Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Deborah Raney - YESTERDAY'S EMBERS - Free Book

Welcome, Deb. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

I’ve always said I hoped to be writing till the day I die, but as I close in on my twentieth book—and my second grandbaby—I can understand more how a writer might retire…or at least slow down a bit. Right now I love what I do, and the empty nest is at hand, which will allow me more time to devote to my writing. The Lord has blessed me with contracts for four more books, so I’ll continue to write as long as He makes that possible. But I also want to always have ears to hear should He guide me in a different direction.

Tell us a little about your family.

I’m not a bit biased: I have the most wonderful family in the entire world. My husband Ken and I have been married for over 34 years and despite the fact that doctors told me I may never be able to become pregnant, God blessed us with FOUR children! Two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 32 to 18 now. And we have a beautiful new daughter-in-law, and a great son-in-law who’s the father of our two little grandsons (who live much too far away). Family is truly the greatest treasure God has ever given me and I feel blessed beyond words.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Sadly, becoming a writer almost ruins one for reading. If I’m reading something that’s not well-written, I can’t help but edit it in my head as I go; if I’m reading something that’s excellent, I find myself studying as I go to see how the author accomplished what they did. Seems I rarely get to just read for the sheer enjoyment of it! It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out. In addition, so much of the reading I do is for research. Not that I don’t enjoy that type of reading, but it does cut back on my favorite type of reading: novels for the pure joy of story.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a new series for Howard set around the lives of the survivors of six firefighters who died in a tragic blaze in a homeless shelter in (fictional) Hanover Falls, Missouri. The Hanover Falls Novels will explore how tragedy brings people together around a shared grief. My research for this book has taken me out of my comfort zone a bit. I trained as a volunteer at our local homeless shelter and have been taking shifts there whenever our church is scheduled to man the shelter. This new series will have a mild element of suspense to it—though as president of the Big Honkin’ Chicken Club, you won’t find me writing anything too scary! ; )

That's something to celebrate. Deb Raney writing suspense. What outside interests do you have?

I enjoy decorating our home, finding treasures in antique stores and flea markets, and traveling to visit our four kids who all live out of state. An outside interest that is literally “outside” is the prairie garden my husband and I tend in our backyard. Ken dreamed of having our backyard look like the native Kansas prairie, and he’s worked for three years planting bluestem and switch grasses, native wildflowers, and wild roses. It really is beautiful and we enjoy the time we spend outside together. I created a blog for Ken for Father’s Day a couple of years ago if you’d like to take a peek at our garden: http://kansasprairiegarden.blogspot.com/ I also have a blog of novelists’ gardens that I find fascinating: http://novelgarden.blogspot.com/

What fun! How do you choose your settings for each book?
Most of my books are set in the Midwest because I adhere to the write-what-you-know maxim. That’s because research is my least favorite part of writing. When choosing foreign or far-away settings for certain scenes, I choose them based on who I know that can help me with the details. It’s so important to write true to the setting.

I feel the same way. I do a lot or research on a setting where I haven't been. A friend of mine recently went to Golden, New Mexico, which is now a ghost town, but I'm using it for the setting of a historical I'm writing. She took pictures and even brought me back a rock from Golden. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

That’s a tough question…there are so many. I would probably choose Laura Ingalls Wilder, just for a chance to let her know how much she inspired me!

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

I wish I’d known what a wealth of books on the craft of writing were available. I didn’t even know there was such a thing when I first began writing. I learned SO much once I discovered these fantastic tools of the writer’s trade.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

He’s teaching me to step outside of my comfort zone and not be afraid to try new things. If I’m going to continue writing, I need to be always learning, always exploring new places and new ideas. I’m also learning that God has a way of making research into ministry. It’s kind of neat that He sometimes allows us to “kill two birds with one stone” that way.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Read, read, read. Don’t ever stop studying and learning.
Keep your seat in the seat. Once you know how to write, the hard part is just doing it!
Always pray for things to happen in God’s timing. As much as you might want to speed things along, in the long run, it’s always better to wait upon the Lord.

All so true. Tell us about the featured book.

Yesterday’s Embers is the third and final book in the Clayburn novels series, and tells the stories of Doug DeVore and Mickey Valdez, whom readers met briefly in the first Clayburn novels. It’s a story about marrying for all the wrong reasons, and finding hope even in the midst of desperation. I think it’s my favorite of the three Clayburn novels!

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is at http://www.deborahraney.com/ and there’s a link to email me on the home page. I’ve also recently become part of the shoutlife community and I’d love to make friends with readers there: www.shoutlife.com/debraney
Thank you, Deb, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Yesterday's Embers:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. The only notification will be in the winner announcement post on this blog. Be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.
If you're reading this on Facebook or Amazon, come to this blog to leave your comment:

28 comments:

mez said...

I would love a chance to win Yesterday's Embers, it sounds like a touching story. Thanks, Lena.

worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Patti Lacy said...

What a fabulous interview with an author who makes soooo many "favorite books" lists!

Yesterday's Embers will go on yet another list--my to-read one.

Patti

sugarandgrits said...

This book sounds wonderful! I have the first 2 books in this series and can't wait to read the third. My sister enjoyed them as well. :)

Thank you for sharing!

sugarandgrits[at]hotmail[dot]com

Laura in Texas said...

I'd love a copy of this book. Really enjoyed the interview. lauramctx at yahoo.com

Renee said...

Please don't enter me to win, I just got this book yesterday and it is sooooo good! I think she's going to be one of my new favorite authors! So I definitely say if you don't win this go buy it!

Cathy Messecar said...

Lena, I heard Deb speak at the conference in Houston last year. What an intelligent and passionate woman. Her presentation was so helpful. Please enter me into the book drawing.

Will you be at Meet the Christian Author night in The Woodlands, TX on July 31? I'd love to see you.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the chance to win the book. I liked the interview. I thought it was interesting how authors have a hard time reading for pleasure.
Wendy
wsmarple@gmail.com

Deborah Raney said...

Lena, thank so much for all you do to promote Christian fiction! I always appreciate being on the receiving end of your interviews. :)

And thanks to all of you who've signed up––and for your encouraging and warm comments. I'm so glad you've enjoyed my books––or hope to find out if you would enjoy them! ; )

Edna said...

I would love to win Yesterday's Embers, Deborah is a new author to me as I find so many on Lena's blogs and site. So please enter me to win this one Please

mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Nicole O'Dell said...

Great interview! I'd love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!!

Patty said...

I love Deb's books. I have read the first two in the series and they are wonderful, so I would love to win Yesterday's Embers.

pleblanc_1[at]charter[dot]net

Megan said...

First off, you look way too young to have gradkids!

Please sign me up, Lena!

megan.nadalet at gmail dot com

Christy Janes said...

I already have this book, so don't enter me for the drawing. I just wanted to let you know how much I loved Deb's interview. She is one of my favorite authors, and every single book I've read by her so far has just been incredible.

Thanks for featuring her on your blog. :o)

Christy

Sheila Deeth said...

Fascinating interview. And the book certainly sounds like one to look out for, especially as it's one of the author's favorites.

Carly Kendall said...

I have wanted to read this book since it came out. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.
carlyberd[at]yahoo[dot]com

windycindy said...

Her book sounds very life affirming.
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Linda said...

OOOHHH! Marriage is hard enough if one is marrying because of love and friendship. To do it for the wrong reason brings heartache and trouble. Sounds like a book I'd like to read to see how things work out. Put my name in for the contest. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Judy said...

Thank you for the encouraging words...and I wish you well with your new series. It sounds wonderful!
judy49[at]aol[dot]com

~Ley said...

The first two Clayburn novels were so great, I could never pass up a chance to win the third one!

P.S. Ha. My word verification is spring! We need some more of that around here where I live!

lastnerve said...

Please enter me, this book looks really great! Don't you just hate it when God says for you to step out of your comfort zone? I always feel so uncomfortable! :) It's happening more and more lately but just when I get used to it, he says, step out again.

Great blog today!

Carlene said...

Please include me in your giveaway. I have heard great things about Yesterday's Embers.
Thanks
Carlene
iluvreading(at)verizon.net

Marla said...

I love Deborah Raney's books. They are so touching. I love the idea of a little suspence in this new novel. Thank you for the entry, Lena!

koinonia572001@yahoo.com

Deborah Raney said...

Thanks again to everyone who signed up for a chance to win. I wish you all the best and hope you'll find a copy of Yesterday's Embers somewhere, even if you don't win. : )

Have a wonderful summer with plenty of time to read!

Deb~

peachykath said...

Please enter me in the drawing for this book. I would like the chance to read a new author.
Thanks,
Katherine

peachykath79[at]yahoo[dot]com

Debra Ullrick said...

I love Deb's books. Please add my name to the drawing.

Thank you.

christianromancewriter at gmail dot com

Debra Ullrick
www.DebraUllrick.com

Norma said...

This book sounds interesting - sign me up!

Carolynn W. said...

Please enter me, I enjoy all of her books! Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Amber S. said...

This looks like a great book! I enjoyed seeing all the gardens on the blog that Deborah Raney has for many different authors, and I would love a chance to win her book! Thanks!