Actually, I think it’s the people around me who are written into my characters more than myself, or at least pieces of them—like a jigsaw puzzle.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not a very quirky person . . . um, I like to put catsup on my eggs. Not sure if that’s quirky or not, but it’s all I can think of. LOL.
I love catsup on fried egg sandwiches, but then I know I'm quirky. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I began writing my first Great American Novel when I was a sophomore in High School on an old electronic typewriter. From that moment on, I was hooked.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy historical Christian romance, and contemporary novels with a literary twist. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger comes to mind.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am a stay-at-home mom with two girls at home (ages 12 & 17), so I’m fully aware of what a busy life is. However, we say no to a LOT of things—such as sports, or extracurricular activities (not a popular answer in today’s world, and it is frowned on a great deal, but it’s how we manage our household and keep our sanity.)
When my daughters were late elementary and junior high age, we did something similar. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I have a name already in mind, but I’ve also used a baby naming book. I’ll thumb through it until I find the perfect name for each character, keeping in mind specific aspects already determined.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I cringe at the "P" word, but I am most thankful to have raised three lovely daughters and married a God-fearing Christian man, and these are not my accomplishments, but things God has allowed and blessed me with.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Wow, I’ve lived on a farm (or in the country) all my life and most of those animals end up on a plate somewhere. Not a good place to be unless you’re human—so I guess I’ll leave it at that. :-)
What is your favorite food?
Now THAT I can answer. I actually have three favorites—grilled Kansas City Strip steak, pizza and boiled shrimp. Chocolate is NOT a food—it’s more like a dietary supplement that you eat on a have-to basis.
Yes, my husband read yesterday that dark chocolate helps lower cholesterol. Another reason to take a dose or two a day. Tell us a little about your journey to publication.
As stated earlier, my love for writing began back in High School, but the real journey began in 2002 when I joined ACFW (then ACRW). I joined a critique group, attended conferences and began honing my craft and learning about the publishing business. In 2006, I acquired my first agent, who tried selling a contemporary series for me. This proved unsuccessful, and then I landed a second agent, Rachelle Gardner at WordServe Literary, who managed to sell the series to Zondervan, which brings me to where I am today. :-)
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think the devil throws roadblocks at us from all angles, depending on where we are in our life. For me, I’ve had to deal with time management and trusting that God has given me a talent he wants me to use. I’ve been able to overcome these arrows by staying in God’s word (throwing it at the devil at times) and getting down on my knees in prayer.
What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?
Never give up. Right before I landed my second agent, I almost gave up on my dreams, and I am so thankful I didn’t. Not that God would have let me. I searched and asked that he give me scripture answers that would lead me in the right direction. Some of those he gave were: Isaiah 41:13, Deuteronomy 31:8, Proverbs 3:5-6, and my favorite one that ministered to me and still does today, "Be Still and Know that I am God."
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Snow Melts in Spring is a heart-warming contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a female country veterinarian is called on to heal an injured horse but winds up nurturing the wounded relationship between a prodigal son and his ailing father, and is forced to choose between the man of her dreams or the land of her heart. Spanning the Seasons of the Tallgrass, each story in this series reveals the struggle of the people who live there and the dreams they have for the land until they come full-circle in a never-ending cycle, just as man comes full-circle in his understanding of God.
When an aged horse is severely injured on a gravel road in the Flint Hills of Kansas, country veterinarian Mattie Evans accepts the challenge to save him. But she finds herself in the middle of a longstanding feud between the horse’s owner, pro quarterback Gil McCray, and his ailing father—who is also her dear friend.
As the snow melts in spring, Gil’s return to his estranged father’s ranch brings a chance for new beginnings and reconciliation, but when he falls in love with Mattie, he must face the truths that haunt him or run from his past. Meanwhile, Mattie encourages Gil to return permanently to Kansas rather than retire in California. Their love collides when Mattie’s sister arrives on Gil’s doorstep, causing Gil to come to terms with the jealous acts leading up to his brother’s death and seek forgiveness from those he loves most. Can he accept God’s forgiveness, and will that be enough to make him stop running from his memories of home? In turn, if Mattie forgives, she’ll be forced to choose between the man of her dreams and the land she dearly loves.
Thanks for this opportunity to share with you and your readers. :-)
Thank you, Deborah, for sharing with us today.
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