Which is my favorite of all the stories I’ve written? The one I just wrote. Always.
So it seems strange to insist that Sweet Serenade really does hold a special spot in my heart when there are nearly a dozen others. Writing this novella sent my memory back over 20 years to a ten-day canoe camping trip we took on the Bowron Lakes Circuit in British Columbia, Canada.
Sure, there were sore muscles every day. Mosquitoes. Rain and perpetually wet gear. Grueling portages across which we had to carry our canoe and gear. Thin mattress pads under our sleeping bags.
But there was also the delight of gliding across glass-smooth lakes. The rush of running rapids. Much wildlife: moose, bears, eagles, and more. The hysterical laughter of loons. The comfort of shoulder massages around evening campfires. The delectable taste of fresh-caught trout.
Sweet Serenade takes place around the town of Riverbend, fictionally set near where I live in BC. My first thought was to send my characters to the real Bowron Lakes, not that far away, but I soon realized that wouldn’t work well in a 30,000-word novella for various reasons. Instead, both Carly and Reed are avid canoeists who work in tourism—for rival companies.
Carly Thorbergsen is loosely based on a friend my daughter had years ago, a young teen who spent every summer canoe-tripping with her dad, spending the school year in whatever town attracted them at the time. Like my daughter’s friend, Carly was pretty much raised in a canoe and has no real roots.
While Reed Daniels is definitely not a younger version of my husband, I think they’d be good friends in real life. They both passionately love the water. They both play guitar. And they both love watching the northern lights. They’re also quiet, peace-loving guys!
I thoroughly enjoyed writing Carly and Reed’s story, and I hope readers will feel my love of the outdoors through the pages of Sweet Serenade.
What about you? What’s your favorite way to enjoy God’s creation? (See below for giveaway details.)
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.
Connect with Valerie
To enter the drawing for a copy of Valerie’s book, please leave a comment before Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (Central time). After a random drawing, the winner’s name will be announced on Monday, July 27th.
Thank you for reading the Story Spark behind Valerie’s novella and participating in the giveaway.