Leaving her broken home and shady past behind, Ivy Harris is determined to make something of herself. Her new acquaintance, Jack Roe, is irritating and arrogant with a womanizing reputation. Despite his secretive behavior and constant pursuit of her, Ivy finds herself falling for him. When Jack’s secrets are revealed, Ivy discovers her life isn’t her own as she’s trapped within a conflict between beings of light and darkness.
After a series of dangerous encounters threaten her existence, she finds comfort from a mysterious stranger and gains the loyalty of unexpected forces. The walls Ivy has secured around her crumble in the wake of tragedy, and the devotion of her friends provide her with the family she’s longed for. With their safety and her survival contingent on her actions, Ivy has no choice but to become the force of nature she’s destined to be.
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About The Author
Valerie Roeseler is a devoted mother, author, and workaholic with a degree in Advertising, Graphic Design, and Print Production. She lives in Texas with her compassionate husband, chatty toddler, and water-loving English Pointer. She devours coffee and protein shakes, as they are her life’s essence, and is an enthusiast of art, music, literature, adrenaline, and hair dye. When she is left to her own devices, she tends to forget that sleep is a necessity.
1) What originally inspired you to get into writing?
I’ve wanted to write since I was kid. In grade school, my neighbor and I would make up these elaborate spin-off stories around “The Nothing” from The Neverending Story. We thought they were so cool and tried typing them up on their DOS computer. Hahaha! I don’t know what ever happened with it. As I got older, I became self-conscience about what people would say, if they would think my imagination was too dark or childish, and I worried if my writing style would be criticized.
I found other outlets for my creativity with music, art, and dancing. With music, I started writing lyrics, and that turned me to poetry. Late in high school, I discovered my love for literature. I was enamored with words. There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. Those 26 letters make over a million words in the English language. Can you imagine how many stories we can create with that?
I started reading non-stop. You know, besides children’s books, the first book I ever read was Stephen King’s The Eye of the Dragon (I was nine-years-old). My love for books only grew over the years. Finally, after becoming a stay-at-home-mother, I felt my creativity dying. I was losing myself and needed to find my way back. I came across an old journal that my husband and I would write letters to each other in when we were dating, and I thought, Wouldn’t this be quite the heirloom to pass down. I decided to write a book about our lives and how we met. It was going to be the ultimate love story.
Eh, who was I kidding? Nobody cared about how we met or the struggles we went through together! I trashed it after the first chapter and started writing from my heart.
I was tired of reading books and not finding the ultimate story that would live with me forever. So, I gave up searching and wrote the story I’ve been longing to read.
2) Where did the idea for Midnight Divine come from?
This is top secret information.
Years ago, I had a reoccurring night terror. Not just a nightmare, a night terror. I would wake up, pouring sweat, and screaming. I still have the dream every once in a while. I thought if I could write about it that it wouldn’t bother me anymore, and it hasn’t. My night terror is exactly the dream Ivy has in the beginning of Midnight Divine. The story grew from there.
3) Was there any particular character that you liked or felt able to relate to?
Oh, definitely! I laugh at myself for it, as I’m sure others will, but I see Ivy as my alter ego. She’s the hardened side of my personality, and the more I write about her, the more she likes to show herself. I have an enormous, creative brain. I’m versatile in many ways, like Ivy is. I play piano, guitar, flute, and saxophone. I like to paint, draw, sketch, and design. And I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. I’ve been working on my own car since I was seventeen, and even dabbled in street racing during college. Of course, Ivy is a hell of a lot more proficient because she is who she is, and she’s a bad ass.
4) Was there any particular character that you disliked?
It’s hard to say that I dislike any of my characters. After all, I created them. Even the villains of Midnight Divine are intriguing and seductive in some way. If I had to pick one though, I may surprise you. It would have to be Michael. His character is mysterious, yet sagacious. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to know him as well as the other characters, but I feel like he’s hiding something. I say that because I’m still working on book two and three. The plot is ever-changing, ever-evolving. For Midnight Divine though, I can’t stand his evasive knowledge he feels is helping Ivy in some way.
5) Were there any scenes in particular that were particularly challenging or easy to write?
The easiest scenes to write included things I’m quite familiar with: racing, music, running, being bold.
The most challenging scenes to write were the fighting or training scenes. My husband thought I was ridiculous when I would ask him to let me try a move on him, so I could explain it better. I would ask him what could be realistically expected to happen during certain moves, and he gladly explained… all the while mocking me playfully. Hahaha! He’s the best.
Another challenge has been the amount of research it’s taken. I’ve always loved Angelic lore. When it came to Midnight Divine, I didn’t want to create my own lore. I wanted it as closely related to Angelic lore as possible. The information is colossal! It’s amazing the amount of crossovers there are between Angelic lore and mythology. I admire mythology as well, so my research sucked me in quite a bit. It may have inspired me to write a new series. Only time will tell, because The Helio Trilogy is a massive project for me, and I want to see it through to the end before starting a new series.
6) Have any of your characters been inspired by real people?
All but two of my characters have their own unique personalities. Besides Ivy being my alter ego (Yes, you can laugh. I do.), Alice is the only one based on someone I know. Well, I knew. She was a good friend I lost touch with. Time and distance pulled us apart, and after so many phone number changes and Facebook page renewals, I lost her. It breaks my heart to think about how much Alice and she are so alike. I miss her deeply and still look for her.
Physically, I based my characters from celebrities:
Ivy Harris – Jenna Dewan Tatum
Jack Roe – Kellan Lutz
Solas – A younger Jason Momoa.
Alice – Sophia Bush with four-foot long hair
Eric – A beefier Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Evelyn – Claire Holt
Beleth – Ian Somerhalder
Cassius – Chris Hemsworth
Beckett – Liam Hemsworth
Azrael – David Gandy
Trey – A younger Norman Reedus
Gideon – Matt Lanter
Lucien – Bill Skarsgård
7) Are there any particular authors or books that have inspired you?
There are so many authors that have inspired me to write and pursue the life-long dream of becoming an author. The moment I knew I would be publishing Midnight Divine, I reached out to each of them to thank them for unknowingly pushing me to achieve my goals. I think it’s important to tell people if and when they inspire you. You never know what they could be going through. Your message may help them to keep going in return. Plus, I think author’s should know how much their work is appreciated. After becoming an author myself, I understand how hard it is to put yourself out there with your work. Hearing from readers is amazing and gives you extra drive to keep going.
Some of my favorite authors and there books are over the last few years:
Amber Lynn Natusch – The Caged Series
Jamie McGuire – The Providence Trilogy
Amy Bartol – The Premonition Series
Karina Halle – The Experiment in Terror Series
8) Do you have any advice/pearls of wisdom for budding writers?
Outline your story first! Create character bios to help with consistency and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
When I started writing Midnight Divine, I was writing for myself and didn’t expect to publish. From the beginning, I wrote as some would write in their journals, yet my writing was complete imagination. I didn’t outline a single thing until I was about seventy percent from the end. It was then, I realized how much easier it made the writing process! I did everything out of order and paid for it dearly during the editing process. I didn’t create my character bios until about halfway through the process, and only because I kept forgetting little details.
Note to self: Won’t be making that mistake again!
That being said, when you feel stuck or don’t know how to express something in the most epic way you can, don’t be afraid to ask question. Go out. Discover. Research with your hands and not just your mind.
And always, always, always… keep a small journal and pen on you at ALL TIMES. These are your weapons. Don’t be caught without them. You’ll be surprised at how many times your surroundings will inspire a certain scene or dialogue. The prologue of book two for The Helio Trilogy was inspired by walking into Cracker Barrel during the holiday season! I took pictures and recorded video of the music playing in their store to remember the feeling I wanted to capture. I didn’t even write the prologue until four months later! But because I documented all that I could, I managed to capture that feeling and keep it with me until I was ready.
Be alert. You never know when inspiration will hit you like a train. It can come in the form of a song, a smell, a view, a word spoken in the distance. In these moments, you’ll become one with your characters and will be able to write them better.