Today author Deborah Vogts is telling us about her new book, Seeds of Summer. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.
Welcome, Deborah! Tell us a little about yourself.
How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I began writing my Great American Novel as a junior in high school—Splendor of the Sun. That earned me an A++ in Senior English. I studied English and journalism in college, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I began taking serious steps to be published.
At that time, I felt God prodding me to do more with my writing or risk having the talent taken from me. So I jumped in with both feet. I joined a local writer’s group and ACFW, (an online writing organization). I also joined a critique group, started reading writing how-to’s and attended writing conferences. I met my first agent at the ACFW Nashville Conference in 2005. We hit it off at our meeting, and she gave me some tips on making my book series “bigger.” I did that and submitted my idea to her and she took me on. We shopped my Seasons of the Tallgrass series for a year and had a few bites (one of them Zondervan) but no sale. In the end, she released me, which was a real heart breaker. However, we don’t always see the big picture like God does, and six months later I signed with agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary, and we had an offer from Zondervan three months after that in May 2008.
This summer, Seeds of Summer, the second book in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series came out. Blades of Autumn will release next summer 2011.
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
I think my writing style is comparable to Deborah Raney or even Janette Oke in that it is very simple yet draws the reader into the setting until they feel they are part of it. I’d rate my books between G & PG.
What made you want to write this story?
My husband and I read lots of horse magazines at our house, two of those, Western Horseman and AQHA’s America’s Horse. So, when he’s finished with a magazine, I’ll go through with an eye open for possible story ideas. I’ll tear out pages of articles, or even pictures for possible characters, and then I’ll file those papers in an idea file. When I’m ready to write a new story, that’s the first place I’ll go, sifting through the articles and pictures.
For Seeds of Summer, many of the pictures I’d filed away happened to be of past Miss Rodeo America queens. From there, my imagination soared. I also knew that I wanted to include one story about a female rancher. Because we 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 where the plot originated for Seeds of Summer.
What research did you have to do for this book?
Because Natalie is a Miss Rodeo America finalist, I learned a great deal of information about the MRA—and loved every minute of it. I tacked pictures of past queens in various outfits on my storyboard (which is a bulletin board filled with pictures of my characters, their homes, pets, etc.). And because Amy Wilson was the current MRA, I followed her story online and in magazines, and strange as it may seem, I felt as though I knew her. LOL. My research pinnacled last summer when I met Amy at her home in Colby for an interview. She is such a lovely young woman, and she honored me by showing me her queen items—which again, leant authenticity to my story.
What are you working on now or going to write next?
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?
After that, I’m hoping for another contract—on the fourth book in this series (Winters Frosty Path), or possibly another series.
How can readers get in contact with you?
They can find me on my author Web site – http://deborahvogts.com or on my Country at Heart blog – http://deborahvogts.blogspot.com
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
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.
Making mud pies, cakes & cookies for my family in the summer in my pretend restaurant.
Era to write about?
I think it would be fun to write about the late 1800’s pioneer life.
What is/was this book’s release date?
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
You can read a sample chapter here by clicking on the link available.
**USA and Canada only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Seeds of Summer!
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.
*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.
*Here are the ways to get entries:
(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.
+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.
+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.
**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**
*The contest will run from today (July 16) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (July 22). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 23rd, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.