Monday, June 15, 2009


Please join me in offering a summertime welcome to Deborah! I have had the privilege of visiting with Deborah before. If you missed her last time, now is your chance!

Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in Southeast Kansas where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. In writing the Seasons of the Tallgrass, a contemporary romance series for Zondervan, 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. The first book in the series, Snow Melts in Spring, is set to release this month.

SDC: Welcome to you! Before you tell us about your newest release, please fill us in on what keeps you going!

DV – Daily reading God’s Word, my family and friends, my love of writing and my love of simple pleasures—walks with our dogs, gardening, music, breathing fresh country air and watching our children grow.

SDC: What theme do you run through all your writing and what kind of response to you receive from readers who have not yet come to know the Lord, or who have been influenced greatly by one of your books?

DV – Since I’m just getting started as a published author, I’m not sure I have an inspirational theme that carries through my books yet. Possibly forgiveness. I do have a country theme, which mirrors my brand Country at Heart. All of my books have rural settings with ranches, farms, and small towns and most will have horses in them.

SDC: I just got a copy of your book from Zondervan today. I'm looking forward reading it. How do you make faith, love, and hope work together in your stories?

DV – As a Christian author it’s fairly easy to include faith, hope & love in my stories. It’s like the glue that holds our lives together and can only be found in our Savior Jesus Christ. These elements come through in the lives of my characters through their every-day living—and if the characters are not believers, then the absence of this is clear.

SDC: How did you come about your publisher, Zondervan? How long ago was it?

DV – I met my editor, Sue Brower, at an ACFW conference several years ago. 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 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 signed with Zondervan three months after that.

SDC: That's an interesting story! On a different note, tell us nw what’ your favorite Bible verse or verse might be that has sustained you recently and why?

DV - The verse I leaned on most this past year was “Be still and know that I am God,” as well as Philippians 4:13, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Isaiah 41:13.

SDC: I love te verse telling us to "Be Still." In fact I used it as a thread in my first historical. I understand you have a book you would like to share with one of our readers if we receive enough responders. Tell us which one you are planning to donate. Also, what question would you like one of our viewers to answer to help me select the winner?

DV – The book is Snow Melts in Spring. Mattie Evans, a young veterinarian in rural Kansas, saves a horse injured in a terrible accident. But she also finds herself tending the wounded relationship between a prodigal son and his ailing father. Love, conflict, forgiveness and renewal drive this first book of the Seasons of the Tallgrass series.

My question (for the readers at the blog here): Do you have a heart for country-life? Why or why not? If so, what inspires you the most?

SDC: That's a great question to get us all pondering. Thanks! Let us know where we can reach you and where we can find your books! We have greatly appreciated having you here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Deborah!

They may visit my web site or blog or they can sign up for my quarterly e-newsletter, which gives all my writing updates in a short e-mail. Snow Melts in Spring is available for sale at or .

Thanks for having me, Shirley.

READERS: Be sure to answer Deborah’s question above to try to win a copy of her book!

Hey, Everyone! We have a winner! Congratulations Lavon Lewis. I hope you are enjoying your book!


  1. My question (for the readers at the blog here): Do you have a heart for country-life? Why or why not? If so, what inspires you the most?

    I used to live on three farms. I would not trade any of that time for a life in the city. I love living in the city now, but the grand opennes of the country life was fabulous. Play in the yard, the grove, the pastures, the farm buildings, work the fields--loved it all. Now that I've been in the city for 34 years, not sure I could go back. But yes, I still do have a heart for the country. Our favorite thing to watch (hubbie and me) is the crops growing, the wide open expanse of farms, looking for rain--it never leaves you. As I've told people, I'm a country girl living in the city. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. That's me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks, Desert Roses. One of my favorite memories as a girl was riding home with my folks in their hay truck late at night after a long day in the hayfields. The windows rolled down, the cool night breeze on my face, lightning bugs flashing in the distance, and that smell. Anyone else???

  3. I grew up in a small town (pop. 6000) on the edge near the creek and we owned 30 acres north of town were my dad had a few cows, so I thought I was a country girl! My joy was bounding out of the car when we got to the farm, racing down the hill, and searching through the foliage to find remains of the house that burned in 1938. I have written several devotionals about that country life.

  4. I grew up in a large city (New York City) and remember the time each year that we would vacation in the country and absolutely loved it. Right now we are living in a small town and find that the older I get, the more we enjoy smaller town living. I'm not sure if I would do well living in the country since I do have a fear of bugs and snakes.


  5. Even though I've never lived in the country, I have tons of fond memories of country life because both sets of grandparents lived on farms. I feel lucky to have farm-life as part of my heritage.

  6. I have never lived in the country. However, my grandparents lived on a farm and I loved visiting them and seeing the crops and the animals.

    I will never forget the first baptism I remember seeing at my grandparents' church. After the service my sister and I went back to their house and baptized all the kittens. What a great memory!

    Can't wait to read your book.


  7. I grew up in Central New York in the city. I am enjoying the country now and have been since 2001 when I moved to rural Arizona. :)

  8. I have to add my two quarters here too,Deborah, as we wait to hear from others. I love the country. Always have. Grew up there and learned so much; I saw the Lord's hand in everything.
    But then I saw Him when I lived in th city too.
    I think it doesn't matter where we live, really.
    As long as you can have a few chickens and goats around, I mean.

    My devotionals reflect on all that I have learned about life in the country or wherever it was.

    Deborah,I can hardly wait to get into your book and see how you've instilled your faith and the Kansas country life in it.

  9. I love the country, it might have a bit to do with my shyness but I like being by myself and so I love being in the wide open spaces with no civilization around me. Plus I like the idea of living simply, going back to the basics. So glad that a few years ago we bought a house on a plot of land, my dream actually is something I enjoy, not just what I thought I would.

  10. Deborah, I have followed your road to publication through your blog this past year and congratulate you on your success. Zondervan did a beautiful job with the cover, by the way.

    I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, but have always been drawn to rural areas. When I was growing up, we frequently visited my great uncle who lived in the mountains of north GA. While I wasn't crazy about going to the outhouse or drinking well water, I loved the pot-bellied stove, tire tree swing, tractor rides, sleeping under hand-made quilts, etc. And in my reading, I always look for books with a rural or small-village setting.

    Thanks for the enjoyable interview and chance to win a copy of your book.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  11. I am more of a small-town girl than a country girl though I've spent a lot of time on my grandparent's farm where my mom grew up. Some people think all of Nebraska is country, but its really not. I enjoy the country/small-town part of life though. It's wonderful in its simplicity.

    ryanx6 at msn dot com

  12. i have such a deep appreciatio for country life.I have always grown up on a farm and i live in a small country town.Here folks are very kind and treat one another with kindness,in fact our town made a guiness world record last year 2008 for having the longest tractor parade there were 601 tractors which took 3 hours to get through.please enter me into the giveawya thanks

  13. I may not be a true country girl, having grown up in southern NJ, but I was born in Lancaster County, PA, and spent much time there over the years visiting relatives. It was always peaceful for me to be there and also spoke to me of the wonders of creation. So I think I do have a heart for country life, even if I do not want to get up at the crack of dawn and milk cows...but actually, I could learn if that were to come with the territory! Living now in north central KY has the same country feel, and I am so blessed to look out my window each day, and see 'the country' :)

  14. Yes, I have a heart for country-life! My grandparents lived on a farm in Oregon, and I loved visiting them there. Picking wild blackberries and trying to catch the wild kittens are two of my favorite memories. After they passed away, they left it to my mom who left it to me. But we live across the country in NJ, so after several years of renting the farm house and land, we finally sold it. It was so hard to let it go!

    Thanks for this great interview. I enjoyed learning more about Deborah and her story.

    carrie (at) turansky (dot) com

  15. Ah, a tractor parade!!! What fun. I heard of that happening in the Flint Hills. They actually drive through the hills on their tractors for miles & miles. What fun! I am SO ENJOYING your posts, everyone!

  16. Deb, I was raised in a medium to small town and country life was somthing foreign. Then when I got married, I lived out in the country for 16 yrs and grew to be very comfortable and found life easy to relax to. I loved raising and piddling with my flowers which is something I had never done before. And I found that there is a peacefulness that cannot be found everywhere.Reading was a blessing in itself. Even the coyotes howling at night was a very familiar and welcoming sound. Now the reality of snakes, is another story! That part I could do without;but all in all, I enjoyed country life very much.
    Please add my name to the drawing. Am so anxious to read your book!

  17. This book sounds amazing and I can't wait till this book is released. Please enter me in the drawing for this book.


  18. Without a doubt I have a heart for country life! I live in an apartment in the city right now and I'm always a little wistful about some of the places we've lived. We used to have horses, live on a decent amount of property, and have a creek flowing through it. I miss that so much! That's what I want for my daughter - I hope we're able to find something like that someday. :-)

    This book looks awesome!

    ladyufshalott at

  19. I've lived in the country all my life, and still do. There's nothing better than sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee or tea listening to the birds early in the morning, or "peepers" at night. We see all sorts of "critters" around here and I love seeing the newborn calves and goats of my neighbors every Spring.
    Its so quiet and peaceful, just seeing and listening to all of God's handiwork. I wouldn't trade it for anything! That's inspiring too me.


  20. Hi again, I just had to chime in again with all these neat stories about country life. I don't care for snakes either, or for flying insects with stingers. Yikes! As a girl, I LOVED to take walks along our creek. One time, I remember writing a poem about a tall sycamore tree that grew there, so I guess my love for writing blossomed in the country. And Sandee, I'm not sure there is anything as comforting as the sound of cicadas lightly droning or frogs croaking near the pond at night. Blessings to all of you!