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Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Deborah. Congratulations on your newest release, Winter Brides. Can you tell us what it was like writing this novella collection along with Denise Hunter and Besty St. Amant? What first inspired A January Bride?
Deborah: A January Bride was first published as Playing by Heart, and was a Christy Award finalist over ten years ago. I updated that novella and expanded it to show Art and Maddie’s wedding, which was so much fun! Since Denise’s and Betsy’s novellas are stand-alones, not connected to my story, we didn’t work together at all during the writing process, but when it came time to market, we had a blast working together to promote the book and get the word out to our readers. We were able to see the book shoot to #2 on the Nook Bestsellers list recently, so that was exciting!
Savanna: How fun! 😉 You’ve won multiple writing awards. What has been one of the greatest lessons and fondest memories from participating in these contests?
Deborah: I can honestly say that the fondest memories from contests, along with the encouragement it gives me as a writer, are sharing with the other finalists for the award. It’s one of those things where just being a finalist feels like being a winner, and even if I don’t final in a contest, I usually know the authors who did, and it’s a privilege to rejoice along with them because ultimately, we all have the same goals, and wish to bring glory to the same God, so a win for one is a win for all.
Savanna: With over 25 books to your name, what is one of your favorite covers?
Deborah: I have had a lot of beautiful covers during my career, the ones for A Nest of Sparrows and A Scarlet Cord being two of my favorites. But my favorite cover of all time is the one my husband, Ken Raney, designed for my e-book, Because of the Rain. Red is one of my favorite colors, so that’s one reason I love it, but it also just captures the story so beautifully.
Savanna: That is so neat Ken designed the cover! I remember getting to chat briefly with you both at the last ACFW conference. It was such a highlight for me! 😉
I loved seeing pictures on your website from your writing space. How beautiful! What music do you like to listen to while you write?
Deborah: I love listening to movie soundtracks when I write because those pieces were written specifically to enhance a story, not to overpower it. Because of that, soundtracks make fantastic music to write by. A few of my favorite movie soundtrack composers are John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, and James Horner. Right now I’m listening to The Tourist by James Newton Howard. GREAT stuff!
Savanna: What was one of the most memorable books you’ve read this year and why?
Deborah: I would have to say the most memorable have been A Common Life and Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Karon in September and she is way at the top of my list of favorite authors. I’m currently reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (wanting to finish it before the movie comes out), and I can already tell that it will likely top my list of memorable non-fiction books for the year.
Savanna: Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?
Deborah: I’ve heard this from numerous authors and writing teachers, and have found it to be true. If you write about what you are passionate about, readers will catch the passion. So I’ve always tried to write the kind of books I would like to read.
Savanna: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Deborah: I just finished the third book in the Chicory Inn Novels series and will start work on Book #4 mid-January. I’ve enjoyed this new series about FAMILY so much! I was privileged to have all four of my grandparents until I was in my forties. I’m an oldest-of-five who married an oldest-of-five and we have four kids, and 5 (so far!) grandkids, so family is THE most important thing in the world to me. I love how this new series puts a spotlight on the blessing of family.
Savanna: That’s wonderful, Deborah. What a sweet thing to celebrate in life and in fiction, right? 🙂 Thanks so much for being with us here today. It’s been great getting to chat with you. Can’t wait to read more of your work! Have a blessed 2015!
Deborah: THANK YOU! I enjoyed the interview!
Deborah has graciously offered 2 giveaways! One winner will receive a copy of Winter Brides and the other will win a copy of Home to Chicory Lane. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends January 27, 2015. The winners will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody! 😉