Friday, April 17, 2009


Please join me in welcoming author, Deborah Kinnard to A Pen for Your Thoughts.

Deb Kinnard started writing at age ten, frustrated because there was no preteen girl with a horse on “Bonanza.” From there she progressed to short stories and dreadful poetry, she writes. In college, she gained two degrees in health care and spent time observing hippies, basketball stars, el-ed majors and other strange species.

Wait! There's more!

While raising two active girls and cherishing a husband, she enjoyed a career that has encompassed Spanish translation,

volunteer work at a crisis line, years in assorted ERs that don’t resemble the one on TV, and a day job at a big Chicago teaching hospital.
Plus, Deb is presently a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, serving as Midwest Zone Director, and confesses to being a loud singer at church.

In 2002 and 2003, she sold her first and second novels, POWERLINE and OAKWOOD to Treble Heart Books. “Something Borrowed” appeared in the BRIDES AND BOUQUETS 2007 anthology, and MY SILENT HEART in November 2007, both from ByGrace Publishing. ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN, a reissue, releases May 1 of this year from Desert Breeze Publishing.

A very busy lady!

When Deb’s not at the computer writing, she keeps busy with reading, playing the guitar, and doing needlework. She loves to travel and meet new people, some of whom turn up later in her stories. So if you meet a short woman with a light in her eye…

Okay...Let's Chat

SKC: Deb, when I went to check your website, I noted how busy you have been lately. This is why I’ve asked you to join us today to tell us what is going on right now in your life.

DK: Busy isn’t the word. Though By Grace, my second small press, folded at the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to interest Desert Breeze in reissuing my “fun book,” ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN. My medieval time-travel romance, SEASONS IN THE MIST, comes out in spring of next year with Sheaf House, and I’m really looking forward to that. Meanwhile I’m working on a straight-medieval romance, PEACEWEAVER, which we’re pitching on proposal. Brewing in my mind is a sequel to SEASONS, but I’m telling it to hunker down and wait ‘til I have time to work on it! So yes, I do keep busy.

SKC: Not a lot of people understand the logistics of doing a reissue. I have one out myself with my first devotional. Why don’t you explain what that entails, and how difficult it is to get picked up for something like this.

DK: For me this reissue has been an act of God’s grace and nothing to my credit at all. When By Grace became a victim of the economy, I talked with my awesome agent, Tamela Murray, about what we might want to do with two of these books. She said, to my sorrow, that there isn’t much interest in the Christian fic marketplace for reissues. So I put them away, mentally, and didn’t think much about them. Then, Michelle Levigne, my editor (also awesome) for all 5 previous books, had been in contact with Desert Breeze and suggested I propose one of my orphaned books to them. I sent Gail Delaney, DB’s editor-in-chief, a short note explaining the situation and asking if she’d like to see ANGEL. I got a pleasant shock when she said yes, and an even nicer shock when she said she wanted to reissue it!

Jenifer Ranieri, DB’s art director, created a honey of a cover for the reissue. I’m thrilled to pieces.

SKC: I can understand why! Tell us a little about self-publishing and also how difficult it was for you to get your first contract.

DK: I haven’t self-published but small-press published. But there is a story behind that as well. I heard of Treble Heart Books’ Christian division, Mountain View Publishing, on a writers’ blog. I decided to see if they wanted any of my novels…and sent the editor an e-mail that pitched NINE DIFFERENT BOOKS! Thank heaven, the editor was very kind and didn’t call me a clueless newbie; she simply said, “Why don’t we look at one at a time?” Treble Heart ended up publishing my first two books.

SKC: Thank you for clarifying. So tell us, when did you first get the urge to write…and stay with it?

DK: I was a “Bonanza” addict and a TV-kid. Even then, I played a lot with ideas and stories, but hadn’t written anything down outside of school. Adam, Hoss and Little Joe, along with their daddy Ben, were way too GUY for me! They needed a sister, so Vanessa came into my mind. She had joined the family late, a long-lost daughter whose ancestry I was too dumb at ten to figure out. She had a cool pony called Patches. They roamed the Ponderosa and got into lots of trouble. From there it was really bad young-angst poetry and short romantic pieces about teenage Twue Wuvv. I wrote bits and pieces of novels for several years, and then finally finished a story in 1983, the piece that became SEASONS IN THE MIST.

SKC: What a way to work your brain around! How difficult it is for you to keep up a website and a blog to promote your work? Any secrets for the rest of us?

DK: I wish I were better at internet-promo than I am. I participate fairly often in online chats, even producing my own 15-20 minute writing presentations from time to time. I try to hit the blog at least two to three times a month, but don’t always succeed. The website needs attention even as we speak, because the books on the site are now out of print. It’s a challenge, that’s for sure!

SKC: You are so right, Deb. Who would you say is the most inspiring character in the book you have coming out soon and why?

DK: Funny you should ask. I expect most people would say Matt, the minister who questions just about everything—his calling, his secret life as a bestselling science fiction author—the works. But I’d say I admire AJ most. Her faith journey echoes my own in some respects, since AJ was raised by a wingy, ex-hippie, anything-goes-but-Christ single mother. I had my own struggles to find Jesus as my Lord, since my mother was a lapsed Christian and Dad an in-your-face atheist. So AJ took shape as a questioner, someone who was not raised in any one faith but kept her mind open to Christ. I think her faith journey has power for any reader who has questions about how the Gospel can prove itself to someone for whom it is brand-new.

SKC: Sound so intriguing! On another note, what is your experience working with editors and what advice do you have for aspiring authors coming in?

DK: Your editor is your very best friend! I’ve been lucky enough to have three marvelous editors over the last six books. They will make suggestions, get you past speed bumps, and point out (gently, if you’re fortunate enough to have the quality of editors I’ve had), where spots in your plot just aren’t working. Granted, we writers feel possessive about our projects, and rightly so. But a good editor is on your team, and if you can turn off the “mine!” switch just a touch, the end result will be a book that wins.

SKC: Great great advice! Do you have a place in your home where you get most inspired?

DK: In my front room, where the computer is, when nobody’s around .

SKC: I understand you would like to donate a book to one of our readers. Please let us know where we can find your books, Deb, and also how our readers can find you on line.

DK: ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN will release as an e-book May 1 from Desert Breeze Publishing ( Keep an eye on the Sheaf House web site ( for news about the time-travel romance, SEASONS IN THE MIST. My web site is and I keep my blog at, so those are the places readers can find me. I’d love to donate a print book for your readers – the winner can have her choice of the five print books of which I have copies. How’s that for a selection?

SDC: Thanks so much! Also, what question would you like to ask us today?

DK: I’d like to know how readers most easily get acquainted with an author who is new to them? Is it a blog? A web site? Word of mouth? What sorts of intros are the most interesting?

SDC: Deb, that's a wonderful question! I look forward to seeing what people will write in. And I really appreciate your coming to A Pen for Your Thoughts to share something about who you are and what you are about. My prayers are with you for many blessings to come your way in the days ahead with your talent.

Congratulations to Jessica Nelson of Dunnellon, Florida! You have won yourself a book! Be watching for it in the days ahead.


  1. Really great interview. I've wondered about smaller presses before and how they'd work out for a writer. So glad you've found some success with them. :-)
    Honestly, before I became a writer I never thought about authors of books. I just read.
    But when I got older, just before I started to write, I did visit Francine Rivers' website. I'm not sure why, but I'd have to guess that that was a strong tool at the time. Of course there wasn't Myspace, Twitter, or Facebook, so I can't say now what might've caught my attention.
    Thanks for the interview!

  2. Great interview! Like Jessica, before getting into writing I just read books. For new authors, I relied on suggestions from friends.

    Now, I go to websites and learn about an author who interests me. But I often find out about them to start with through blog interviews. I confess, Deb, I'd already checked out your website and 'Angel' interested me. Now that I've read this interview, I'm very interested. Also, Seasons in the Mist sounds promising.

    Oooh, so much to look forward to! I'm partial to print books, so would love to win a copy of one of yours. And I'll be on the lookout for Seasons this summer.


    Tammy Doherty
    (tdinishowen at charter dot net)

  3. Great interview.Since joining the ACFW group online, I have discovered that I am going to writer's blogs and websites as well as getting to know them on Facebook and Twitter. Have discovered a lot of new authors whose books I am enjoying that I probably wouldn't have discovered. Would love to get entered in the contest to win one of your books.


  4. I would love to win this book, it sounds very interesting!
    I usually "get to know" the author through his/her blog.

  5. Shirley, thanks for asking me onto the blog! It was fun.

    Thanks also, readers who clue me in on how the "Getting Acquainted" process happens. Looks as though there are as many ways as there are readers.

    I wish all of you could win books; it's fun to give stuff away and I'm looking forward to seeing who the winner is.

    Thanks again, kind readers.

  6. I love these interviews.
    YOu know, I think I get to know authors, sometimes, by the author bios in the back of their books, and sometimes through blogs. I don't get to author's private websites too often but blogging is so up front and personal. Maybe that's why I like to visit when there are interviews. It is a great way to get to know people. And I loved the info on small presses. Not enough of us understand about them.

    Janice Ian

  7. Deb,
    I really enjoyed your interview. You have a great sense of humor in your interview. Do you books contain that humor, too?

  8. Merrillee, I sure hope they do. If not, I'm failing at what I intend to do! It appears I'm thought to have a rather ticklish sense of humor (ask Chicago-North sometime) and I try to make sure the lighter side of life gets into my books.

    ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN just begged to be on the lighter side even that others of my stories, so I'm afraid I gave the humor pretty free rein.

    Life is like that, though, isn't it? Dark and light. Until each shade is consumed by the Father's overwhelming love, which is Light.

    Tammy, thanks for saying you'll look for "Seasons" this summer--but you'll look in vain. It's not coming out till spring of '10. (G) Hold the thought!

  9. Hey Deb, great stuff! I don't need the book (got my own copy) but I wanted to stop by and tell you I love ya and that was a cool interview.

  10. Hi Deb,
    Thanks for your insights. Before the Blog opportunities I didn't even consider getting to know more about an author. The information you shared is valuable to people that are new to this craft--like me. And of course, I would love to win one of your books.
    pgrau (dot) ggi (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. Thanks for the great interview :)

    I'm just starting to get to know writers (through ACFW and ACW) personally.

    I never used to put a lot of thought into authors...unless I REALLY like them! If I like 'em, I Google 'em, until I find a way read about their lives and their writing.

    I really like blogs because now I can interact with them!

  12. Hi, Deb,
    What a nice interview. Thank you, Shirley, for posting it. I've been blessed to meet Deb and had a nice chat, so that makes her work more real to me. I often check out books and authors that others are reading, then go ahead and e-mail or go to a signing afterward. That's been fun.

  13. I love your interview and would love to win one of your books if you are having a contest,

    thanks may God bless


  14. Wonderful review and I am so impressed with Ms. Kinnard's tenacity. Bravo to you.

    I don't want to be entered into the contest as I am abstaining for a time to give the one's I have one a fair shake. BUT, if I were, I would love to win this book.

    Good fortune to Deborah and may you not be too exhausted to enjoy it all. *smile*

    Gayla Collins

  15. I'm loving these messages coming in, and I have to tell you all how much I enjoyed doing this interview. I, like, Gayla get a kick out of authors who have the gumption to speak freely as so many of those who come on to A Pen for Your Thoughts do.
    You guys are wonderful!

    Now, I wonder who might win that book! I'll be drawing names the last day of this month. (Keep your stuff coming in!)

  16. Jessica, please send me your snail addy, either through Shirley or direct to me at We'll get the book of your choice out to you ASAP!

    Thanks for spending some time with me, everyone.

  17. An update -- let me just say Jessica impressed me as a class act.

    I'll 'splain. I've been giving away books for years. Prizes, free uploads, books for review, thank offerings -- you name it. But I cannot REMEMBER the last time a recipient went to the trouble of sending a snail mail thank-you card, acknowledging that she got the book and looks forward to reading it.

    Jessica: mark me down as a fan of yours, for life.