Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing. (How did you get started? How many books have you written? Where are you on your writing journey?)
I live in the mountains of western NC with my husband and golden retriever in our retirement log house. Our seven children are grown with families of their own. They are all in the Southeast so we enjoy seeing them occasionally. I’ve enjoyed writing all my life, from the little booklets I tied together with illustrations pasted from Life Magazine, to essays, book reports, letters to pen pals, diaries, journals, class work, term papers, work on the year book, school columnist in the town newspaper. What many of my classmates complained about, I reveled in and edited and rewrote in joy. I wrote stories for my children, plays for their school, newsletters for organizations, and letters to everyone. I wrote program for Girl Scouts and Vacation Bible School. I always had the idea of writing a book someday, but had no idea how to go about that. When our seven children were out on their own, I had a chance to pursue that. I won some short story contests and had some things published in anthologies. I have nine books published. One will be out this summer, two are under contract and will be published in 2016. Another is entered in a contest, another being read by a publisher and another that was just submitted. An interesting YA called Waiting With Elmer may be the best one I’ve written. It’s still on the desktop hoping for a place to send it. I write something every day. I blog Monday and Thursday (Selling Books Miniblog) on my website (Books By Deanna.com). I will be starting a new YA nonfiction biography about a 15 year-old girl who was in the French Resistance in WWII. As soon as my subject gets back to the mountains from her winter in Florida, we’ll get started on that one.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
My favorite Bible verse is I Corinthians 13. Well, usually. Sometimes it’s Isaiah. The whole book. Especially Chapter 43 verses 1-7. I love the Synoptic Gospels and I call them my favorite, too. I mean, who doesn’t love the stories of the Nativity? When I’m in a poetic mood, my favorite is Psalms. My favorite changes with my mood it seems. Sometimes I just flip through some pages, a verse catches my eye or my imagination, and it becomes my new favorite. Jesus might think I’m a fickle friend.
What have you read lately that you would recommend?
Something I’ve read lately that I would recommend is All The Light We Cannot See, and also Girls of Atomic City. I enjoyed both very much.
What book are you featuring today?
The book I’m featuring today is my latest release, The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber. The book is published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Publishing in Texas. It’s a middle grade historical book. Do you know who Jim Limber is – was? His picture is on the cover. It’s the only known photo of Jim.
The first third of this book is actually nonfiction, biography; 14 months of Jim’s life. In 1864, he was rescued by Varina Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and taken to the Confederate White House (Richmond, VA), not as a slave or servant, but to live with their family in the nursery with their four children. Varina was a wonderful writer who documented everything her children did, said, wore, ate, every day. I did my research at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, which happens to have been the White House. After 14 months, the Davis family fled Richmond. Jim was with them; he was still with them when they were apprehended in Georgia. After they parted company at Port Royal, SC, what became of Jim?
The middle third of the book is historical fiction, what might have happened through adolescence. The final third is a choose-your-own-ending. I offer three possible endings, then I suggest my young readers create their own ending. Based on what you now know of Jim Limber, what do you think became of him? Where did he go? Who did he become? If the writer sends me their ending I will publish it on my website.
If you could tell people who are going to read/have read your books one thing, what would it be?
The one thing I would say to the reader of any of my books is “I wrote this for you. I hope you enjoy it.”
Her first book was published in 2010.She currently has 8 published with more under contract.
Her miniblog is a short travelogue of places she visits, people she meets, and what she learns about selling books.