I'm very happy to welcome Debra Ullrick back to my blog. So Debra, God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Man, that’s a toughie. I know what I’d like to see. And that is, tons of books sales to people who need what God gives me.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’m married to Rick, a wonderful, godly man. We celebrated our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary June 15, 2008. My only daughter, Sharmane Wikberg got married last year on 07/07/2007 in Las Vegas. And I can’t forget my other baby, Tickles. An ornery Manx cat.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes. I used to just enjoy reading. At that time, I searched for a story that fit my mood. After I started writing, I found myself critiquing the books, instead of just reading them. You know…Oh oh, passive. Oh oh, telling. Oh oh, too many adverbs. It was so frustrating that I no longer enjoyed reading. This went on for a long time until someone pointed out to me that I was reading with my “editor’s cap” on, instead of my “readers cap”. At first I had to really work at not critiquing them. But finally it worked, and I started to simply enjoy reading them again. There are times however, that I will purposely read a book as a study tool. I’ll ask myself what I like about it, and why. I’ll highlight things and sentences I really love.
What are you working on right now?
I’m actually working on several things. My first historical You Ordered What, turning The Bride Wore Coveralls into a screenplay, (an agent wants to see it when I’m finished) writing Powder Puff Bride, the sequel to Déjà vu Bride, and my first non-fiction book When All I Thought About Was Death.
Quite a variety there. What outside interests do you have?
Monster trucks, classic car auto shows, mud bog racing, Jane Austen movies, British documentaries, and a variety of other movies. I love feeding and watching wild birds, visiting water falls in hidden places, and I’m fascinated with sea life. Not only with the bazillion different species and their brilliant colors, but God’s creative genius in making each one unique.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
When writing for Heartsong Presents, I base the setting on what state is available. Otherwise, I use places that I’ve either lived at, visited, or would love to visit. Most of the time I’ll create a fictional place based on real place. I also like to create settings that I fantasize about.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen. I’m a huge fan of hers. She has amazing characters and incredible insight. I also love the way she uses language.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How to write that bestselling novel. *smiling* Seriously, I wish I would have known to trust that the Holy Spirit has a plan for me and to follow my heart.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To take the steps that He is asking me take. To write the stories that He is asking me to write. And to trust Him with the results. I’m also learning that I don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. I don’t see the whole picture of what He is doing. But God will give me those pieces as I need them. So, I need to rest in Him. Not just with my writing but with everything in my life.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1.) Pray every time you sit in front of your computer to write.
2.) Learn the craft, but don’t get bogged down with the rules. Guidelines help us, but if we let them, they can hinder us. Don’t become too legalistic while writing.
3.) If you can, find someone whose opinion you trust to help you along the way. Someone who understands your unique writing style and doesn’t try to change it. A good mentor is worth their weight in gold.
Tell us about the featured book.
Dixie Hearts is a three book compilation with me, and two other authors—Andrea Boeshaar, and Kay Cornelius. It contains my debut novel, The Bride Wore Coveralls about a feisty female mechanic/mud bog racer who struggles to prove to her fellow workers and mud bog racers that she’s just as good at racing and building mud boggers as they are. But no matter how good Camara Chevelle Cole is or how hard she tries, the men refuse to give her a break. Especially her long time Chevy/Ford/racing rival, Chase Lamar.
Chase Lamar is a new Christian who is trying to break free from his father’s controlling, unforgiving ways. As his feelings toward his long time rival Camara Cole, grows, he sets out to prove to her that he’s a new creature in Christ. But no matter how hard he tries, Camara doesn’t believe him. When someone starts sabotaging her mud bog truck, she’s convinced that someone is him. Chase is determined to prove his innocence. And he’s determined to win Camara’s heart in the process.
I've read that book, and it's deliciously different from any romance I'd ever read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
By visiting my website at http://www.debraullrick.com/
Or Shoutlife at http://www.shoutlife.com/ChristianRMwriter
Or my blog at http://www.christianromancewriter.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Debra, for spending this time with us. By the way, I love your new picture.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Dixie Hearts:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.