Sunday, September 27, 2020

Warm Reading for Chilly Days


 It's never too early to start planning for the holidays, and now we've made the official turn to Fall so that draws us closer to not only those gift decisions, but what you want to be reading once the snow starts to fall. (weather people say it could be as early as next week in Colorado) And that brings to mind what we want to be reading as those days start to get longer and we are inside more.

Today's guest in My Writing Corner has a new book out soon and it could be just perfect for either those days as you sit inside and look for your next great read, or as a gift idea for a friend.

 My guest today is award-winning author Debby Grahl. She lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with her husband, David. Besides writing, she says she enjoys hiking, walking on the the beach and relaxing with a glass of wine at sunset. She says she loves visit places like New York and New Orleans, but she also loves to visit the Cotswolds of England.  

She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel and romance. Being visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. Her newest book, Mountain Blaze,  will be released  by The Wild Rose Press in November, but it's available for presale right now! 

Welcome, Deb, what are the challenges of being a writer?

My biggest challenge is my loss of vision. I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I lost the ability to see print 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. It wasn’t until the invention of screen-reading software that I was able to put my stories into print.

Tell us about your road to publication.

My first mistake in writing was thinking that you just write the book, send it to a publisher or agent, and away you go. Not! I sent the first twenty-five pages to a publisher who was offering a free critique. She wrote back and said I had a good idea for a story if I could write it. She said she marked all my writing mistakes in red. Well, most of the page was in red. 

I finally received a contract with a small press. I was thrilled, until a short time into editing the ms, I received an email informing me due to lack of funds, they were closing their doors. I was crushed, but I sent the ms to another small publisher and received a contract. This time I made it all the way to the book going to print before they also closed. By this time, I was crushed. I moped around for a couple of days then tried one more time. I was fortunate the next publisher actually published two of my books before closing. Now, I’m happy to say, I’ve found a home with The Wild Rose Press.


How do you come up with plots?

First, I choose the location, then draft a short outline of the story itself, last are my characters. I like to have some kind of mystery in my plots, so I decide what this will be, and which of my characters will be involved.


What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Do your research. Readers will catch the smallest mistake, such as if you have a specific building or street, make sure they’re in the right location.

In writing historical, check to make sure you’re using the correct devices in the correct time period.

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. There’s also what is known as info dump and character development.

When you submit your manuscript, make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. Editors will reject your work in seconds if there’re too many mistakes.

What’s your next project? (or What are you working on now?)

Island Heat is the next book in my Carolina series. The story takes place on Hilton Head Island and is a combination romance and mystery.

Let's learn more about Mountain Blaze, available right now for pre-order:


Disillusioned by his wife’s betrayal, rodeo star Dillon McCoy comes home to the mountains of North Carolina to lick his wounds. When he agrees to take over the family ranch, the Lazy M, he’s unaware danger waits.

Diana Thompson is having doubts about her engagement to Trent Sawyer. She agrees to leave Chapel Hill and spend Thanksgiving with her friend Jenn at the Lazy M. When Diana and Dillon meet, neither can deny their attraction, but both must resolve past relationships while fighting their growing desire.

After Dillon turns down an anonymous offer to purchase the ranch, attempts are made on his life. When a body is found, Dillon sets out to discover who wants the McCoy land enough to commit murder.

Thank you Deb for  being my guest. If you'd like to pre-order Moutani Blaze or get in touch with Deb, here are the links:

Available from Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble

Website --
Facebook --
Amazon Author Page --


  1. Rebecca, thank you so much for having me as a guest.

  2. Rebecca, thank you so much for having me as a guest.


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