Thursday, June 25, 2009

Candace Salima's Interview

I met Candace Salima and her husband, Alvin, at a dinner party last fall. We sat next to each other and as we talked about various subjects I felt as if I'd known them all my life. Candace is a very savvy woman who speaks her mind. You always know where you stand with her, and that's a good thing. I have grown to admire her many abilities. As you will learn upon reading this posting, she's a very busy woman. I'm honored that she would take the time to do an interview for my blog.

You are a woman of many talents. Tell us what you're working on now.
Kathi, thank you for inviting me to be interviewed on your blog. I greatly admire you and am thrilled to answer your questions.

Right now I am in the final stages of officially launching a traditional publishing house with a 21st century business model, Valor Publishing Group, LLC. As you can well imagine, there are many, many details which have to be worked out. I was published for the first time in December of 2004 after meeting my publisher at the very first LDS Storymakers ( writers conference. Since that time, I've seen, from the author's side, the publishing industry, and I found it amazing in some areas and seriously lacking in others. As the last five years ticked off, I realized that in order to have a publisher who would use a 21st century business model instead of one that is half a century old I would have to open my own publishing house. That is what gave birth to Valor Publishing Group, LLC. I tapped a few peers in the industry to work with me and we will be releasing Valor's first book in September 2009, Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story by Utah's Attorney General, Mark L. Shurtleff. ( I am so excited about this and am determined to make it a wild success. We have already pre-sold 250,000 copies of Shurtleff's book and are looking forward to publishing others. We have also signed Karen Hoover, the next J.K. Rowling. With Karen's ability to draw you into a magical world where good fights evil The Sapphire Flute, the first in The Wolfchild Saga, will engage readers instantly.

On the author side, I am finally writing again and so pleased to have stories pouring out of me again. I hope to have two books released toward the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011. The first The Long Road is an action suspense which takes the reader from the high desert of the Hopi Reservation to the unforgiving mountains of Afghanistan in a story of destiny, revenge, justice, love with heart-stopping action. The second is the sequel to Out of the Shadows.Into the Light (, Dreams Die Hard which tells the story of Sam and Elizabeth who were first introduced in Shadows. The Anquiri are still out for revenge and things are hoppin' in Lost Canyon Springs.

What is your passion?
My passion branches into four areas. My family. My God. My nation. My writing. I write about all four things on a regular basis, and fiercely stand tall for those whom I love and what I believe in. I'm afraid God hard-wired me to fight injustice with the gifts he gave me with the written and spoken word. Wherever I see it, whether in my neighborhood or anywhere in America, I always speak up when I feel the need to defend something.

Many years ago, we won't say how many, the football coach at my high school told my mother he'd observed something interesting in the three of us who were currently in high school. Crystal, my little sister who has a brilliant legal mind, used to start fights. I used to step into the middle of them to try and defend my little sister and my brother Cash, who is a brilliant artist and marketer, used to come in and finish them. We all laughed when Mom told us, but there is a huge grain of truth that. That is precisely what went on when we were in school. I've learned to finish my own fights now but I rarely start them. Meaning, that I am a peace-loving woman at heart and would love to wake up in this incredible nation we call America, work in my garden, nourish my flowers, bake, take care of my husband and just write to my heart's content. I long for the freedom to worship according to the dictates of my conscience without being labeled with vitriolic and hateful terms. I truly desire to simply work every day to be a better person and one day kneel before Jesus Christ and hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Sadly, the idyllic world I long to live in can only exist if I refuse to acknowledge what is going on in the world today. Again, the way God hard-wired me makes that virtually impossible.

I am a passionate woman and will not apologize for it. So I live every day of my life knowing that I can say, "I gave it all I had to make the world a better place."

I know you've written many books. Tell us about them.
Interestingly, the very first books I had published were health booklets. I met the publisher of Woodland Books, Calvin Harper, at the political caucuses one year and we started talking. He offered me a contract to write on assigned topics and snatched it up. I had two booklets published through Woodland: Oregano Oil: Nature's Answer to Bacterial, Viral and Fungal Infection ( and Policosanol (

Later that same year I had my first fiction novel Out of the Shadows Into the Light released. Shadows is written in my absolutely favorite genre, romantic suspense.

"Welcome to Lost Canyon Springs, where love, danger and triumph of the spirit await.
Wyoming rancher Caroline Duncan has spent the past few years fighting two difficult battles-maintaining the ranch her family has owned for more than a century, and dealing with the absence of her son Patrick, kidnapped by her ex-husband Todd.
Almost three years to the day of her son's kidnapping, U.S. Marshal Slade Taggart arrives on her doorstep, bringing news of Todd's imminent capture. If all goes well, Patrick will be home within twenty-four hours.
Caroline struggles to remain strong when she soon receives news that Todd had eluded the authorities once again. In desperation, Caroline vows to pursue him herself. Slade joins her, and the pair head into one of the most vicious Wyoming blizzards ever, facing the rigors of weather, nature, and drug cartel assassins.
In the midst of this, Slade and Caroline fight a growing attraction for each other. Caroline isn't sure she needs a tall, good-looking U.S. Marshal to complicate matters, but Slade knows he wants this strong, righteous, beautiful Wyoming rancher in his life.
Will Caroline have the faith to follow the promptings given her by the Lord? Or will she lose it all? "
Purchase link:
My next book 13 and 0: Reflections of Champions was written about BYU's 1984 national championship football team at the request of my publisher. While I was not as enthusiastic about it initially, by the time I was done I felt truly privileged to bring the stories of the men to the public. Very inspiring.
Could a college football team from the Rocky Mountains be crowned the best in the land?
The idea was unthinkable-until BYU's 1984 team took the national championship.
The Cougars' perfect season left traditional college football powerhouses by the wayside, mesmerizing the national media and energizing fans. That year has been the stuff of legends ever since.
What made that year so unique-and where are the players now?
Inside this book you will find:
Compelling summaries of each game.
Biographies of thirty players and coaches.
Dozens of photos, including current ones of players' families .
Players' thoughts on how the season changed their lives .
The positive ripples still seen as a result of that unforgettable experience
Immerse yourself in the magical season of 1984 and meet the remarkable men who achieved a seemingly unreachable goal.
Purchase Link:
My latest book which is Forged in the Refiner's Fire, a nonfiction inspirational book written with my co-author, Elizabeth A. Cheever.
Why do bad things happen? Is there a purpose when we face a severe trial? As mortals, we can be compared to ore, such as gold and silver. Ore that is unrefined is generally impure and undesirable. Only ore that is crushed-and then refined by fire-becomes beautiful, pure, precious and valuable. This book was written to help you see the results of the Ultimate Refiner, the Lord, in your own life. Within these pages, people from all walks of life share their stories of triumph over tragedy. More importantly, they reveal how they were strengthened as they passed through the Refiner's fire. They became more precious, and so can you.
Purchase Link:
So there are my books in a nutshell, Kathi. I'm proud of each one but constantly striving to improve my writing on a daily basis.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
Sometimes it is something as simple as a song or a picture, even a turn of phrase. Other times I'm sound asleep and wake up with the entire story in my head. I have to get it down before it disappears, because once it is gone, it's gone for good. But for now, I'm inspired by the everyday heroes in America who show what strength of character and courage is really about. It makes me want to write literature worth of their sacrifice and strength.

In your many causes is there someone you admire and emulate most?
Oddly enough, it's a tossup between by mother and Patrick Henry. Odd combination, isn't it. But, I admire my mother for her ability to get up every day and keep moving forward. For her love of knowledge in so many different areas and instilling in her children that same love and to pursue the truth no matter what and stand for what I believe. And Patrick Henry, his passion and love for America inspire me on a daily basis.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
We moved a lot when I was growing up, from big cities to the country and back. We landed in Dolores, CO when I was 12 years old and that's where we stayed. When I graduated high school I went to Ricks College then on to Brigham Young University. When I finished with college I stayed in Utah County and have loved living in this beautiful state. Although I've lived in cities as much as I have the country, I love the country dearly. If I could live anywhere, it would be on a 1,000 acre ranch in a beautiful ranch house and 1,000s of beefalo of a buffalo/Scottish Highland mix. I'd be able to sit on the porch looking out upon the land and write to my heart's content. Or, go for a ride in the mountains on a beautiful horse and just let my spirit be refilled. Sadly, that is not my lot in life. I live in the city because everything I do is centered around the city. I still, however, maintain the code of the Westerner which my mother taught to us from our birth. Work hard, live right, worship God and stand for what you believe. Help your neighbors when they are in need. Always stand with your family and never desert a friend. It's a good code and one I shall live until my dying day.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
I most often sit at my desk, surrounded by shelf after shelf of books and write until my brain gets tired. Other times, like now, I'm using my laptop in bed taking it easy because it's been a difficult day. I write in silence, simply because music distracts me. You see, if a song comes on I simply have to sing the words. Makes writing impossible for me, so no noise for me when I write.
As to where I draw my inspiration? I draw it from the majestic mountains which surround my home, the flowers near my porch and the children laughing and playing in the neighborhood. Sometimes I take my laptop and spread a blanket on the lawn and write under the shade of my Japanese cherry tree, other times I remain in my home library and write until my husband comes home from work. I have a home free of contention and sorrow. My husband and I made a pact when we first married. We were never going to fight unless it was really worth fighting for. Nothing has been worth the contention it would cause in our home. We have made a concerted effort to make our home a haven from the world, as such, it is very conducive to writing.

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I absolutely do watch television and movies. I don't know if I draw inspiration from them, but I do enjoy the writing, acting and direction, and I love taking a few hours away from life for short periods at a time.

Right now my favorite movie is Mama Mia, although UP! is a new favorite. As to television shows: Love the shows like NCIS, The Mentalist, Bones, The Closer, Burn Notice, In Plain Site, just to name a few. The others are escaping me at the moment, but I love a well-written show, be it television or movie. I don't always get to watch them, but I catch them when I can. Thank goodness for TiVo, I'm able to see more that way.

How has being published changed your life?
It's made me be more conscious of how I behave in public. It's widened the venues at which I speak. It's helped me to share my love of reading with various people and encourage others who didn't enjoy reading before take a second look. It gives me a huge thrill to hear, "Is that a Candace Salima? I have to have it." First time I heard that I thought to myself, "Wow. I've said those words about other authors, I can't believe someone is saying it about me." It's a huge boon to realize that what I write inspires, entertains and uplifts others. It gives me a greater sense of responsibility and accountability. Other than that, life's just the same. Yeah, I'm laughing.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell about your blog and website.
I don't have any booksignings currently scheduled. However, I am speaking at the Patriot's Day Tea Party in Orem, UT on July 4th ( I seem to speak more on political and patriotic themes lately then literacy, but since patriotism is the overriding them in my life lately, that's okay.

I don't have any booksignings of my own scheduled until after we have officially launched Valor Publishing Group, LLC and I have a new book out in a year or so. From now until then, all my efforts will go toward the building of my company and writing, of course. It keeps me busy that's for sure.

My author website can be found at

My blog can be found at I write about belief, America, writing, reading, life, cooking . whatever strikes my fancy. It's a fun blog that covers almost every aspect of my life.

Thank you again, Kathi, for giving me a chance to visit your blog and chat with you. It's been fun.
Thank you, Candace!
The following is the trailer for one of Candace's books.


  1. Great review. You gave me a chance to get to know a little more about Candace. She is an incredible person doing incredible things.

  2. Thanks, JoAnn. I'm glad you stopped by. Hope all is going well for you.



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