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Friday, April 1, 2016

The LOGAN series continues ...


Critical choices made in the drama and chaos of the last days of the Vietnam War reach across the Pacific to modern-day Portland, Oregon, threatening to destroy the lives of those who managed to cheat death in 1975. When a violent explosion takes a woman’s life just steps away from Logan McKenna’s downtown hotel, the police suspect all the wrong people, including a homeless vet and two of Logan’s new friends; but are any of them completely innocent?

While unraveling the tangle of half-truths and secrets to help her friends, Logan’s personal life suffers an explosion of its own. Each character must decide not only whom to trust, but at what cost.

In addition to writing a great story, in FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2, Davisson skillfully deals with tough questions about our attitude toward refugees, immigration, the homeless, and our military vets. Through the eyes of her original and complex characters, she invites us to explore the true nature of hope, redemption, family, character, and love.

If you like Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon, J. A. Jance’s Sherriff Joanna Brady, Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway, or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, you’ll love Davisson’s independent, strong, female protagonist, Logan McKenna!

About the Author
Born in the county hospital in French Camp, California, Valerie‘s childhood started out normally. Her father was becoming a CPA, her mother, a stay-at-home Mom. But within a few short years, the family, her mother 7-months pregnant, boarded a plane to Munich, Germany. They embarked on what was to become a life of travel, eventually living in Germany, Japan, Italy, and both coasts of America. It was the perfect childhood for an imaginative, curious, little girl.

Anticipating every new house, apartment and back yard, she always expected to find secret compartments or hidden passageways. The creek behind her home in Virginia led to many excursions rife with water moccasins and painted turtles, including one particularly dangerous encounter raiding the neighborhood boys’ tree house. The clearly marked “NO GIRLS ALLOWED!” seemed like an open invitation to her 12-year-old self.

A self-admitted book addict, Valerie was the kid with the flashlight under her pillow, reading in bed long after lights out. Her exposure to different cultures led to a pervasive interest in people, with degrees & teaching credentials in Cultural Anthropology and English.

Interview


Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. and why you wrote it?
I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing the mystery thriller, FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2. It takes Logan McKenna to one of my favorite cities, Portland, OR. “Critical choices made in the drama and chaos of the last days of the Vietnam War reach across the Pacific to modern-day Portland, Oregon, threatening to destroy the lives of those who managed to cheat death in 1975. When a violent explosion takes a woman’s life just steps away from Logan McKenna’s downtown hotel, the police suspect all the wrong people, including a homeless vet and two of Logan’s new friends; but are any of them completely innocent? While unraveling the tangle of half-truths and secrets to help her friends, Logan’s personal life suffers an explosion of its own. Each character must decide not only whom to trust, but at what cost?”



What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
During a long recuperation period after a back injury, I discovered the power of story to take my mind off physical pain and anxiety of running out of money while unable to work. Recently divorced and raising two children added to the stress. Only solid, character-driven novels could keep my attention. Years later, I decided to see if I could write one myself -  maybe help someone else in a similar situation.

What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
Like much else in my life, I’m a hybrid – part plotter, part pantser. I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the action and story lines, but I’m never sure who the victim, killer, method, or motive is going to be until I’m at least half-way through.

What kind of research was involved?
For SHATTERED: Logan Book 1, I interviewed glassblowers and other artists in a Southern California coastal town. In FOREST PARK, Logan travels to Portland, OR, and many of the characters are Vietnamese. I got to stay in the beautiful Governor (now Sentinel) hotel, and eat a lot of pho!

How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
Every character is a part of me. I don’t think in this particular sense I’m much different than many other writers. We observe and think we are writing about other people, but we can only see the world from our perspective, from the knowledge we have, from our own experiences.

How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
Of course, it’s not easy; but what makes it work is taking yourself and your writing seriously. Don’t apologize if you need to write for 4 hours on a Saturday. I start each week with a blank weekly calendar. I calendar with my husband and after work and ‘must dos’ are penciled in, I reserve time for family, friends, exercise – whatever I know is important. I also schedule time to write, or research/plan before writing.

Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
James Michener, Mark Twain, C. S. Lewis, and Pearl S. Buck were so good at showing human nature as it really is. Current writers I admire are Nevada Barr and Michael Connelly.

Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
I remember tiptoeing down the stairs in the middle of the night when I was a young girl to get a drink of water. No matter what night it was or what time of night it was, my mother was almost always curled up in ‘her’ spot in the corner of the couch, book open on the arm of the chair, cigarette smoke curling around her short, black hair, totally engrossed in her reading. It was as if she needed the ideas in those books more than food or sleep.

What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
My current novel will return Logan McKenna to the Southern California, coastal town of Jasper, where we reconnect with some of our favorite characters from SHATTERED, the massive chess queen and coffee shop owner, Tava’e, French sculptress Solange Sauvage, Logan’s daughter, Amy, and of course, the gentle Viking-next-door, Ben Halvard. This story features sea otters, salty dogs, and possibly some seduction.

Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
#1 Write your best book. Once you have a product you are proud to market, take a multi-pronged approach. If you have the money, hire a good publicist. They have the lists, the contacts and the time to get your book out there. A weak publicist will just take your money. If you are on your own, there is still a lot you can do. Contact book bloggers for reviews, send out print copies to the ‘big’ guys. Register for book fairs, accept invitations to speak or put on workshops. Create a solid, easy-to-navigate author site and then post regularly. Same with Facebook and other social media sites. No one tells you about this part of the job. If you are serious about your writing, you will have to either pay for or devote your own time and resources to marketing. You just schedule it in – but don’t forget about your creative writing time. I have to separate the two by at least a day.

What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
1.     Believe in yourself.
2.     Keep learning – hone your skills.
3.     Read widely: Science, Math, Spiritual, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Classics, Mysteries, Poetry…from the very best authors.
4.     Keep your sense of humor – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
5.     Learn to manage your time and money.

Good luck with your current and future publications.

PURCHASE LINKS  
Amazon 
Forest Park: Logan Book 2  

Shattered: Logan Book 1

iBooks
Forest Park: Logan Book 2

Shattered: Logan Book 1

Kobo
Forest Park: Logan Book 2  

Shattered: Logan Book 1

Barnes and Noble
Forest Park: Logan Book 2

Shattered: Logan Book 1

Hauser Publishing
Forest Park: Logan Book 2

Shattered: Logan Book 1

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