Sunday, May 09, 2010
Welcome, Deborah. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
My tag line (and the name of my blog) is Country at Heart. I’ve always enjoyed reading contemporary or historical books with a western, country or small town setting. It’s the life I know and it’s what I enjoy reading. I guess writing about that life is what comes natural to me. I believe my core readers are those who love country life, were raised in the country or who dream of the simple life it offers.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my husband. We were actually high school classmates, but it wasn’t until after our 5th year class reunion that we started dating. We married on Valentine’s Day 1990, and he’ll always be my valentine!
How has being published changed your life?
Writing on deadline. LOL. I’ve also been surprised at how much time marketing takes. As aspiring authors, we’re told that you have to market, and yes, that it takes a lot of your time, but oh my goodness . . . I never quite expected it to take so much time from my writing schedule. I had always thought that I was good at multi-tasking, but when it comes to marketing and writing, I have to do one or the other—I haven’t figured out a good way to do them both. Maybe the best idea is to set aside one or two days a week to do “only marketing.” I’m not sure…I’m still working on that one. LOL
Another thing that has surprised me is how incredibly honored I feel to receive “fan mail.” That is something I never equated into the “author picture.” I LOVE getting letters or emails from my readers. That has been such a huge blessing to me.
What are you reading right now?
This past weekend, I began reading Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes, and I am loving it.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m currently finishing up the third book in the series, Blades of Autumn, which is the story about Clara, the owner of Clara’s Café.
(Blurb for Book #3) With a café to run and three children to raise, Clara Lambert doesn’t have time for men or loneliness, despite what her heart might tell her. When two handsome cowboys vie for her attention, one of the brothers proves to be her soul mate, but at what cost? Will it tear the brothers’ relationship apart or is blood really thicker than water?
What would be your dream vacation?
Like most people, I think it would be fun to go to Europe and travel the countryside for a month, but I don’t suppose that will ever happen. Did I mention I have an aversion to flying? LOL. That said, I think it would be a hoot to travel across the United States in an RV with my husband. I love the mountains, so I’m sure that would be in our travel itinerary.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
My book series, Seasons of the Tallgrass, is set in the Flint Hills of Kansas—a strip of land stretching from Nebraska to Oklahoma, about 100 miles wide and 300 miles long that refuses to be tamed because of the flint rock embedded in the hills. Although farmers once tried to run plows through it, they abandoned their efforts, leaving it to its original native grass. That is why it remains as one of the largest tallgrass prairies in the world.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d like to visit with a movie producer, maybe Larry Levinson, and try to convince him to make a movie out of my books! LOL. For my newest release, we could get Megan Fox to play Natalie and Keanu Reeves to play Jared Logan. :-)
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like to take walks with our two golden retrievers or dig in the dirt in my flower beds or garden. Or even mow! I am weird in that I LIKE to mow. We have a large yard, so it takes me about two hours on an industrial-sized mower, but I enjoy this time to just think or sing. LOL. Yes, I sometimes sing when I mow. It’s also a good time for me to pray or to plot out scenes in my current writing project. Other than that, I enjoy playing the piano, baking something, sewing or scrapbooking! Oh the joys. :-)
I love the smell of fresh-mowed grass. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’ve had to learn to be disciplined with my writing time—and I’m still trying to learn how to do better—and how to convince my family that my writing is a real job. I’ve been fortunate that my books have been slated a year apart, but with everything that goes into the writing process and then the marketing, the months go by so fast!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
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.”
Tell us about the featured book?
Seeds of Summer will be released in late May. It is the second book in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series. A heart-warming contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a former rodeo queen abandons her dreams in order to care for her deceased father’s ranch and her two half-siblings, only to realize with the help of a young new pastor that God can turn even the most dire circumstances into seeds of hope.
For each of the seasonal books, I wanted to portray one aspect found in the Flint Hills—and I knew I had to include a story about a female rancher. Also because I have three daughters who are spread out in age, I started wondering what it would be like if something happened to my husband and I, and our oldest daughter was left to care for her sisters. That’s how Seeds of Summer first came to my mind.
I really enjoyed writing Natalie’s story and trying to get her through the difficult family problems she had to face. She is a very strong character with an interesting twist in her story—she’s a former Miss Rodeo Kansas AND the first runner up Miss Rodeo America. I don’t want to give away any of the plot line, but I can say that much of my research involved studying the rodeo queen pageants.
Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.
I can do better than that! Country magazine (Reiman Publications) interviewed me for their April/May issue, which was an incredible blessing and honor, as I’ve been a huge fan of their publications for years. If you go to their site, you can read a sample from the first chapter of Seeds of Summer as well as enter your chance to win one of my books. This drawing ends May 31. http://www.country-magazine.com/
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers may visit my author web site at http://www.deborahvogts.com/ or at my blog: http://www.deborahvogts.blogspot.com/
Readers can also find me on Twitter: DeborahVogts
or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/DeborahVogts?ref=profile
Thank you, Deborah, for visiting with us again.
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