I'm always happy to have someone new on my blog. Today, I'd like you to meet Ed Hoornaert, or Mr. Valentine, as he's sometimes called. He has a crazy cat called Effing Feline who helps Ed write. Ed participates in Weekend Writing Warriors, where I hang out on Sundays.
Welcome, Ed. Tell us about yourself.
What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.
Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandson.
That is so cool about marrying your high school sweetheart. Not so sure about you having the galaxy's most adorable grandson. My grandkiddies are pretty adorable, too. LOL
Where can readers find you?
The best place is my blog: http://eahoornaert.com. I post at least once a week, while my other social media presences may be hit or miss.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
· You’re a creative person, you idiot, so don’t be afraid to embrace your creativity.
Despite being a mostly-amateur symphonic musician for years, I honestly didn’t realize how dominant my creative juices were until I was nearly forty. Before then, I was determinedly ‘practical’, which I think is a pretty common working-class response to life.
· That woman you love—you know, the high school sweetheart you married a week after graduation? Ditch her for a woman with a degree in marketing.
I say this tongue in cheek, obviously, but the three richest indie authors whom I personally know all have spouses with marketing or PR backgrounds who’ve been able to give up their day jobs to promote their loved ones’ writing.
That's what I did wrong. I married an engineer. LOL
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
For a long time I considered myself a musician (I play the oboe), and I was approaching middle age before I wrote two programming books for children. The first book was a timid experiment to see if I could actually write a book, but then I yearned for something more creative. My wife suggested I write a romance because “Anyone can write those.” It’s not that easy, believe me! After I wrote one horrid disaster, my second novel sold, and I was hooked. There’ve been some major hiatuses when I wrote nothing, but for the most part, I’ve been hooked ever since.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
How many? That’s hard to say, actually. Fifteen have been published, but there were some unpublishable duds along the way. My published books include:
Two introductory programming books for children.
Three Silhouette contemporary romances.
Five traditional science fictions.
Five science fiction romances.
My favorite? Newborn, my latest release, has the psychological depth that I admire in other writers. I think it’s pretty darned successful, and I tend to be my own harshest critic.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
If you’re into science fiction romance, I’d say either my newest release, Newborn, or The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station. Guardian Angel is a novella with lots of action, so you can decide quickly whether you want to continue to its sequel, Escapee.
If you prefer more traditional science fiction, start with The Trial of Tompa Lee or The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station. The former originally came out in hardcover through a traditional publisher, and it’s still my best selling book. (Excluding the Silhouette romances; those things sold like hotcakes.) I know I recommended Guardian Angel for SFR lovers, but it also contains more hard science than any of my other books.
Tell us about your latest release, which will be released tomorrow, November 4th.
Thought you’d never ask.
Newborn is a near-future science fiction romance that was born out of my perverse streak that looks at common writing trends and say “I’m gonna do the opposite.”
You see, in many books and scripts, created creatures like robots, cyborgs, or clones, are supermen with powers beyond normal people, as though it’s easy to improve on human beings. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Terminator movie.
Newborn’s heroine is sort of based on Schwarzenegger, except Jo is a petite female assassin clone rather than a beefy assassin robot. While she does have supernormal physical abilities, she also has severe social limitations: she’s the most naïve assassin ever. Her programmers intended her to live just a few hours, kill, and then die, so she lacks the background needed to live longer. When her life is unavoidably prolonged, Jo compulsion to kill wars with an urge to learn about life and love; to become fully human. This powerful internal conflict is compounded by the fact that she falls in love with the bodyguard of the alien fugitive she’s supposed to kill. Nothing’s easy for poor Jo.
Ed, this sounds like a great story. I preordered my copy.