The Heroine’s Journey of Deb Stover

What is the best thing that I love about my work? This is simple—doing what I love. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and specifically a storyteller. I grew up with my nose in a book, and my mom often had to take one out of my hands after I’d fallen asleep at night and turn off the light. When I went to college, I majored in journalism, and my first writing job was for a local newspaper. I started writing my first manuscript when my oldest child was about 6 months old and never looked back.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? I’m not sure there is such a thing, but if there is I think I’ve already lived it. I had a wonderful marriage and three great children. After twenty-nine years of marriage, my husband lost a hard-fought battle with cancer, so I finished raising our children on my own. They ranged in age from 14-24 then. So I’m going to combine my perfect happiness, which was 29 years with my husband and children and my greatest fear, which is losing any of them ever again into one question. Losing my husband was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, and it was hell for my children, too. Life is filled with pleasure and pain. I’m afraid the two go hand-in-hand.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Nora Roberts, Susan Wiggs and Debbie Macomber. They are equally awesome for the same and different reasons. They are all extremely talented writers, prolific, savvy business women, and fearless in their pursuit of success. Ms. Roberts is a daredevil author who will try anything, I think, and succeed at it, too. Ms. Wiggs is more methodical and organized, but no less fearless as she wings her way to the top of the bestseller lists repeatedly. And Ms. Macomber is the most tenacious author I have ever known, not to mention the most gracious. Perseverance is her middle name and it makes her sparkle!

What is my greatest extravagance? Good red wine.

On what occasion would I lie? To protect someone I love. I’ve done it before, and I’d probably do it again under similar circumstances.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Pirates and people who don’t believe authors should be paid for their work! What’s with that anyway? They don’t think we need to eat or keep a roof over our families’  heads? Perhaps they should work for free and see if they still feel that way….

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? 2001-2003 in Oregon, before my husband’s cancer came out of remission. MULLIGAN STEW <http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0182SIUT4/> and MULLIGAN MAGIC <http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0181KLP40/> were doing well, and NO PLACE FOR A LADY <http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AAREC0/> did very well for Rhapsody/Doubleday Book Club, too. I was making a decent living with my writing and my husband’s career was going well. Our children were happy and healthy at school. Our oldest daughter was entering her final years of college in Illinois. In 2004, all that would fall apart when my husband’s cancer came out of remission….  😦

If I could, what would I change about myself? That’s very easy: my health. I have severe rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and many deformed joints as a result. I also have advanced osteoporosis from childhood kidney disease and have suffered more fractures than I can  count—mostly spontaneous stress fractures, not from falls. So I use a walker full-time now and a wheelchair on occasion. I’ve lost 7″ in height since graduating from high school. Not fun…

What is my greatest achievement in work? My books are my greatest achievement, but I suppose receiving the Romantic Times Book Club’s Career Achievement Award in Contemporary New Reality in 2004 was pretty special. I’ve received 11 “Top Pick” ratings from their reviewers, several award  nominations, and one Reviewer’s Choice Award in 1999 for STOLEN WISHES, which was reissued as MAID MARIAN AND THE LAWMAN <http://www.amazon.com/dp/1611944031/>. YouTube: <https://youtu.be/ohKk-xE3L-A> I have also been added to the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of Bestselling Authors, which makes me smile.

Where would I most like to live? Bainbridge Island, Washington.

What is my most treasured possession? I don’t really consider her a possession, she’s my friend, but I guess I’m legally her owner. The answer is my 12 1/2 year-old apricot standard poodle, Maggie Mae. She’s my dearest friend in the world.

What is my most marked characteristic? I’m told my eyes are very blue.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My office. 🙂

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? La Bella Vita Bistro! Yummy!

What books influenced my life and how? THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES by Maggie Osborne showed me the true value of creating a flawed character readers can love. What a wonderful, endearing book. GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret MITCHELL told a story about an often unloveable woman and still remained true to history.

Who are my favorite writers? Maggie Osborne, Nora Roberts, Susan Wiggs.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Maggie Sansone’s Celtic Dulcimer.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? If you mean in my novels, they’re all different and unique to their own story. I don’t pattern them all after  one perfect ideal. Of course, I told my late husband he was always my hero, and he was, but he wasn’t the hero of my books. 😉

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My husband was one, my father still is one (he’s almost 86 now), Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, Mahātmā Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would have been one, the late Reverend Cletus Cary of the UMC was one, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK and Robert Kennedy were heroes. FDR, for sure. Eleanor Roosevelt, absolutely! Mother Theresa, definitely! Dorothy Parker, I think. 🙂 Pearl S. Buck.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? The original INDEPENDENCE DAY.

What role plays art in my life and work? I eat, breathe and live for books.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? That was always my husband. I still have a card that came with a bouquet of flowers he gave me the day my first book was released in 1995 on display near my computer monitor. It says, “You’re a real author now. Love, Dave.” Though he died 12 years ago, I think he’s still looking over my shoulder and with me every step of the way.

With whom would I like to work in 2018? The same person I’ve been working with since 2000—my wonderful and brilliant literary agent, Annelise Robey. I have not been as prolific since my husband’s death, but I hope to have two new projects for her to market in the coming  year. She’s been incredibly patient and supportive.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I would like to get back to the conference circuit. It’s been years since I have attended an RWA National Conference. Since 2018 will be in Denver, it  will be much easier for me to attend, so I definitely plan to be there. I miss my peeps.

What project, in 2017 and 2018, am I looking forward to work on? MULLIGAN SECRET—book three of my Mulligan series, and KEEPER OF THE WELL, a Romantic Mystery I hope to have ready before the end of 2017.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? Find buy links at http://www.debstsover.com/books.html

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I can’t imagine not writing, so that’s what it means to me. That said, I know at least two very successful authors who did just that, and one of them is my VERY FAVORITE author, so it broke my heart. I asked her what she was going to do with herself. She’s also a good personal friend. She said, “Wait for George to retire, then chase him around the bed.” Um, yes, George is her husband. 😉

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