Monday, March 1, 2010

Guest Blogger Debby Mayne

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest blogger here at the EditCafe! This is such a cozy and fun place to be!

As I write each book for the Heartsong Presents line, I think about what I want my readers to come away with. The most important thing is to know the Lord is with us, through every set of circumstances, and with every step we take. We’re not promised all candy and roses, but we are to have a heart of contentment in following the path He chooses for us. Love is a gift from Him, and we are to treat it with care.

I’m excited about my West Virginia-set books. Although these stories aren’t connected as a series, the setting is in a gorgeous state filled with caring people who are committed to faith, family, and community—all things I love to include in my stories. As I researched the settings and situations, I received an outpouring of help and good wishes from everyone I spoke to. Another benefit was reconnecting with old friends and making new ones as I e-mailed and called people, begging for help. I also want to give a few shout-outs to people who gave up some of their precious time to answer my questions.

The first book, Noah’s Ark, is about Emily, a woman who returns to her aunt and uncle’s farm to reconnect with her family and faith, and Noah, an animal loving man whose veterinary practice provides them plenty of opportunities to learn about each other. Although the story was about the relationship between Noah and Emily, I had to do research on the area to add believability to the scenes. I was fortunate to make connections with Brian Clercx, the chairman of Art and Design at Marshall University in Huntington, and Brenda Holley, a representative with Huntington’s Chamber of Commerce. My close friends, Dr. Scott Lamb and his wife Kathleen, answered all my questions about veterinary medicine.

My second West Virginia book, Special Mission, gave me the opportunity to include some of the emotions tied with being involved with someone in the military. Although it’s an honorable calling, any military service can be filled with misunderstandings and heartache. I grew up in a military family, and I moved every couple of years when my dad received new assignments. Even though I had the amazing opportunity of living in gorgeous places like Oregon, Hawaii, Japan, Mississippi, and Florida, with each move came sadness over leaving friends behind. This was especially difficult with overseas assignments because I didn’t see extended family, including grandparents, for three years at a time.

As Kim in Special Mission evaluates her relationship with David, she grows increasingly confused about her feelings toward her childhood friend Brian, who is trying to help her deal with loneliness after he’s jilted at the altar. This book forced me to dig deep and dredge up some old feelings I hadn’t dealt with in a very long time. In a way, it was cathartic for me, and I hope it shows a realistic side of this type of relationship. Love isn’t always neatly packaged, all pretty and shiny. It often comes with confusion, angst, and many sleepless nights.

The third book, Portrait of Love, will be mailed to book club members this coming summer. This story enabled me to explore relationships from another angle as Mandy the heroine felt a combination of annoyance and attraction to Tony the hero as he walks in and announces that he has the job Mandy had planned to apply for, simply because his family owns the company. Adding to her frustration, Mandy has a sister who has never had to work hard for anything, yet things always seem to work out for her. As the relationships develop in this story, Mandy realizes that nothing is or ever has been as it seems.

New friends Jennifer Fleahman with the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce and Margaret Prager at Suzanne’s Bridal Shop helped me with research of the area for Portrait of Love. Without their assistance, I would have completely rearranged this delightful town.

Being a Heartsong Presents writer is a blessing to me. I love being able to connect with readers through this blog and when I receive the sheets from the back of the book letting me know what you like about my stories and what you’d like to see in the future. Thank you again for letting me share with readers and other writers.

Debby Mayne
Be sure to check out the Heartsong Connection blog this week for more on Debby Mayne and Special Mission.


PamelaTracy said...

They all sound good! I especially love vet heroes - both animal vets and military vets, so you nabbed both. Good job.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to know that you're writing about my home state, Debby. With such a good subject, they're bound to be best-sellers. :)
Best wishes, as always.
Irene Brand

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Pamela and Irene! It's great to see y'all here!

I love the people from West Virginia! Every single one I spoke with actually thanked me for letting them help.

Author Sandra D. Bricker said...

I enjoyed Noah's Ark so much! I'm a big fan of Debby's ability to create a community feeling in her stories. And of course, being a dog lover, the animals don't hurt either. :-)

The Write Life said...

Debby's stories are always warm and family-oriented. I love the characters and reading along as they learn to better connect with each other through whatever dilemma comes their way.

I look forward to reading these stories.


Rhonda Gibson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhonda Gibson said...

Good to see you here. You know I love your books! I'm looking forward to buying my copy of your West Virginia books.

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks, Sandie and Paige! It's great to see y'all here! And I appreciate the sweet comments.

Debby Mayne said...

It's great to see you here, too, Rhonda!

Shelley Shepard Gray said...

Debby, I've been a fan of yours for years. I'm so glad that you've got several new ones on the horizon! I happen to love West Virginia, too.

Aaron McCarver said...

Hey Debby,
Great blog. I love to hear the why behind stories. It adds a lot to the reading experience. Fellow writers like you make writing for HP even better than it already is. Blessings to you, Debby. Keep up the great work you do for our Heavenly Father.

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks, Shelley! I'm a fan of yours as well!

Aaron! Thanks for such a sweet comment! I love the family of HP writers!

CatMom said...

Thanks for sharing this background information on your books, Debby! All three stories sound great, and I look forward to reading them. ~ Although I haven't visited West Virginia in many years, I remember it as a beautiful state.
Blessings, Patti Jo

Jennifer Johnson said...

Hi Debby, thanks for posting this. I'm in the process of brainstorming a new story, and that's what I've been thinking about...what do I want my readers to walk away with?

sanjeet said...

It's great to see y'all here!
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