June 24, 2013

‘Unexpected’ novel started as a dream

Rachel Brown

— When Chatsworth resident Valerie Champion began telling her friends stories about the dreams she’d been having, they told her she should write them all down and make a book.

“Love Unexpected,” a novel the real estate agent and mother of two recently published, was born. The 142-page story, she said, concerns protagonist Kara Conner who “always had a dream of becoming a writer.”

Kara decides to leave her home in Savannah and her high school boyfriend to follow her dreams as she studies in New York. Meanwhile, an executive at a publishing company is “a no nonsense businessman who is all about his work” and has “no intentions of ever falling in love again after losing his wife so tragically a few years ago,” Champion said.

Kara and the executive soon discover they have feelings for one another. The book explores their relationship and other facets of Kara’s life in its 13 chapters. Champion said she paid about $1,200 to have the book published through Amazon’s CreateSpace. It is available for $9.99 on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and booksamillion.com and for $2.99 as a Kindle download.

Champion said she has sold about 200 books so far and is already close to finishing a first draft of her second novel, an unrelated tale about a mother-daughter family drama.

“Love Unexpected” isn’t autobiographical, and it isn’t based on someone else’s real life story, Champion said. Instead, it’s based on dreams.

“I would wake up in the middle of the night and write down what I could remember, and all this kind of stemmed from that,” she said.

Champion said she used her imagination to fill in the gaps during her waking hours.

She took about 10 months to write and publish the book. It came out in December but she continues to work promoting it. Champion said she submitted the manuscript to four publishers, and, much to her surprise, all four accepted it.

She grew up enjoying writing and telling stories but never thought about publishing a book until last year, she said.