Welcome, Debby! Thanks for stopping by to chat.
What kind of research did you do for Mountain Blaze? Did you travel, use the Internet, speak with experts on a topic, etc?
Mountain Blaze is set in the beautiful Smokey Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina. I had to rename the town and the McCoy ranch, but there actually is a ranch for horseback riding and log cabin rental. I’m fortunate that I have both family and friends who live in the area. This made exploring fun and informative. In the story, Dillon McCoy is a professional rodeo rider. I wasn’t able to travel and attend an actual rodeo, so I depended on the internet for my research.
Do any of your characters take over and write the book themselves sometimes? Who?
Yes. I write by the seat of my pants, so I don’t always know ahead of time what direction each character is going. It’s amazing how a secondary character can suddenly become important to the story. Their personality can blossom until they’re telling me, “Hey, I need a bigger role.”
What do you prefer: ebook or print? Why?
Definitely a printed book. There’s nothing as thrilling as holding my book in my hands, knowing my words and characters are right there in those pages.
Agreed! How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and began to make up my own stories. I used to entertain my girlfriends with these as we walked to school. They were kind enough to listen, and today they’re some of my biggest fans. It wasn’t until the invention of screen-reading software that I was able to put my stories into print.
What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter?
I received my first contract offer from a small press. The email came in at 8 am, and my husband was awakened by me running through the house screaming, crying, and jumping up and down. I then proceeded to call family and friends and open a bottle of champagne. I have to add though, my happiness was short-lived. Three months into the editing process, I received another email telling me they were sorry, but they had to close their doors. This led to additional contract offers from small presses, until finally I signed with The Wild Rose Press. I have to say though, each time I receive a contract offer, it’s still an incredible thrill.
All writers suffer from writer’s block at least once in their career. What’s your go-to cure?
I start cleaning. If this doesn’t work, I get a bottle of wine and soak in the hot tub.
We all need a little inspiration in our lives. What’s your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote really has nothing to do with inspiration, but It makes me smile. It’s a picture of a woman from the twenties. She’s holding a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She’s saying, “I’m one step away from proving his mother right.”
Awesome! I think that’s probably one of the best quotes I’ve heard. Do you have any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged?
My first bit of advice is don’t give up. Remember even best-selling authors received rejection letters. Make sure to do your research. Readers will catch the smallest mistake, such as if you have a specific building or street, make sure it’s in the right location.
In writing historicals, check to make sure you’re using the correct devices in the correct time period.
Take online writing classes. I found these to be extremely helpful with beginner writing mistakes. Writers need to learn about tag lines, POV changes, correct punctuation, and grammar. Also, info dump and character development.
When you submit your MS, make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. Editors will reject your work in seconds if there are too many mistakes.
What is your favorite book? Favorite author?
This is a hard one. I love classic British mysteries. Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Patricia Moyes. I also enjoy Carola Dunn, Martha Grimes, Heather Graham, Amanda Quick. LOL! I could go on.
Tag line – Can Dillon and Diana elude a killer while their newfound love grows?
Mountain Blaze blurb
Disillusioned by his wife’s betrayal, rodeo star Dillon McCoy comes home to the mountains of North Carolina to lick his wounds. When he agrees to take over the family ranch, the Lazy M, he’s unaware danger waits.
Diana Thompson is having doubts about her engagement to Trent Sawyer. She agrees to leave Chapel Hill and spend Thanksgiving with her friend Jenn at the Lazy M. When Diana and Dillon meet, neither can deny their attraction, but both must resolve past relationships while fighting their growing desire.
After Dillon turns down an anonymous offer to purchase the ranch, attempts are made on his life. When a body is found, Dillon sets out to discover who wants the McCoy land enough to commit murder.
Amazon Author Page — https://www.amazon.com/Debby-Grahl/e/B00B34HM26
Dillon smiled and Diana thought it the sexiest smile she’d ever seen. There was a slight cleft in his chin, and fine lines formed at the corners of his eyes. Diana inwardly groaned. The butterflies were back.
“I’d hold onto you. I wouldn’t let you fall,” he softly said.
With his slow southern accent, the words sounded like warm honey rolling off his tongue. The depth of his eyes and the sound of his voice mesmerized her.
The horses stood side by side. Her and Dillon’s legs touched. He leaned toward her, and the light aroma of wood smoke, hay, and his spicy cologne filled her nostrils. Diana knew what he was about to do but had no willpower to stop him. He cupped her cheek and their lips met.
Gentle at first, his lips glided over hers. He increased the pressure until she opened her mouth and his tongue slipped in. Diana moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck. His arms around her waist, he deepened the kiss. Before she realized what he was doing, without breaking their kiss Dillon lifted her from Flora and placed her across his lap.
Cradled in his arms, Diana clung to him, delicious sensations filling her. Her body came alive in a way that surprised her. The only thing that mattered was this man and this moment.
Flame moved, bringing her back to reality. Diana’s eyes fluttered open, and she stared into Dillon’s, deep with passion and need.
Award winning author, Debby Grahl, lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. His Magic Touch, a paranormal romance, was released by Wild Rose Press December 5, 2018. Her latest book, Mountain Blaze, will be released November 2.
You can find Debby at the following:
Website — www.debbygrahl.com
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/debbygrahlauthor?ref=br_rs
Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/search/authors?search=debby%20grahl
Twitter — https://twitter.com/DebbyGrahl
Books by Debby Grahl
Mountain Blaze [release November 2]
Diana falls in love with cowboy Dillon McCoy. Can they unmask a killer and save the Lazy M ranch?
His Magic Touch
Can Jared defeat the dark magic descending over the Big Easy while winning back the woman he loves?
Decorated to Death
Newcomsville is ready for their Christmas tour, but betrayal, blackmail and murder lie beneath the gentle mantle of new-fallen snow.
Two strangers must learn to trust one another to survive in a world of family greed and ruthless revenge.
The Silver Crescent
Betrayal, murder. and a stolen fortune bring Elise Baxter to Cedar Bend to solve a family mystery.