Journey to the Seasons of the Tallgrass
by Deborah Vogts
In April 2008, I received “the phone call” from my agent, Rachelle Gardner, that Zondervan had made an offer on the Seasons of the Tallgrass, a contemporary romance series set in the Flint Hills of Kansas—a place I dearly love. My long-held dream had finally arrived—my prayers had been answered. But the story didn’t begin there…it began many years ago when I attended Emporia State University and took a summer course called Flint Hills Folklore.
My first book, Snow Melts in Spring, begins when a horse is terribly injured. Right off, I had to know technical terminology and had to create a scene that was accurate and believable. To get it right, I contacted a handful of veterinarians, asked them a bunch of detailed questions all the way down to possible accident scenarios, which would create the type of injuries required for the story. I even shadowed one small animal vet for a day in order to get a feel for what a "day in the life" might look like for my character who was also a vet.
My hero in this book is an NFL quarterback, so I also had to know something about football. For this research, I went to the children's section of the library and checked out an armload of books. I also watched a lot of football games on television and asked my football-loving friends and family hundreds of questions--all so I could write two or three scenes with authenticity.
On one of my many road trips into the Flint Hills, my husband and I stayed at the Clover Cliff Ranch, a Bed & Breakfast owned by Jim & Joan Donahue. This place became the basis for the McCray's Lightning M Ranch.
For Seeds of Summer, which released the end of May, I learned about the Miss Rodeo America competition because my main character, Natalie Adams is a former Miss Rodeo Kansas and first runner up Miss Rodeo America. My research for this story included visiting with those at the Miss Rodeo America headquarters, as well as interviewing and questioning the current MRA at that time, Miss Amy Wilson, Miss Rodeo America 2008.
The highlight of this research occurred when I met and visited Amy at her home in Colby, KS. Amy was a joy to work with and is such a lovely person. My visit to her home was an unexpected blessing, as she shared some special moments from her time as Miss Rodeo Kansas and then as Miss Rodeo America. [Insert picture of Amy Wilson]
I learned that Miss Rodeo America has a host of sponsors who shower their queen with lovely gifts, some of which include: a wardrobe of Wrangler Jeans, Justin Boots, Bailey Hats, fully tooled Court’s Saddle with custom Miss Rodeo America conchos and an official Miss Rodeo America trophy buckle from Montana Silversmiths. Accompanying the perpetual Miss Rodeo America tiara made by Landstrom’s Original Black Hills Gold Creations, Amy was given a wardrobe of matching jewelry. These items, along with other prizes were presented to her throughout her reign. To see some pictures of these items, please visit my blog post HERE: http://deborahvogts.blogspot.com/2009/07/visit-with-miss-rodeo-america-2008-amy.html
Seeds of SummerWhen opposites attract, sparks fly--like an electrical malfunction. That's what happens when former rodeo queen Natalie Adams meets the new pastor in Diamond Falls. A heart-warming contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a former rodeo queen abandons her dreams in order to care for her deceased father’s ranch and her two half-siblings, only to realize with the help of a young new pastor that God can turn even the most dire circumstances into seeds of hope. Spanning the Seasons of the Tallgrass, each story in this series reveals the struggle of the people who live there and the dreams they have for the land until they come full-circle in a never-ending cycle, just as man comes full-circle in his understanding of God.
Visit Deborah at her web site: http://deborahvogts.com/ Or her Country at Heart blog: http://deborahvogts.blogspot.com/
We also have a reflective thought from Deborah for those who stop by. Take a moment to add your name to the drawing. We'd love to hear from you.
Each time I drive out into the Flint Hills, my heart soars, and I’m touched by God’s presence in the simplicity of that rolling prairie. Write about a favorite place that warms your heart.
We want to say congratulations to Ann Lee Miller of Gilbert Arizona! Your book is on its way, Ann. Hope you enjoy it as much as we got to enjoy hearing from Deborah.
I hadn't really thought of bringing up a memory of a special place to write about or add to my WIP. Yours sounds heavenly. Best wishes.ReplyDelete
jancline at ymail dot com
Your books sound amazing. I, too, share an interest in the prairie, but not at a personal level as you do. The setting of a series I'm working on now is the Blackfeet Indian reservation which is located just east of the Rockies where the vast prairie of Montana begins. Someday I hope to visit there. BTW, my blog is entitled "The Country Author". http://www.lindastrawn.com/thecountryauthorReplyDelete
May God bless your writing.
a wonderful posting...thanks for sharing...deborah's book is on my 'wishlist.' thanks for the chance to read it :)ReplyDelete
kmkuka at yahoo dot com
Hi Shirley. Thanks so much for having me on your blog so I can get to know your readers. Blessings to you all. :)ReplyDelete
Linda Strawn: I not only consider her books sounding amazing but simply are amazing!!ReplyDelete
I have only read the first book but have publicized it around me as well as on the internet. I have become a good friend thru Facebook and e-mail for quite a long time and just considered her someone that I would read her first book and then see how things went. Well, they went well! Would love to read the Seeds of Summer and that is the next thing on my list. Talkig about a nice place to be.. my grandpa used to sit me in a field of daisies when I was very young and that stayed with me forever. It was such an erhereal feeling to look in the sky at the clouds and then look across at the cloud of daisies. Wonderful warm feeling.
bubbys gammaw at peoplepc dot com
Thank you for the wonderful interview and all the research/hard work you put into writing this book. Often when someone reads a book, a reader does not often think of all the hard research that's needed in order to provide an accurate portrayal of the background and characters. I look forward to reading your books.ReplyDelete
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net
Okay, now I want to take a road trip to the Flint Hills.ReplyDelete
Put my name in the pot to win a book,
A J Hawke
ajhawkeauthor at aol com
A place that I love to enjoy is close to home. Here in the Smoky Mountains, there is a place called Cade's Cove that I love to visit and still my heart before God.ReplyDelete
Please enter me in this giveaway!
you are an amazing author deb...i love to enter the town where i grew up...ReplyDelete
kmkuka at yahoo dot com
Just a comment to all. Deborah is having difficulties with her back. Please join me in keeping her in your prayers. I know she will appreciate that.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much.
Who knew there was a Miss Rodeo America? Not It! Great post. Thanks, Shirley! Thanks, Deborah!ReplyDelete
aprilmarieg at gmail dot com
My favorite place I think is in the field by my house. I can walk alone there and think about everything. If I was still a little girl I would probably lay back in the weeds and fall asleep and dream. I did that a lot.
I loved your book, Deborah, and thanks for letting the Packers win one.ReplyDelete
My hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I haven't lived there in over 30 years, but it still feels like home.ReplyDelete
Hello! I wanted to let you know about a blog of mine. It is called Christian Book Giveaways. On it, I advertise other people’s book giveaways for FREE. This way, readers can find book giveaways that interest them and bloggers can get more traffic on their blog. If you would like to learn how to advertise your giveaway, please visit this link: http://christianbookgiveaways.blogspot.com/2009/12/advertise-your-giveaway-for-free.htmlReplyDelete
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