Interview with Verna Clay

When did you first start writing?
I have always loved reading, and even attempted some writing in my teens and twenties; however, working full time and raising two children became my priorities. It wasn't until I had an empty nest and the encouragement of my husband, that I decided to give writing another go-around. I told myself that I would write something every day, even if it was one or two lines. At first, I was ready to give up, but after a few weeks, I became obsessed with completing a story...and I did. Now, almost a decade later, I can't imagine my life without writing, and I guess over thirty novellas and novels is testament to that.
What is your writing process?
I love to write! My mind is always searching for the next plot of a story or an inspiration for a series. I'm always aware of landscapes, animals, smells, weather conditions, etc. I especially enjoy observing people. Many of my characters have their origin in actions I have observed, perhaps at the grocery store, on a walk, at a family gathering, at a BBQ with neighbors, at the mall. After the characters and a plot or theme for a series gels in my mind, the next step is simply to write and not worry too much about grammar or punctuation; just get the story on paper (computer). For me, writing early in the morning at a coffee shop is the most productive. I also have a desk at home with a wonderful view. After a story is complete, the hard work begins...editing. While writing the first draft of a story, my writing workday is usually over by 11 a.m. But during editing, I work 8 hours or more a day for about a month. But, like I said, I love to write. Rarely, does it become a chore.
Describe your desk
I have dedicated a bedroom in my home as my office and situated my desk so that it faces two windows. Because I live in the mountains, I have beautiful pine trees to inspire me, and outside my windows I have bird feeders and a bird bath. Woodpeckers, doves, sparrows, hummingbirds, and other Aves I don't know the names of, make my mornings beautiful. Often they are joined by squirrels and occasionally a lone rabbit. With coffee in hand, I watch the congregation outside while plotting sagas for my latest series.
What's the story behind your latest book?
What a great question! I always love talking about my latest writing adventure. Two years ago, I started a series titled SOMEWHERE by the Sea. I love small coastal towns and I love Oregon, so my town became SOMEWHERE on the Oregon coastline. I am now writing book five. In the series the town and its inhabitants are normal, everyday people, facing joys and sorrows, romance, and...paranormal or fantasy happenings. There is a gradual progression from "I can't believe this!" to "What now!" Book five is titled, SOMEWHERE to Fall in Love, and it's my take on the Beauty and the Beast theme.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first two books were published by a small independent publisher and I will always be grateful for the opportunity given. At the time, however, self publishing was becoming popular, and because controlling my own work seemed important, I decided to give it a try. AND LOVED IT! I can design my own covers, set my own prices, determine when I want to place something on sale or give it away for free, and edit anything in a story I'm not happy about.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I LOVE SMASHWORDS! It took me awhile to get the formatting right, but once I did, it was game on. SW creates the formats needed for online retailers, so I don't have to go to each one individually and screw it up. And the cost for all of this is so minimal. It comes right out of the selling price. I also love the preorder option that allows for upload of the story shortly before the launch date.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is enjoying a cup of coffee, while living in an alternate reality for a portion of my day. In that reality I can become anyone and experience whatever I desire. I can travel anywhere...and I have. My favorite places are small towns and the island of Santorini. I can also live in any time period I desire, past, present, or future...and I have. What's better than all of that?
What do your fans mean to you?
I love hearing from readers! Whether the emails are complimentary or constructively critical, it matters not. I listen to what is said and often use readers' suggestions for new stories. Case in point: Candy Kisses, Romance on the Ranch Series #4. For that story, I received an email suggesting that a terrible person in book #3 become the heroine in the next, and I was shocked. But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that this unlikable woman could be the perfect example for forgiveness and starting over.
What are you working on next?
For quite some time I have been writing contemporary romance, but recently I received an invitation to participate in an anthology featuring women of the Old West. I have written many historical western romances and I felt honored to be asked to join these authors. My story will be about an unwed mother traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her young daughter, and the many trials and tribulations they will have to overcome. Of course, a certain cowboy will be there to help, even if my heroine wants to avoid him.The anthology will be released in January or February of 2019.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Catherine Anderson, Dan Brown, Mary Balogh, Robyn Carr, Bev Pettersen, J.R. Rain, James Rollins, Sarah Schofield, Eric Clay, Theodosia Greene, Maggie Shayne, Sondra Allen Carr
Published 2018-07-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Violet's Vindication
Series: Journeys of the Heart Novelettes, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,090. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELETTE Violet Hailey, an unwed mother, longs to begin life anew. After selling her family farm to the Railroad Commission, she joins a wagon train under the guise of being a widow. A few days into her journey along the Santa Fe Trail, her wagon breaks down and she must accept help from an uncouth cowboy.
Two Christmas Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 74,400. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Two Christmas stories to celebrate the Season of Love, Hope, and New Beginnings.
Somewhere to Fall in Love
Series: Finding SOMEWHERE, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 38,930. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
WELCOME TO SOMEWHERE, OREGON Nestled in a cove on Oregon's coastline, the town of Somewhere is charming, picturesque, inhabited by townsfolk who love their community—and teeming with mystery. You are invited to join the heroes and heroines of Somewhere as they solve mysteries, discover romance, experience inexplicable phenomena, and fight injustice—just the usual stuff!
Somewhere To Begin Again
Series: Finding SOMEWHERE, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 42,760. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
WELCOME TO SOMEWHERE, OREGON Nestled in a cove on Oregon's coastline, the town of Somewhere is charming, picturesque, inhabited by townsfolk who love their community—and teeming with mystery. You are invited to join the heroes and heroines of Somewhere as they solve mysteries, discover romance, experience inexplicable phenomena, and fight injustice—just the usual stuff!
Romance on the Ranch Collection (Dream Kisses, Honey Kisses, Baby Kisses)
Series: Romance on the Ranch. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 113,490. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Books 1 - 3 in the Romance on the Ranch Series: Dream Kisses, Honey Kisses, Baby Kisses
Somewhere For A Hero To Hide
Series: Finding SOMEWHERE, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,150. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
WELCOME TO SOMEWHERE, OREGON Nestled in a cove on Oregon's coastline, the town of Somewhere is charming, picturesque, inhabited by townsfolk who love their community—and teeming with mystery. You are invited to join the heroes and heroines of Somewhere as they solve mysteries, discover romance, experience inexplicable phenomena, and fight injustice—just the usual stuff!
The Last Kiss
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 10. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,710. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Rodeo star, Harris Brightman, is recovering from an injury he suffered after being thrown and trampled by Devil-for-Hire. His physical injuries however, are no match for the emotional ones caused by reporter Lucinda Bergamot, the woman he was falling for. Her betrayal in revealing tabloid worthy secrets about his life isn't something he can forgive. But then she shows up in his town.
Shapeling Trilogy Collection
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 122,720. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
SHAPELING TRILOGY: Roth: Protector; Fawn: Master; Davide: Prince
Davide: Prince
Series: Shapeling Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,820. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Since childhood, Davide Beowolf has been told that he is the fulfillment of prophesy--the Great Shapeling Prince. Early on, he decided the universe had made a mistake. How could he be the Prince when he has no shifting ability? For years he has wanted to confront the Thirteen co-Princes to convince them of their error. Unexpectedly, his desire is granted, but with a strange stipulation.
Fawn: Master
Series: Shapeling Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,970. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
An unexpected promotion to the rank of Shapeling Master sends Fawn Woods on her first Mission of Mastery: nanny to an emotionally challenged child. Unknown to anyone but Fawn and the Thirteen co-Princes, Zoe is an Indigo child: the next stage in human evolution. To help Zoe, Fawn must first unravel the mystery surrounding her. Complicating matters, Fawn's heart is drawn to Zoe's widowed father.
Roth: Protector
Series: Shapeling Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,890. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
For over two thousand cycles of the sun, Roth Beowolf has completed missions as a Shapeling Protector. The successful completion of his current assignment will usher him into the rank of Shapeling Master. The Thirteen co-Princes have sent him to act as bodyguard to Rainey Childress, spoiled heiress and brilliant scientist. This decisive mission is turning into possibly his worst.
Somewhere To Spend Christmas
Series: Finding SOMEWHERE, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,280. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
WELCOME TO SOMEWHERE, OREGON Nestled in a cove on Oregon's coastline, the town of Somewhere is charming, picturesque, inhabited by townsfolk who love their community—and teeming with mystery. You are invited to join the heroes and heroines of Somewhere as they solve mysteries, discover romance, experience inexplicable phenomena, and fight injustice—just the usual stuff!
Somewhere By The Sea
Series: Finding SOMEWHERE, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 48,160. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
WELCOME TO SOMEWHERE, OREGON Nestled in a cove on Oregon's coastline, the town of Somewhere is charming, picturesque, inhabited by townsfolk who love their community—and teeming with mystery. You are invited to join the heroes and heroines of Somewhere as they solve mysteries, discover romance, experience inexplicable phenomena, and fight injustice—just the usual stuff!
Angel Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 9. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,510. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Since childhood Angel Martinez has loved Harris Brightman, the son of her parents' friends. But now, as a grown woman, she must make a decision to go for what she wants or continue pleasing others. After a heart-to-heart talk with her best friend she lays caution aside; however, life can be quirky and the best laid plans often go awry.
Forgotten Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 8. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,990. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Hannah Tanner, daughter of Sage and Sarah Tanner from book one, Dream Kisses, has always dreamed of experiencing diverse cultures in countries other than the United States. To that end, she joins a nonprofit organization that sends her to a third world country where she works as office assistant to a doctor in the same organization. Hannah's life will never be the same.
Spirit Tree of the Red Rocks: Future
Series: Red Rocks Trilogy (Past, Present, Future), Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 38,110. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Western
A solar flare has destroyed the surface of the earth and driven its inhabitants underground. Unknown to Dr. Violet Morningstar, she holds the key to the future. However, she has contracted a deadly virus and must be placed in cryogenics. Awakened hundreds of years in the future she is astounded that the world, although technologically advanced, is still underground.
Song of the Red Rocks: Present
Series: Red Rocks Trilogy (Past, Present, Future), Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 43,740. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
For Jason Grant, purchasing the land he once played on as a child is a dream come true. He considers the property with its magnificent views of red monoliths to be the most beautiful on earth. When famous singer Sunny Sundance shows up offering to buy his land, he refuses. Only later, after a journey of discovery into the past with Sunny, does he realize how truly special she is.
Crashed in Oasis
Series: Oasis, Arizona, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 49,990. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Collin Banks has made treasure hunting his profession...and he's good at it! His latest project brings him to Oasis, Arizona where he attempts to solve the hundred year old mystery of a gold heist from the Manfred Schneider Mine. However, while flying his Cessna Skyhawk over the desert, something goes horribly wrong, and his plane crashes!
Branded in Oasis
Series: Oasis, Arizona, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 54,460. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Kade Blackwell meets his match in Skylar (Skye) Rutherford. Skye is a successful photographer and Kade is...well...he could be the next supermodel if Skye has her way. Kade owns the local auto repair garage in the tiny desert town of Oasis and his passion is customizing motorcycles. He has no inclination to become a supermodel until he suddenly finds himself in need of funds.
Stranded in Oasis
Series: Oasis, Arizona, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,000. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
At first, Maximilian Rutherford III is stunned, and then he's angry. Six months living in the Arizona desert isn't his lifestyle. However, the mandate issued by Max I, his grandfather, is clear--manage a trailer and RV Park or lose his inheritance. Max III, hotshot corporate exec has managed billion dollar companies, but now he's supposed to oversee a trailer park!
Missouri Challenge: Daisy (Finding Home Series #3)
Series: Finding Home, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 50,540. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
Daisy Smithson and Tim Wells are reunited after seventeen years. They first met in Missouri at the age of eight and became friends. However, the night before Tim departed for Oregon, young Daisy dreamed they would one day marry. He couldn't get away fast enough. Sins from Trent Garrett's past still haunt him. Although attracted to Arizona Cayson, he makes no effort to deepen their relationship.
Rescue on the Rio: Lilah (Finding Home Series #2)
Series: Finding Home, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,830. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
(5.00 from 1 review)
Rush Garrett has been hired by friends Hallie and Cooper Jerome to find Lilah Parker and persuade her to return to Oregon with him. She parted ways with her sister Hallie twenty years earlier. Lilah yearns for her family, but in her infrequent letters to Hallie, she has lied about her occupation. Her sister believes her to be a seamstress. She is actually a fallen woman.
Cry of the West: Hallie (Finding Home Series #1)
Series: Finding Home, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,610. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
Recently widowed, Hallie Wells is facing hard times. The sudden demise of her husband after selling their farm and just about everything they owned to travel west on the Oregon Trail, has left her stranded. Dare she ask Cooper Jerome, recently returned from the War of the States, if he would put his life on hold for, say, five months to drive her wagon, and that doesn't include his return trip.
Healing Woman of the Red Rocks: Past
Series: Red Rocks Trilogy (Past, Present, Future), Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,590. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Dr. Thomas Matthews lost his wife to a mysterious disease and now his daughter is showing the same symptoms. He is desperate to find a cure. In an unexpected turn of events, he learns of a woman known as the Healing Woman of the Red Rocks. For years, Tana Raven Sees has been visited by her deceased grandmother in dreams foretelling of a man who will seek her out...and make her cry.
Forever Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 7. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 42,550. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Dovie Juniper hasn't lived a perfect life like handsome cowboy, Toby Tanner. In fact, she has major physical challenges that have kept men away from her. However, her biggest challenge will be opening her heart to a man who loves her unconditionally.
Rock Star Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,090. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
At the age of twenty-two, Tessa Branigan has already been married and divorced and romance is not an option. Unexpectedly, Sean Barfield, now a famous rock star, returns to town for some much needed R and R and Tessa is not happy that her heart goes ballistic whenever he's around. Sean Barfield has always had a crush on Tessa and wonders what he can do to prove he's a regular guy.
Joy's Return (Unconventional Series #4)
Series: Unconventional, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 43,430. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Joy Abigail Ryder has a dream to travel and paint the West, just as her father Jake Ryder did when he was her age. Being the year 1920, societal restrictions are not as cumbersome as they once were a decade or two earlier, but still, is she ready to travel unchaperoned for an extended period of time? Her sweet grandmother Abby is the one who convinces her to follow her heart.
Jazmine
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,750. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Jazmine has yearned for an assignment in the human realm since she was a wee one fairy. To that end, she attends Fairies-in-Training School, but remains unchosen. Sadly, she accepts that she will be returned to her clan, the Fragrant Flowers, to resume her job as a jasmyster, ensuring that her namesakes are always fragrant. Unexpectedly, Boss-at-the-Top selects her for a very important task.
Christmas Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,460. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
Connor MacKenzie is carrying baggage from a previous sorrow that almost destroyed him. However, Cecelia Brightman, the new owner of the local coffeehouse, is rocking his lonely world.
Candy Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,490. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After a bull riding competition accident, widower Dirk Branigan is flat on his back with a busted leg. In dire need of a nanny for his ten year old daughter Tessa, as well as someone to cook and clean, he hires a woman referred to him by friends. His new "domestic help" turns out to be spoiled, temperamental, frustrating, and yes, occasionally, endearing.
Baby Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 35,800. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Tooty Townsend bore a child at the age of sixteen. Now, four years later, she has her hands full raising Harris and trying to make a living. Reclusive author, Maxwell Henry a.k.a. Miles Brightman, is looking to hire a personal assistant while he's in Colorado finishing up his latest suspense thriller. Unfortunately, Tooty's son Harris once asked the guy to marry his mommy and become his daddy.
Honey Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,870. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Jackson Martinez has an easy way with the women, but the one woman who sets his heart to racing is Annie Hackstetter. She's older, has a grown son, and probably has an aversion to men after being married to a jerk. When Sage reveals Annie's sad state of economic affairs and says she's looking for a job, Jackson knows his heart is in trouble when he hires her to manage his household.
Dream Kisses
Series: Romance on the Ranch, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,990. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Author Mims Murphy meets Sage Tanner at Imaginings Publishing while he's posing for the cover of her soon-to-be-released romance novel. After being bulldozed into a coffee break with him by her publisher, an embarrassing incident makes her furious and she walks out. Little does she realize that the "dude" ranch she'll be living at for six weeks is owned by the guy she'd like to forget!
Ryder's Salvation (Unconventional Series #3)
Series: Unconventional, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,670. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
Famous artist Jack Ryder has lost everything, even his ability to paint after a carriage accident. He lives a bitter and solitary existence. Jenny Samson, an aspiring artist attending his academy, is about to turn his world upside down. She may appear timid at first, but Jake is about to learn there's more to Jenny than he anticipated.
Broken Angel (Unconventional Series #2)
Series: Unconventional, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,030. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
Angel St. Clair is truly a broken woman having suffered so much. But fate is about to intervene when a young man named Luke Samson.overhears a conversation while dining at his favorite restaurant. Two strangers will meet and alter the course of their carefully laid plans.
Abby: Mail Order Bride (Unconventional Series #1)
Series: Unconventional, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 39,550. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Western
(5.00 from 1 review)
Readers' Favorite 2014 Gold Winner--Historical Romance! Brant Samson has fallen on hard times with the death of his beloved wife a year earlier from lung fever. Left with three children, he's desperate to find a mother for them. Abigail Mary Vaughn always dreamed of having her own family, but caring for her elderly parents ended that dream--until she answered a classified advertisement.