Saturday, August 18, 2007

Deborah Raney

I've known Deb Raney for a long time. I love her and respect her talent. So many of her books have touched my heart. Today, we're featuring the first book in a series set in Clayburn, Kansas, Deb's home state.

Deb, why do you write the kind of books you do?

I’ve always wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. While I have found several historical novels I enjoy, contemporary fiction about characters much like me, dealing with twenty-first century problems, has always been my first choice—for reading and writing.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

That’s a tough one. There have been so many. My wedding day was a very happy one, and the beginning of the best 32-plus years of my life. And of course the births of each of our four children were special days. I’d also have to cite the day I got the call that Bethany House wanted to buy my first two novels.

How has being published changed your life?

I was a stay-at-home mom for almost twenty years before I began writing. (“Mom” is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding jobs I’ve ever held, by the way.) It’s been an adjustment becoming a career woman with all the business decisions, travel, speaking and media that involves. But as our children quickly grow up and leave the nest, I’m so thrilled that God has given me this next thing to do. I love the writing life!

That's how I feel about my writing, which God also gave to me when my children were about to leave the nest. What are you reading right now?

At the Scent of Water by Linda Nichols, a novel sent to me as a gift from my very first editor at Bethany House Publishers. It’s my first time to read this author, but it won’t be the last. I’m thoroughly enjoying her very unique writing style.

What is your current work in progress?

Leaving November, which is the sequel to Remember to Forget. I have three books in the Clayburn Novels series for Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Book two is set to come out in March 2008.

And we'll have you back to talk about that one. What would be your dream vacation?

Oh, what a fun question! I would love to spend several months touring Europe, starting in the English village where my great-grandparents were born. I really have no desire to see all the tourist sights, but would rather live like a commoner in the English and French countrysides.

Would you take me along with you? I could carry your luggage. :-) How do you choose your settings for each book?

Many of my books are set in Kansas or in small Midwestern towns. While every book requires a great deal of research, that’s never been my favorite part of the writing process, so I ascribe to the “write what you know” theory whenever I can. Small-town life has a wonderful warmth and charm to it—along with some comical problems—and thus it lends itself well to the kind of books I like to write.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

That’s easy. It would be my husband. I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend time with. My children and my parents would be close seconds. I’m a very social person and love people, but my family means the world to me and they are my favorite people in the world to spend time with.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I don’t have nearly as much time for hobbies as I used to, and in fact, even though reading is part of my work, I still consider it a favorite hobby. I also enjoy gardening with my husband. I care for a motley collection of houseplants, and love flea marketing and antiquing in my search for items to make our home cozy and interesting.

I'm not much of an antiquer, but I've recently started looking for novels published in the late 1800s and very early 1900s. I've also invested in a 1931 Sears catalog, which will be valuable for making my historical novels more authentic.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Procrastination and distraction. I am so easily pulled away from the work I should be doing. Sometimes it’s all I can do to overlook the laundry, the dust on the furniture and the fact that I haven’t cooked a homemade meal in weeks. I find myself doing anything but what I should be doing. How do I overcome it? Not sure I do. But I nearly always end up making my deadlines in the end, so I guess I finally just “buck up” and do the job.

Deb, tell us about the featured book.

Remember to Forget is an allegory of new life in Christ. Stranded a hundred miles away from her abusive New York City boyfriend after a terrifying car-jacking, graphic designer Maggie Anderson impulsively heads west. Stumbling upon tiny Clayburn, Kansas, she arrives without cash or a past––or so she thinks. As she begins a new relationship with Trevor Ashlock, will she be able to tell him the truth––before it tells on her? Remember to Forget explores how we are offered a chance to cast off our old self and become a brand new creation in Christ.
Thank you for spending this time with us, Deb. We'll be looking forward to your next release, too.
Readers, I've read this wonderful book, and you won't want to miss it. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. If you don't win, look for it in your favorite Christian bookstore or online.
If you leave a comment, you need to come back in two weeks and see if you won. I'm still waiting to hear from one winner a couple of weeks ago.
Check out the other interviews where you can also sign up:
Louise Gouge - Then Came Hope
Kathy Kovach - Cookie Schemes ( Love Letters)


Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Lena and Deb, That was a fun interview. I love Deb's books and always look forward to reading the next one. I also enjoy Linda Nichol's books. Scent of Water is might also like her first CBA novel Not a Sparrow Falls and her newest, In Search of Eden. I see a lot of similarities between Deb's style and Linda's style. : ) Both are great storytellers! Carrie T.

Norma said...

This book sounds very interesting - please enter me!

Mary said...

Great interview, Lena! Deb, you are always so encouraging, even encouraging procrastination (on housework, that is!) ;O)

I own this wonderful book and can't wait till its sequel is out in March!

Gina said...

Great interview!

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a really good story!

tetewa said...

This sounds like a great read!

Carolynn W. said...

What a great interview! I was so excited when I saw you were interviewing Deborah Raney!
A lot of my friends love her writing and have highly recommended it. But I haven't had the chance to read any of your books. I can't wait to, though. "Remember to Forget" sounds like a great book! :)

ChristyJan said...

Great interview! Please enter me to win.

Deborah Raney said...

Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I hope you enjoy the book. And yeah, Mary, go ahead an blame me if your housework doesn't get done. I don't mind. ; )

And Lena, thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your blog. I so appreciate all you do to promote Christian fiction. I wish everyone a wonderful week! School has started here in Kansas, which means I'm back to work, and excited about being back in the writing groove. : )

Lacy J. Williams said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book! lacy[at]

Marla said...

I look forward to reading this book. I just read a book dy Deborah Raney for the first time and I loved her style of writing. Please enter me in the drawing. :)

Miss Reader said...

What a great hobby investing in late 1800's and earyl 1900's books. Enjoyed the interview.

Melissa Meeks said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Sounds like a good story.

Melissa Meeks said...

Ooops!!! I forgot to give you a way to reach me in the previous comment. melissameeks[at]verizon[dot]net

Abi Buening said...

Hopefully, I'm not too late for this drawing. Love reading.