Tuesday, May 12, 2020

An Interview with Debby Grahl

Hello Debby

welcome to our garden interviews.

tell us about you and your books

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

I let the story unfold as I go along. First I decide on location, then plot, finally characters. I do an outline, but this is constantly changing. Sometimes a secondary character turns out to have a larger role than I originally planned.

What's your favorite book you've written?

This would be my contemporary romance, Rue Toulouse, which is set in New Orleans. There’s a saying, “Only in New Orleans.” And this is so true. As I sat on our hotel balcony sipping a glass of wine and munching on a bag of voodoo chips, I could  see a musician setting up on the corner. Soon the clear sounds of his saxophone filled the night. The smell of spicy gumbo from the restaurant across the street wafted through the air. The clip clop of a horse- drawn carriage passed beneath me, its driver thrilling his passengers with tales of the ghosts who haunt the city. A man, painted silver, walked along juggling oranges, while a bicycle cab pedaled by. On Bourbon Street, a second line band marched past. A group of laughing tourists carrying red go cups went into a bar, and the long low whistle of a paddle wheeler on the river could be heard.
As I sat there taking it all in, I thought what a wonderful place to set a story. From its diverse people and cultures to its incredible food, such as hot sugary beignets, po boy sandwiches, and crawfish etouffee; every kind of music from funky blues to jazz, rock ‘n roll to country; and Voodoo shops, haunted houses, and above-ground cemeteries.

When did you decide to become an author?

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) 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 recall as a teenager entertaining my girlfriends on our way to school with stories I’d made up. They were kind enough to listen, and today they’re some of my biggest fans.

What tips would you give a new writer?
Do your research. Readers will catch the smallest mistake, such as placing a specific real building or street in the wrong location. In writing historicals, make sure to use the correct devices for  the time period, such as weapons, vehicles, communications, and personal items.
2.   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. Other subjects include showing vs telling, info dump, and character development.
3.   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 are your current projects?

I’m working on my Carolina series. Mountain Blaze, a contemporary romance which is under contract with Wild Rose Press, is the first. The next, Island Heat, is set where I live on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

And for a little fun... 

Do you have a favorite quote?

“I’m one drink away from proving his mother right.”

Are you fun to go on vacation with?

I’d like to say yes. I enjoy visiting new places and experiencing  their culture. In other words, I enjoy being a total tourist.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Italian or Mexican.

What is your favorite time of year and why?

Summer. I love going to the Irish Hills in my home state of Michigan. My family lives on Sand Lake. Each summer we all get together, and even though it’s absolute  chaos, I love every minute. I enjoy riding in the red Mustang with the top down, pontoon boat rides, laying on the dock in the sun, and early morning coffee with my cousins.

Who's more fun, bad boys or perfect gentlemen? Or a Bad Girl or a lady?

I’d have to say bad boy. I like a rugged cowboy, sexy Cajun, smooth talking southerner, or a hot firefighter.

Where can we find out more? 

Coming soon from the Wild Rose Press Mountain Blaze

Find all of Debby's books on Amazon


Micki Miller said...

I’m filled with admiration at overcoming retinitis to become a writer.

GiniRifkin said...

HI Debby: Nice getting to learn more about you. Liked you quote! Your description of New Orleans made me feel I was right there.
Good luck with the Carolina series.

Debby Grahl said...

Hello, sorry this is so late. The gremlin that lives in my laptop made it impossible to get on line for days. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. All my best ,Debby

Charlotteoshayauthor.com said...

Would love to be your vacation buddy! What a blast.