Exclusive Q & A with Valerie Clarizio
After writing a combined thirteen contemporary and romantic suspense novels and novellas, USA Today bestselling author Valerie Clarizio decided to dip her toe into the time travel genre with TIME WARped, the launch book in her Preserver & Protector series publishing today. In TIME WARped, Blake Cornelis, a military veteran, is sent back in time—and into the future—to preserve his family’s heroic war heritage. He finds a cowardly cousin who is determined to change history and steal the hero honors for his branch of the family. Of course, Blake needs help in these endeavors, and that’s where our strong, determined heroine, Ariel, steps into the story, as Blake’s protector. Throughout history, they sure have their work cut out for them, especially with the attraction sizzling between them.
In her day job Valerie is the finance director/treasurer of the City of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Pardon the time pun, readers, but we thought it would be fun to figure out what makes this fascinating author “tick.”
As a time travel novel, TIME WARped is a new writing venture for you. What inspired you to switch genres for this, your fourteenth book?
A handful of years ago my husband and I learned of a cemetery near our home where a few Civil War soldiers are buried.We decided to check it out, and what we found was a very neglected, overgrown cemetery tucked into the woods. In fact, it was so overgrown that we walked right past it without finding it during our search. It was when we turned around on the trail that my hubby caught a glimpse of a small headstone. In looking for the entrance among the brush, we came upon a tunnel-looking entrance formed by spindly branches.We crawled through the tunnel to get a better look at the cemetery.For years, I thought about that entryway to the cemetery as a time travel portal and finally put pen to paper.For motivation during the writing process, I continued to return to the cemetery.
Characters in TIME WARped serve in the military in various wars. Did members of your own family, in today’s world as well as in your ancestors’, serve in the military?
Many of my family members have served or are currently serving. My dad served in the Army. My brother-in-law is a retired Marine colonel who led a battalion during the Iraq War. Later, both his sons, my nephews, became Marines. I have uncles and cousins who are serving, or have served. My father-in-law is a retired Coast Guard commander. The list goes on and on. I cannot fully express in words how very proud I am of our men and women in uniform.
TIME WARped sends your time-traveling hero, Blake Cornelis, and Ariel, a strong woman who aids him in his various missions, to the battlefields in several wars. What kinds of research did you conduct in order to write about the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War?
I visited a lot of library websites and perused the history archives for military stories and interviews.I also did internet searches.It’s amazing how much is out there.
When it came to the Civil War, I read about the females who disguised themselves as men to fight beside their husbands, fathers and brothers. Their stories fascinated me, and I knew that I would send my heroine to the Civil War.
The part of your story that takes place in the present is set in Wisconsin, where you live. Does your family have a long history in this area?
I was born and raised in Door County, Wisconsin, and have never lived anywhere else. My parents and grandparents were also born here.My grandparents owned and operated a restaurant/truck stop. My mother worked for them. Eventually, my uncle bought it, and I worked for him. Through that truck stop, I believe I met everyone in town. Between that business and my forty first cousins, as in any small town, everybody knows my business :)
The Code Enforcer
Crime and Passion Stalk City Hall
Having been made the laughing stock of her hometown by her cheating ex-fiancé, Investigator Markie Pearson has sworn off overly-confident, good-looking men. When Bryce Hawk strolls into town, Markie quickly realizes he's the classic example of a man she needs to keep at a distance.
Ex-Marine Bryce Hawk moves to small-town Wisconsin after his military career-ending injury. All he wants to do is hide in his mundane job as the city's code enforcer while he sorts out his life. What Bryce doesn't account for is Markie, that emerald eyed beauty, walking through his office door on day one. Too bad it's too, late. Women are not in his plans, nor will they ever be...especially Markie, the one who gets his dormant juices flowing while irritating him at the same time.
When the municipal code violators that Bryce is investigating are murdered, Bryce becomes Markie's number one suspect. Or, is he another target? Is she?
Will this damaged cop and wounded vet overcome their inner demons in order to work together to escape the claws of death and perhaps find love in the process?
You are the finance director/treasurer for the City of Sturgeon Bay, which means you must be organized as well as creative! How long have you held this post and tell us something about your job.
I have worked for the City of Sturgeon Bay for more than twenty-one years. My main duties for the city include cash and debt management and accounting.Unfortunately, included with my job duties is tax collection which means right before Christmas every property owner receives their dreaded tax bill with my name on it.Just another reason everyone in this small town knows who I am :)
How has your job as finance director/treasurer for the City of Sturgeon Bay enriched your storytelling?
Before Time WARped, I wrote mostly in the romantic suspense genre.The police department is headquartered in the building where I work.Once the local police officers found out I wrote suspense books, they offered up ideas as for suspense plots.Most times their ideas have either been pretty good or have sparked another idea, but I don’t like to tell them that because it will go to their heads. :)
In terms of Time WARped , there is a veteran’s memorial located directly outside the front doors of City Hall.I’m reminded daily of the sacrifice those soldiers made for our country.
Your job sounds demanding. How do you find the time to write novels?
My best writing time is in the morning before work.My husband leaves for his job at 5:30 a.m., which gives me an hour-and-a-half to focus on writing and the business of writing.I also write on weekends when time permits and sometimes after work.
What are your personal thoughts/beliefs about the concept of time travel? Do you think it’s possible?
A small part of me likes to believe it is possible.Did you ever get the feeling that something you are experiencing in your life, supposedly for the first time, is actually kind of familiar to you?Or, have you had a dream set in the past or the future that seems unbelievably real to you?When this happens, I can’t help but wonder if something like time travel is real.
Where do you write? Paint us a picture of what the view is outside your window.
I write in a small office in my home. Outside the one window in the room is a field filled with trees and brush.My preferred writing place is on the back deck at our cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is not uncommon for me to look up from my computer to find deer, squirrels, and, on occasion, a fox or bald eagle. I’m still waiting for that big ole moose to saunter through.
What book are you writing now and when may we see a new Preserver & Protector novel?
Currently, I’m working on THE STREET SWEEPER, the second book in my Crime and Passion Stalk City Hall Series.I thought it would be fun to create a series using my day job at City Hall as inspiration and everyday people as the heroes and heroines. People readers could really relate to. After I finish my current project, I plan to move on to the second book in my time travel series.If all goes well this book will release in March of 2021.
I’ve so enjoyed visiting with all you Night Owls today! Thank you for the opportunity! And a final note: I LOVE hearing from you! You can connect with me on any of my social media platforms, or send me an email at email@example.com. I’ll be at Book Lovers Con 2020 in Nashville March 17-22 and would love to meet you there!
This giveaway is closed. The lucky winner is: Yaritza Santana
Valerie Clarizio lives in beautiful Door County Wisconsin with her husband and one very spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She's lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into a successful hunter and fisherwoman.
She holds a Master of Business Administration degree and works as a Finance Director. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. She was a finalist in the 2011 Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest.
Website / Blog