Hey friends, it's with excitement (and a tiny bit of snark) that I welcome the newest member of our close-knit community in our cozy corner of the internet. (How's that for use of alliteration?)
But first, I want to see if you can guess who it is! Ready? Okay....go!
Do you recognize her from this tiny sliver?
If you do, I'm not surprised because this vivacious woman is known everywhere for her sweet smile and warm personality. Well, at least by those who don't know her well enough yet...
I first met this author in 2001 in Kansas City at the first American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference. I think it was her smile that first drew me, then the way she nodded so compassionately as she spoke to us new writers who had no clue what we were doing.
She, on the other, wrote her first novel, which was published within five months (if memory serves), and which also then became an award winning movie! Talk about starting your writing career off with a bang!
Do you know who it is yet?
We've already told her she's doing to love all of you, and I know you're going to love her too. So without further delay, help me welcome this bestselling author, a dear friend––and my writing critique partner for 11+ years and counting––Deborah Raney!
I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of this wonderful group of authors!
I've enjoyed the wit and wisdom here on Writes of Passage since its inception, and while I'm sad to see Carol, Judy, Kim, and Tracie go, I'm delighted to be stepping into and clomping around in their shoes––despite having no hope of actually filling those shoes.
For those of you who don't know me, my usual professional intro goes like this:
Deborah Raney is probably best known for her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which was the inspiration for the award-winning World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Deborah's women's fiction has won the RITA Award, Carol Award, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and has twice been a finalist for the Christy Award. She has been writing for over twenty years and enjoys teaching at writers conferences across the country. Blah blah blah...
All true, but my favorite part of my bio, is often left out: (Wait. Before we go any further, my friends call me Deb. If you're reading this blog, you are my friend.)
Deb's early success launched her career as a novelist after almost twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, love traveling to visit four children, and five precious grandchildren who all live much too far away. The Raneys recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita.
I truly love the writing life and am very grateful God gave me this next thing to do, since, if a mom does her job right, she eventually puts herself out of a job!
|Deb's "tiny" family|
But our four kids––all but one married now, and scattered from Texas to Missouri to Germany––are the real joys of our lives. Especially now that they've started producing a delightful crop of grandkids for us! We have four little boys and a sweeter-than-pie pig-tailed little girl––and the hope of at least a few more to come. How rich our lives are because of them!
|Deb's adorable grandkids|
On the writing front, after a year with two print books, and an e-book releasing, plus having just published my first indie e-book (an expanded and updated re-issue of my second novel), I'm excited to have the first book of a new series coming out this summer. The Chicory Inn Novels are set in Missouri (where both our daughters live––research is a great excuse to go visit those grand babies), and I'm discovering that my beloved characters have a lot in common with both my family of origin and the family I raised.
I'm eager to get to know you better, and eager to share my life with you through this blog.
If we could sit down and share a cup of coffee together, you'd soon learn that besides my family and Jesus, I am passionate about traveling, teaching at writers conferences, decorating our home on-the-cheap, exploring antique shops, flea markets, and garage sales, trying new recipes (though my hubby is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, so don't expect anything gourmet from me!), watching movies, and of course, READING great books. (You'll also learn that I'm passionate about using parentheses!)
Can't wait to hear about the things that make your world go round! So please, tell me!