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Debby Grahl

Interview with

Debby Grahl

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read 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. It wasn’t until the invention of computers and screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into print.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on how much research I have to do. Usually at least a year.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How my characters can take over the story. I've had secondary characters become more prominent.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It can do both. If my characters aren't talking to me, I can become very frustrated. But if things are going well, I can write all day.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be original.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?

What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you? 

When the words won't come.

Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

I begin with my location, then develop the characters, then the plot.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

How much research did you need to do for your book? 

Tell us more about your book/s?

Mountain Blaze is the first in my Carolina series. It takes place in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Island Heat is the next in the series.

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