I'm happy to welcome Deborah Vogts to the blog today, to talk about her latest release, Seeds of Summer.
Deborah has offered a copy to one lucky winner, so leave your comments below with an email address for a chance to win!
Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in Southeast Kansas where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. As a student at Emporia State University studying English and journalism, Deborah developed a love for the Flint Hills that has never faded. In writing this series, she hopes to share her passion for one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world, showing that God’s great beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there.
About Seeds of Summer
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.
What's your latest book?
Seeds of Summer released late May 2010 from Zondervan.
What's your favorite part of the story?
There were many. I always enjoy writing the outdoor scenes in my books, so in Seeds of Summer, I especially enjoyed the fishing and horse-riding scenes. I love trying to find a fresh new way to describe the Flint Hills to my readers, and I hope I’ve done that for them. I also enjoyed writing the ending, which brought tears to my eyes.
Sounds like a great summer read! What was the hardest part to write?
For the longest time, I didn’t know how to end my story. Then about a month before my deadline, it came to me like a clanging cymbal. Also, there were a few plot twists created by my secondary characters—Libby and Tom—who never wanted to go in the direction I’d outlined for them.
Gotta love those willful characters--and those bolts of inspiration. What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?
I’d like readers to remember how important family relations are and that we can get through our difficulties if we remember to love and forgive each other. I also hope to give my readers a taste of the Flint Hills and of how God’s beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there.
Is there a theme to this book?
When the story begins, Natalie has lost both her parents, so obviously dealing with grief is one theme in the story. What surprised me is that Natalie needed to deal with her mother’s death, which happened when she was a little girl. It surprised me that she’d carried it for so long without coming to terms with it.
Sounds like she's deeper than you first expected her to be--I love it when characters do that to me, too! What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?
I used to write in my kitchen but in recent years, I moved my office to our bedroom where I can shut the door on noise. I have allotted 1/3 of this room to my office with a comfy chair as well as a desk and shelves, file cabinet, etc. All I need for working.
As for my dream office, I actually have a house plan that I keep at my desk (as a means of hope & motivation.) It includes an office with lots of windows, space enough for a love seat, chair and coffee table, as well as a large desk and a wall of shelves. The office door is glass so I will always be aware of what’s going on outside that room.
Hey, build me one of those too! ;-) Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?
I always have my leather notebook (made by my husband) with all my story notes inside; a favorite pen; a story board on a bulletin directly above my desk with pictures of my characters, their homes, a map of Diamond Falls, and many other visual references; a candle; a few research books within arms’ reach. I tend to use a Merriam-Webster dictionary on my computer, but also have the hard cover books on a shelf next to my desk. Another writing prompt that I use is movie soundtracks. For the Seasons of the Tallgrass series, I’ve especially enjoyed Open Range, The Horse Whisperer, and Legends of the Fall.
Your husband made you a leather notebook?? What a guy! What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?
I’ve 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.
So aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?
Marketing and promoting the series, updating social networks & my blog, and of course, our family and home. We live in the country and have a large garden and yard as well as animals to care for. And then of course there is the daily work involved with being self-employed.
What are you writing right now?
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.
Here's a 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.
Thanks for visiting, Deborah! Readers, check out her website at www.DeborahVogts.com and her blog at www.deborahvogts.blogspot.com.
You can purchase Seeds of Summer at Amazon or CrossPurposes.
Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Contest ends 7/15/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim book.