play. The same can be said of writing.
What book are you working on now?
I’ve started the next in the Eye Witness Series. It is set in Southern California and Mexico.
What was your inspiration for Deceive Me Once?
There were two things that started the ball rolling. We live way out in the country on seven acres of uncleared land. I often see buzzards circling overhead and wonder what poor animal has died. One day while traipsing through the brush following my dog, I thought how terrible it would be if I came upon a human instead of an animal. (Maybe post a viewer discretion blurb for this answer.) Then one day I was chatting with a friend from Puerto Rico. Her husband is Anglo and they live in New York City. Their daughter was close to celebrating her quinceañera but the mother-in-law objected. So I began to weave a story around the conflict. Somehow the two incidents collided and the story blossomed.
Back cover of Deceive Me Once:
Maricella McDonough, known simply as Chella to her family and friends, has been living a life of deception in Hanson Ridge, Texas, ever since the day of her quinceañera in Eagle Pass. Riddled with guilt over the part she played in the death of her parents, her best friend Eva, and Eva's parents, she stuffed it all down into the deepest recesses of her mind and moved on with her life.
Now, many miles away and more than 25 years later, it has all finally caught up with her. The body of a young woman is found on the edge of Chella’s property.
As she investigates the mysterious death, she discovers the woman is connected with her hidden past. Will Chella’s dark secret finally be her undoing and ruin the life she has built with her husband and sons? Will they ever forgive her for lying to them all these years?
What is the theme?
The major theme is forgiveness. There are so many aspects to forgiveness. First, Maricella has to forgive herself. She knows she has to ask her family to forgive her, but that can’t happen until she asks God to enter her life.
How do you choose the characters’ names?
For this book I had definite inspiration. Since it is written in first person, I wanted a strong name for the female lead. Years ago when we first moved to Texas, I taught at the school my second grade daughter attended. At recess on that first day, my daughter looked so miserable. I approach a few girls I knew were in her class and asked them to befriend her. They did, but one in particular became her best friend. That was Maricella, a young girl with a sweet spirit. I have never met another person with that name, but I will never forget her. For other characters, I make sure I don’t have too many starting with the same letter, and names that suit the character. But hold on – for my villains I usually choose a name that has a negative connotation from my past–first names only!
How can you be contacted?
Deceive Me Once is available from the publisher at; http://www.parsonplacepress.com/, or from Amazon, or B & N online.
Valerie, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of Deceive Me Once leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). Giveaway closes Sunday, November 28, 2010 at midnight (CST). Only US postal codes.If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.