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Guest Author Interviews.

Author Interview 

Valerie Davisson April 20, 2024


Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

Good Morning and thank you for having me on your podcast. I love connecting with fellow authors and readers. To answer your first question, I am a continent-hopping Jill of all trades who finally settled down to write full time just a few years ago. Currently, I have 9 books in my Logan McKenna Mystery series, plus a prequel. In addition, I have one non-fiction book and a book of poetry.


What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it? (If you have your book’s buy link, include it at the end of your answer.)

LOST AND FOUND: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 9, released last fall, was inspired—as many of my books are—by the unique people and natural environment of the Oregon coast where I now live. I love learning new things, so in each of my books, I set the story in a unique occupation or setting, from sea otters to glass blowing. In Lost and Found, I explore the world of commercial crab fishing, which is the underpinning of the economy just a few miles south of me in Newport, OR. I have been very lucky that people busy with their real jobs take the time out to generously share information with me and answer my 1001 questions. I spend several months doing research before I begin my first draft, because I never know what tidbit of information will inspire a story line or plot twist!



Do you have any unusual writing habits? 

Funny you should ask. . .whenever I write the murder scene or a chapter from the Killer’s point of view, I don my red bra & pants and smile all the way to my keyboard. It’s kind of my secret super power.


I have no idea how that started, but I think it was because in Scrivener (the program I use to write my first draft before compiling the story in Word to send to my editor) I use a color-coded POV (point of view) system for each chapter or scene, and the killer’s chapters are always in red.


What authors or books have influenced you?

Wow. Like most of you, I’m sure, I have always been a voracious reader, so it’s hard to say who influenced me the most, but as far as this genre, I would say Nevada Barr, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, and John Grisham, authors with character-driven stories rooted in a strong sense of place. 


After a back injury and divorce, attempting to raise two boys on my own with no job, good stories were all that could keep my attention and my mind off the pain and worry. Once I was back on my feet, went back to school, and established a new career, I wanted to write books like that—to help anyone else going through a tough time. There are tons of books out there, but not all of them hit that sweet spot that keep your attention.


What are you working on now?

Logan Book 10, of course! A few books ago, I moved Logan up from California to the Oregon coast (when I moved here), so my stories are fresh from exploring my new home. This whole area, its history, and natural environment fascinate me. In Plain Sight: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 8, is set in a raptor rescue center, Safe Harbor: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 5 centers around charterboat fishing and visiting Chinese musicians. 


I don’t want to give it away, but this book takes me a few miles inland to the world of competitive trail riding and search and rescue dogs. 


What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

I have learned over the past decade that you have to have a comprehensive approach and think long term. No one website or promotion or social media site is magic. Researching and writing a book takes me 4 or 5 months, but promotion is ongoing. It is going to cost you either time or money or both. You have to decide what you can do yourself and what you will hire others to do for you.


  1. Have a quality product. Your first job is to write the best book you can.

  2. Have it professionally edited and designed-cover and interior.

  3. Have a good author website

  4. Social media-this one is hit and miss, but you should probably have at least a Facebook page or Instagram or whatever you feel comfortable keeping updated

  5. BookFunnel – write a free story or book to giveaway to build your newsletter subscriber list from people who like your genre. This is gold! 

  6. Amazon ads/Facebook ads-this is a learning curve.

  7. There are many promotion site lists online. BookBub has done the best by me. I received over 500 4-5 star reviews when they featured In Plain Sight: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 8 and am still getting buy through. I have another FREE BookBub promo April 25 for Vanishing Day: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 4, one of my favorite books.

  8. Live events-do local book fairs, teach a class, give a workshop, give your books to the local library



Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write your best book-continually hone your skills. Don’t give up! Keep writing!


What is the best advice you ever heard? 

Kill your darlings :) Sometimes I have a great scene I just have to cut because it does not move the story forward. I save it in case i can use parts of it in another book, but usually I just have to say goodbye and move on!

Another good one is ‘Write drunk, edit sober.’ Speaks for itself!


What are you reading now? 

I mix it up. Just finished rereading Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff, a great biography of an often misunderstood historical figure. And now I am back in my own genre,  rereading a Leaphorn and Chee novel by Tony Hillerman. Louise Penny is another favorite author. I’m always looking for a good series to get into.


What’s next for you as a writer?

Two years ago, I lost my youngest son to an accidental drug overdose. Our current insurance-based model for treating drug addiction is not only too short-term and unscaffolded, but uses Suboxone to help addicts with withdrawals when they go into a detox center.  But Suboxone just replaces one drug with another and is more addictive and hard to get off of than the reason they went into rehab in the first place. Dave had battled addiction to Suboxone for over 14 years. 


I am currently researching the best models and methods for programs that actually work—here and in other countries—and hope to get this information out to the public (and legislators) to help turn this epidemic around.


If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you, what books would you bring? ( If possible, please include at least one indie-published book with its Amazon buy link.)


First off, I’d have to take more than 3 or 4! Ha I would need another entire life raft for my library. . .but here are a few faves:


A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

The Prophet: by Kahlil Gibran

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Norton Anthology of American Literature (this is cheating, I know, but I would love to have this college text again and be able to dip into my favorite poems and stories often from some of my favorite writers like Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson. And anthologies are great for discovering little known gems like ‘The Outcasts of Poker Flat’ by Bret Harte. 

The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Gary Zukav (trying to wrap my mind around quantum physics)

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

And for the last one, I’d have to think about it, but I’d want a book that would make me laugh out loud. 

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