Monday, October 21, 2013

Author: Debi Walter

Today's guest author and I met through our children.  I was thrilled to learn she's a writer.  If you haven't read her book, you should.  You will be inspired and brought to tears.  Please welcome Historical fiction author, Debi Walter.

Debi Gray Walter has had the desire to write Through The Eyes of Grace for over 25 years. It began after she heard her grandmother’s story as told by her mom shortly after her grandmother’s death in 1979. Amazed at the circumstances Grace faced, Debi began the journey to discover the many facets of her life, loves and the lessons she learned.

Debi and her husband, Tom, live in Orlando, FL, where they stay busy with their marriage, their three grown children, their six (soon-to-be seven) grandchildren, and serving their local church. It is a full life for which they give God thanks and glory.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
My book is an easy read with lots of interesting historical details. It is an honest portrayal of life at the turn of the 20th century in Oklahoma and Indian Territory.

It sounds fascinating, but how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
Writing is my life. It’s what I do whether someone will read it or not. I have kept a personal journal since 1989, and I also have two blogs. It keeps me quite involved. But I have learned to turn it off often. It’s easy to get lost in the writing world to the expense of enjoying life. It takes discipline to turn the switch OFF.

You make a very good point.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
My typical day begins at 7a. I spend my first couple of hours enjoying my perfectly brewed cup of tea, quiet time in my Bible and writing in my journal. This is also when I read other books. Once I’ve finished I’ll sit at the computer and write and answer comments until 11a. or so. Then, depending on what I have scheduled for the day, I may not return until later. But oftentimes I’m at the computer all day, researching and learning all I can about my craft.

You've piqued my interest.  Can you describe your writing space?
A couple of years ago I started having serious back pain. My husband figured it was most likely the chair I was using. It wasn’t a computer chair, but a leather side chair. He took me shopping for a new desk and ergonomically correct office chair. Within weeks my back no longer hurt. My desk is set in a corner of our family room. I like writing here because I’m not too far removed from family life. I recently bought a lamp to use for better lighting. I like how it makes my desk look inviting and homey.

What you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Outside of writing, I am most passionate about seeing marriages grow stronger for the glory of God and for the good of the couples and their families. My husband and I have a blog devoted to this purpose. It’s called The Romantic Vineyard and next month we’ll celebrate our 5th blogiversary. It has been an incredible privilege to have a voice in helping marriages overcomes obstacles in their relationship. This is something my husband and I have been passionate about from when we first were married. What a joy it is to see this dream come true. We recently purchased a cabin in Banner Elk, NC, (Barefoot Cabin) with the intent of hosting ladies and marriage retreats. It is also available in a rental program. We’ve worked hard all summer making it the perfect getaway location for couples, families and small groups. It has 5 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths, a huge firepit, hot tub, pool table and two over-sized porches for relaxing and watching the hummingbirds. You can see it on our FaceBook page:

It sounds like a great place for a writer's retreat.  ;)  What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write historical fiction and non-fiction about life, love, marriage and life in the church.

Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?
My story came to me through my Mom who told me about my grandmother’s amazing story after she had passed away. I was so sad to learn it when it was too late for me to ask her questions. This is what led me to research her story so I could record it for the rest of my family to know. It was published three months before my Mom passed away. She was my biggest fan and helped me tremendously in researching her story. We traveled several times to Oklahoma and walked the ground where my grandmother’s life unfolded. She read my book and loved it! That was the best reward for my 12 year project.

What a great legacy you've passed on to your descendants.  What sets your books apart from other authors?
I don’t know honestly. I set out to discover the truth that my grandmother’s family tried so hard to conceal. I believe strongly that we make mistakes in order to help those who come behind us to learn and avoid them. If her story was never known, how would we learn and grow as a result. I guess most fiction writers make up the story entirely in their mind. I took what I knew about reality and made up the parts I didn’t. This gave me an outline of truth from which to begin.

How do you go about developing your characters?
I remember getting to a point in my writing where I felt like the characters told me the story. I’ve heard other authors talk about his happening, and I thought it strange. But when it happened to me, it was the most liberating feeling in the world. My characters had finally developed a life of their own. It was magical!

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Of course, it would be my grandmother. But she was the real deal. I suppose of the characters that I made up in the story, my favorite would have to be Nancy. She is my antagonist and quite good at it too.

Can you share a little of your current work?
I’m currently working on the outline of the second book in my series. I’m not sure if I can tell the whole story in two volumes, but I want to try. If not, there will be a third.

Where can readers find more information on you?
I have an author blog http://debigraywalter where I try to post every Wednesday. I also have a FaceBook page, You can also following my daily posts here and our FaceBook page is where we post a healthy marriage tip each day. I am on Twitter @theromanticvine and I am quite active on Pinterest:

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Through The Eyes Of Grace, is available in soft cover and for eReaders. You can buy my book by clicking here: or on eReaders here:

Here is a blurb to whet your appetite:

Pain brought on by the ill motives of another forces Grace to abandon the only security she has ever known in the hopes of finding the lasting love she has only dreamed of.

It is 1904 in the township of Ceres, Oklahoma Territory. Fifteen-year-old Grace Stella Kirwin's life is blossoming like the prairie flowers she has grown to love, yet she is unaware of the encroaching storm about to ravage her heart. It will seek to destroy all the hope she has of finding genuine love.

A protective ultimatum by Grace's father leads to a violent response by the only man Grace has ever wanted. Shattered and bruised, Grace fears she'll never be free from the nightmare caused by Doogan Maguire. Hope dawns when she moves to the new township of Jenks in Indian Territory, only to discover a darker night awaits her. Will she find the lasting love she's longed for?

Debi, Thank you so much for visiting with us today.  The love you have for your mother and grandmother is evident in your writing.  What an honor you give to them by writing your grandmother's story, and how privileged we are, that you share it with us.

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