28 June, 2012

Deborah Dee Harper | Author Interview

Deborah Dee Harper

Deb writes from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. When she isn't writing, she enjoys whale-watching tours, rafting, hiking, climbing to glaciers, running from moose, taking pictures of bears, dall sheep, and other Alaskan wildlife, watching fighter jets fly overhead, or spending time with her grandchildren in Kentucky and Michigan.

Her children's adventure book, Laramie on the Lam, is now in print and available through popular online book sites. Her humorous Christian novel for adults is now under contract and will be published in the future.

Children are bound to love the incredibly fun Laramie on the Lam. Here's a better look into what Laramie and his friends are up to
Laramie Wyoming is in big trouble--as usual--but this is the biggest, baddest trouble he's ever gotten himself into.

Eleven-year-old Laramie is a lot of things: an average student, a little mischievous, always messy, constantly curious, and on most days, a good big brother. But Laramie also loves adventure. He and his trusty black Labrador, Maestro, are always getting into some kind of pickle. They live with Laramie's parents and his little sister in the town he was named after--Laramie, Wyoming. But when his mother, a travel writer, gets the chance to take her family with her on a trip around the country to write a book, they jump into their motor home and head for the great unknown. The adventure hasn't stopped since!

Even though he's used to getting in (and out) of scrapes, Laramie never--not in a million years--dreamed he and Maestro would end up being chased from Virginia to Alaska and lots of places in-between by bank robbers.

It's official: Laramie's on the lam! 
Not only is Deb an inspirational writer but she also happens to be a good friend whom I met through the Craftsman program in the Christian Writer's Guild. I asked her the following questions and she took the time out of a crazy moving schedule and planning her next book to answer them. Check out her blogs and social media links below for more upcoming adventures!

1 It is the year 2075. Spaceships can now take the public to any part of the solar system. Where do you go first?
   That’s a tough question. I’m not crazy about flying around from here to there on earth, let alone space, so leaving the planet to go even higher and faster might be a problem for me. If I didn’t have to get off the shuttle (and keep repeating those darned take-offs, which I detest), I’d love to just “tour” the solar system and fly past the planets I’ve seen pictures of for so many years and get some shots of them myself. I have to admit, it would be wonderful to see Earth from such a distance and maybe get a closer shot of the Pleiades!

2 What is your favorite fairy tale or legend? Why?
   I’d have to say the legend of Johnny Appleseed is my favorite. The idea of someone walking across the country for the purpose of spreading apple seeds appeals to me. What an undertaking, what a noble goal, and what a fabulous return for his efforts. In particular, I love the parallel to planting seeds for Jesus throughout our neighborhood, state, country, and world. If Johnny Appleseed can spread apple orchards across America on foot, just think what we can do with what we have at our disposal these days.

3 Are you a one-time-only or a repeat reader? (If the latter, which book has received the most repeats?)
   Definitely a repeat reader! I love the Left Behind series by Jerry B. Jenkins, as well as Stephen King’s The Stand. They’re both long enough (and detailed enough) that I catch something new every time I read them. Also, I learn so much about writing from those two great authors. And, of course, I’ve reread the Bible and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

4 You have all the money you could ever want. What one thing do you add to your writing space?
   Bookshelves. Lots of them. I love having books around me when I write—all kinds of books—as well as photos of my grandchildren or pictures I’ve taken of Alaskan scenery and animals. I need someplace to put all the stuff that inspires me, but that doesn’t need to be on my desk.

5 Without mentioning your hobbies or what you do for a living, how would you describe yourself?
   Committed Christian, devoted mother and grandmother, curious, funny, busy, nature lover, a bit impulsive, sometimes adventurous (to the point of recklessness), grateful, happy, thrilled with my life.

6 What initially drew you to writing?
   When I was about eight, I wrote a book (well, I wrote a title—never got as far as actually writing the book) and called it The Mystery of Castle Dawn. For some reason, I thought that was the coolest thing—I suppose I was influenced by all those Nancy Drew mysteries I read—and it stuck with me. All through the different phases of my life, I planned to finish (well, start) The Mystery of Castle Dawn. (I still plan to do that some time.) When I reached high school, my English Comp teacher encouraged me to continue writing and my creative writing period began. It continues today.

7 What influenced you enough to become the ideas for Laramie on the Lam?
   This one’s easy! First, my grandsons. My main character, Laramie, is a combination of Dustin (11) and Hunter (9), my youngest daughter’s first two boys (and the oldest of my six grandchildren). Secondly, the settings in my book—Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, Michigan’s Lake Superior, the ALCAN Highway, Alaska, and Owensboro, Kentucky (where Dustin and Hunter actually live)—are all places I’ve visited and loved. It just seemed logical to put them all together in a way that kids would love—with lots of danger, excitement, wild animals, mystery, bad guys, a loyal dog, strong heroes, and great places to explore, with a touch of inspiration.

8 If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?
   Gee, just one? That’s tough. I’d love to finish and publish the sequel to my adult novel that I mention below, as well as one or more books in the Laramie series. Other than those, I guess I’ve always wanted to write a book about Jesus as a child and young man. Obviously, there are some problems with that since we don’t know much about those years, but His early years have always intrigued me. I’d like to draw more kids to Christ by pointing out the similarities between Him and them—the struggles He may have had growing up, the adventures He may have enjoyed with His friends, His family life. Maybe someday.

9 Tell us about some new things that you are/will be working on...
   My adult novel, Misstep, has recently been picked up by a publisher, which tickles me to no end, because even though it was a finalist in the 2009 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, my agent’s been shopping it around for a couple of years. I feared no one would want it and I really believe it has worth. Thank goodness God opened some doors! Misstep is a humorous book that (hopefully) sends two messages: first, that it’s never too late to accept salvation, and second, that Christians are humans too, and as such, we have our faults, weaknesses, and bad habits, and sometimes all we can do is laugh at ourselves and ask God to continue His work in (and through) us.

I’m also working on the sequel to Misstep and will perhaps write a sequel to Laramie on the Lam, because I don’t think Laramie, Maestro, and Prentiss are finished with me yet!

10 Your fairy godmother is forcing you to change professions and gives you the skill set needed to do so. What have you become?
   A photographer. I’d love to concentrate on taking photos of God’s beautiful creation here on earth, as well as the stars, planets, galaxies, etc., in the heavens. What a great way to worship God and show others how much He loves us. In fact, I have a blog at www.deetrails.blogspot.com where I show some of my photos and write posts about what drew me to that particular thing. The blog centers on those little things we sometimes miss along the trail of life—gorgeous, everyday, and often mundane or simple things that God has put in our path for our pleasure. We may be the only ones who take notice of them, but God provided them just the same. There is so much about nature and our world that we take for granted, but that our Heavenly Father provides just because He loves us. It’s awesome when you think about it.


You can buy Laramie on the Lam at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com.
Deborah Deetales | The official Deborah Harper blog
Laramie on the Lam  | The official Laramie blog
DeeTrails | Deb's Photography


  1. What fun, Deb! I'm so excited to see your book in print--can't wait to have a copy for myself. Congratulations!

  2. What fun and creative questions! And I love your answers, Deb. Haven't had a chance to check out Laramie yet, but I just downloaded it to my Kindle (or would that be uploaded??) Anyway, I look forward to reading it and your adult novel! Congrats!

  3. Ditto what Lynda said--what a fun interview! You couldn't come up with a better answer for #4 if you tried. One can *never* have enough bookshelves!

  4. Nicely done, ladies! It's great "getting to know you, getting to know all about you." Wishing you much success with Laramie, Deborah.

  5. Thank you, ladies! Jessica and I met at the Craftsman retreat in Denver a few years ago--a 5-day, intensive session with Jerry Jenkins, James Scott Bell, and others. We were the first Craftsman class for the Christian Writers Guild and to this day, we all remain close. What a wonderful group of people! I appreciate all your comments and Jessica, too, for interviewing me :-)

  6. Such a fun interview and the book sounds delightful!!

  7. I'm a one time reader...unless it's 10 or more years. I have some people I get book suggestions from...I'm not so good at picking up a book w/o some background. (Not your most avid reader)

  8. I also have a story idea that's circulated many times, but although I finished the rough draft, I think it's dead to me now.


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