Bio: Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, a judge for The Grace Awards, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in
. She is published with WhiteFire
Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction. Debra
works as a program assistant at Seneca Falls, NY , and enjoys
her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British
programming and traveling with her childhood friends. Cornell
Welcome, Debra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I dare not poll my friends and family on this, but I recently had good fun at my eye surgeon’s expense. Before cornea surgery, he placed a sticker on my forehead to prove to all that he’d discussed the surgery with me and that I’d had all the pre-surgery eye drops I needed. The next time he saw me, my friend—at my request—had drawn a “third eye” on the sticker.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It might have been all those books—writing and drawing, of course—I made as a child, or it might have been in English class when I would write three times the amount of words I needed for an essay, and then had to edit it down to size. Words on paper are so much easier than words out loud.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite reads are mysteries and suspense, preferably historical. Next up would be historical romance. I tend to listen to audiobooks (concurrently one in my truck, a different story on my kindle) so I’m often limited to what I can find through my library system or good deals on Amazon. I prefer British settings overall, but lately I’ve read a few contemporary American romances that were delightful.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Lists. I make lists of lists and I do it obsessively to organize my mind. Every day, I feel like I have twenty things to do. They’re not the same tasks as when I was raising children or working two jobs. Our busy seasons just seem to change, not go away, don’t they? I feel like I’m juggling three full time jobs, so every once in a while, I just zone out with something on Netflix.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
For historical fiction, I often look at old online directories or census records. I’ve also picked names by mix and matching names in movie credits.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Holding it all together and never successfully running away from home as an adult! Every decade has had its share of big challenges. My favorite role is being a granny but that accomplishment was completely out of my hands!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a species of Eagle for their eyesight and the ability to grab onto and carry off prey while looking completely awesome. (I am much less ruthless in person.)
What is your favorite food?
This is always the most difficult question to answer! So, I’ll go with the one I’m most known for and say it’s difficult for me to go a day without peanut butter (the fresh ground kind).
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. I generally write in layers, starting with a very ugly first draft consisting only of my plot events. Each layer adds details of setting and emotion as I dig deeper into my characters’ heads. It takes time and the first draft is so awful, it makes me want to stop. I’ve learned to move on from that by realizing that this is just how it’s going to be. Eventually, I like the story and enjoy polishing it! But going to the paycheck job each day severely limits my time!
Tell us about the featured book.
Saguaro Sunset is my first contemporary and takes place in
Tucson during the Festival of Books. Like me,
my heroine is trying to do too many things at once. She’s not quite sure how to
take the help offered by a Mr. Nice Guy, but she doesn’t have much choice. I
loved writing about Tucson,
and I was quite surprised how the story came together in an emotional and
spiritual way. And there’s lots of ice cream involved!
Please give us the first page of the book.
~A pleasant Friday evening in
~ Tucson, Arizona
Minty Chip—Our signature flavor. You’ve seen the truck.
Teresa Scott tapped the End call dot. Once her phone found safety on Lisa’s kitchen counter, Teresa’s hands shot into the air. Puggles spun in a barking fit at her hoots and hollering,
She sunk down and lifted the old pug into her arms, careful not to squeeze him too tightly with the wishes and hopes of a ten-year dream. “It’s okay, little guy. I’m sorry, but I got the job.”
The Western National Parks Association, specifically the WNPA board, had asked her to be their new accountant.
“Puggles, do you know what this means?”
Apparently not, but he was happy to lick her chin, while she danced around the room.
Where was Lisa anyway? Bella should have been picked up from the sitter’s by now, and the bakery closed in forty-five minutes.
Teresa’s jaw ached from grinning. At least Lisa would understand what this opportunity meant. Advancement. Recognition. The chance to give back to the park system for all those summer jobs. And an amazing addition to her resume that could one day mean her pick of CPO positions across the country. “Give me five, Puggles.”
She’d done it.
She grabbed her phone to check her calendar. What would she have to cancel at work to attend the big annual meeting of the National Parks Department next week in D.C.?
She dialed Lisa’s face again. Still no answer.
Teresa pulled a piece of cold pizza out of her sister’s fridge and gave it 15 seconds in the microwave. When she was done, she’d do the dishes. Lisa had washed the food truck inside and out, leaving her own kitchen in disarray.
Tomorrow promised to be perfect weather for the book festival.
Her little big sister had sunk everything into that mint green monstrosity taking up most of the driveway. As long as people liked special flavors of ice cream and monster-sized cookies, she’d do well.
Unless she kept messing up like this. Where was she?
Teresa hit redial. “Come on Lisa. Pick up.”
Even so, things were going better than they had for years. “Yesss!” This time Puggles shot across the room, doggie nails scratching to gain traction on the tiles. He disappeared around the corner. “Sorry, old man.” This might call for dinner out on the way back from the bakery. Did the new Indian restaurant have mac and cheese or a kiddie menu?
Come on Lisa. Where are you?
Teresa went outside and looked down the street, wishing she’d picked the cookies up on the way home. Would her car accommodate that many boxes?
The phone rang.
“Where have you been?”
“No, it’s Snow White. What’s going on? Do you want me to go? Maybe we should meet there.”
“No,” replied Lisa. “You’ve got to help me out, first.”
Teresa’s insides went on full alert. “What happened?”
“I’m okay, but I was in an accident. I’m at the hospital.”
“I’ll be right there. Which one?”
“Banner UMC. But, go pick up Bella first. We’ll worry about the cookies later. I can’t…” Lisa’s shaky voice broke. “I won’t be able to work tomorrow, Treese. I broke my arm.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B018QCI2AS
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Debra-E-Marvin-433266640199533
Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations: http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Saguaro Sunset - Paperback
Saguaro Sunset (American State Flower novella Book 32) - Kindle
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