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.
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In this interview, Deborah Vogts discusses her inspiration behind SNOW MELTS IN SPRING --- the first installment of her Seasons of the Tallgrass series --- and explains the role faith plays in her writing. She also recounts her journey to becoming a published author and shares what she hopes readers will take away from her work.
Question: When and where were you born?
Deborah Vogts: September 25, 1965, in Chanute, KS.
Q: Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books influenced you the most as a child?
DV: LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and STUART LITTLE. ;)
Q: Who are your favorite authors and why?
DV: Janette Oke for her gentle, timeless stories, and Francine Rivers for her tremendous ability to write captivating, poignant tales and expose the heartache and emotions of her characters.
Q: Who are your heroes?
DV: My husband, and John Wayne.
Q: How did you become a publishing author?
DV: I wanted to be a writer since High school, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I began taking serious steps to get to the goal. I joined a local writer’s group and ACFW (an online writing organization), joined a critique group, read writing how-to’s and attended writing conferences. I met my first agent at the ACFW Nashville Conference. 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.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for SNOW MELTS IN SPRING?
DV: Years ago, I took a Flint Hills Folklife summer course at Emporia State University that was taught by Dr. Jim Hoy. Along with classroom study, we took field trips into the heart of the Flint Hills and visited with old-time ranchers, schoolmarms and post-mistresses. It was such a delightful experience, especially our drives into the pastures. We would get on these back roads and drive over pasture guards into the open range. We would travel for miles without seeing another car or even an electric line --- just pure, native prairie. That summer, I fell in love with the Flint Hills and it has stayed with me all this time. I’m so glad I have this chance to share this place with my readers through the Seasons of the Tallgrass series.
Q: Did you model any characters or experiences in the book from reality?
DV: Not really, although I think all authors use some of their life experiences to help them tell their stories. Capturing those emotions or memorable moments is what makes our stories come alive and ring true to our readers.
Q: Have you ever felt the Lord speak through your writing?
DV: Oh yes, on many different levels. I think God has used the stories I’ve written to teach me lessons and help me on my faith journey. There has been some very personal lessons involved with each story.
Q: What are your dreams for your writing? What dreams have you already reached in writing?
DV: Hah, to be published, obviously! I can’t imagine anything better than to create stories and see them come to life in a bound book with a lovely cover, but I’ve learned (and am continually learning) to put everything in God’s hands. So in the end, He’s in charge of my future and my dreams, and I’ll try my best to follow his lead.
Q: What’s your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?
DV: My favorite part is learning about my characters. It is so fun to learn something new about a character you’re writing about --- when that new thing suddenly pops onto the page that you didn’t know. I also enjoy editing and marketing. My least favorite is writing on deadline.
Q: What do you hope people come away with after reading your book?
DV: I hope my characters and their personal discoveries will stay with my readers for days, weeks, months --- years, and that they will want to come back for more. ;)
Q: How can readers learn more about you and your upcoming releases?
DV: They may visit my web site www.deborahvogts.com or blog www.deborahvogts.blogspot.com or they can sign up for my quarterly e-newsletter, which gives all my writing updates in a short e-mail.
© Copyright 2017, Deborah Vogts. All rights reserved
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