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Take 5 Interview with author Deborah Vogts


Christian fiction author Deborah Vogts
Photo credit: D. Vogts

Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in Southeast Kansas where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. As a student at Emporia State University studying English and journalism, Deborah developed a love for the Flint Hills that has never faded. In writing this series, 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

And now, it's time to Take-5 with Deborah Vogts.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: Years ago, I took a Flint Hills Folklife summer course at Emporia State University that was taught by Dr. Jim Hoy. Along with classroom study, we took field trips into the heart of the Flint Hills and visited with old-time ranchers, schoolmarms and post-mistresses. It was such a delightful experience, especially our drives into the pastures. We would get on these back roads and drive over pasture guards into the open range. We would travel for miles without seeing another car or even an electric line—just pure, native prairie. That summer, I fell in love with the Flint Hills and it has stayed with me all this time.

Q: How do you come up with your story ideas?
A: For each of the seasonal books, I wanted to portray one aspect found in the Flint Hills—so for this second book, I knew I had to include a story about a female rancher. Also because I have three daughters who are spread out in age, I started wondering what it would be like if something happened to my husband and I, and our oldest daughter was left to care for her sisters. It helped make the plot for Seeds of Summer real for me.

Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts
Photo credit: Zondervan

A lot of the scenes in the story came from my own experience on the farm. Like Chelsey (Natalie’s sister), as a girl I did much of the cooking for the family, and took care of the house while my parents and brothers farmed. The haying scene in the book came directly from my own experience of raking hayfields and watching the crew stack the bales in the haymow. And Natalie’s horse Jackson was inspired by one of our own horses that is also a gallant protector. I believe some horses are extremely faithful creatures and can sense their owner’s emotions and will act accordingly.

Q: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A: I’ve been surprised at how much time marketing takes. As aspiring authors, we’re told that you have to market, and yes, that it takes a lot of your time, but oh my goodness . . . I never quite expected it to take so much time from my writing schedule. I had always thought that I was good at multi-tasking, but when it comes to marketing and writing, I have to do one or the other—I haven’t figured out a good way to do them both. Maybe the best idea is to set aside one or two days a week to do “only marketing.” I’m not sure…I’m still working on that one. LOL

Q: What event, writer, or book has most impacted your writing life?
A: The writing organization, ACFW – American Christian Fiction Writers. Each year they have a national conference that is the BEST conference to attend if you write Christian fiction. This group is the source of my transition into the publishing world. Without it, I doubt I’d be published today.

Q: What's next for you in the writing arena?
A: I’m currently finishing up the third book in the series, Blades of Autumn, which is the story about Clara, the owner of Clara’s Café. (Blurb for Book #3) With a café to run and three children to raise, Clara Lambert doesn’t have time for men or loneliness, despite what her heart might tell her. When two handsome cowboys vie for her attention, one of the brothers proves to be her soul mate, but at what cost? Will it tear the brothers’ relationship apart or is blood really thicker than water?

Seeds of Summer: Book Two (Seasons of the Tallgrass) is 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.

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