Welcome, Deb. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
I always feel guilty when my name stands alone on the cover because, as you say, so many people are involved in bringing a book to life. Since the issues Forever After deals with are set around firefighting and a homeless shelter, people from those groups were key to my research. Among the firefighters and their wives who answered questions for me, were my niece and her firefighter husband. I’m not sure I could have written the book without their insight and info. I also depended heavily on my experience as a volunteer at our local homeless shelter, and all the workers and clients there. And as always, my critique partner, Tamera Alexander, early readers Terry Stucky and Courtney Walsh, and my editor at Howard, Holly Halverson. Others too numerous to mention help with research and “author support.”
If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I’ve just come off a busy conference season, teaching at Mount Hermon in
California, and in at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. My calendar isn’t nearly as busy the next couple of months since I have a new book to finish before July 1! But I am keynoting the all-school reunion in my hometown of North Carolina Lyons, Kansas over the 4th of July, and I have a book signing in on July 9. It’s always a joy to meet my readers there! The next event after those is the Gideon Media Arts Conference in Newton, Kansas North Carolina in August, and the ACFW Conference in September in , where I’ll be teaching a two-hour workshop with Tammy Alexander. St. Louis
If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
That’s easy! It would be in the beautiful state of
where our three little grandsons live! We have a fourth grandbaby due in July in Missouri , so I’ll soon be torn about the answer to that question! Iowa
If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Don’t rush the process. It takes time to learn the craft of writing. It takes time to find the right agent and publishing house. Sometimes I’m afraid new writers rush ahead of God and miss the blessings he has for them even in rejection and in that waiting time.
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
I’m not a huge fan of cruises, so I’m afraid I’d cancel the cruise and invite the celebrities to come to
Europe instead. (Can I do that?) I’d ask retired Army chaplain Jeff Strueker (of Blackhawk Down fame) to speak; music would be provided by Shannon Labrie (talented daughter of my novelist friend Stephanie Grace Whitson), and the Steel Wheels (lead singer grew up next door to us), and the incomparable Liz Curtis Higgs would also speak and emcee the whole event (along with taking us all on a guided tour of Scotland!)
I would go to
Europe with you. Tell us about the featured book.
Forever After is second in the Hanover Falls Novels series, picking up the story of Lucas Vermontez and Jenna Morgan. Lucas was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy's beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders what he could possibly offer Jenna. Jenna is trying to grieve her husband's death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future
Please give us the first page of the book.
Thursday, November 1
Lucas Vermontez clutched the mask to his face and forced out a measured breath. His air-pack fed a steady line of filtered, compressed air, but the thick wall of smoke in front of him carried him to the brink of claustrophobic madness.
He sucked in oxygen and exhaled again. He could not panic! Standing statue-still in the smoky darkness, he strained to discern the human voices he was sure he'd heard mere seconds earlier. But his helmet and hood created their own "white noise" and no sound pierced them save the roar of the fire.
The concrete beneath his feet shuddered and an explosion rocked the building. He dropped down on all fours, scrambling for protection from the debris that rained down on him. Beside him, Molly Edmonds went down, eyes wild behind her mask. She quickly regained her feet, motioning wildly behind them toward the entrance they'd come in.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the pipes overhead trembled and several beams bowed beneath the weight of the building.
They didn't stand a chance if the structure collapsed. He and his comrades were in the belly of the beast––the basement of the former hospital that now housed a homeless shelter––with three stories rising above them.
Where can we find you on the Internet?
I’d love to see you over at my website: www.deborahraney.com. Or as a Facebook friend: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.raney, or follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/authordebraney
Thank you for sharing your new book with us, Deb.
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