Interview with Debra Ullrick

» Posted on May 31, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Debra Ullrick

This week I’m hosting Debra Ullrick with The Unexpected Bride and Kim Watters with Home Sweet Home. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (June 5th) evening.

Interview with Debra Ullrick:

1. What made you start writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve written poetry. But, one day, I asked the Lord to give me something to take the place of overeating. Shortly afterwards, while reading a book a story idea came to me, and I wondered if I could write a novel. In two and a half weeks, I had written a fifty-six thousand words story titled Lacy’s Luck. From then on, I was hooked.

2.  How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing for a little over eight years now. I pitched my first book The Bride Wore Coveralls in 2004 at an American Christian Romance Writer’s conference in Denver, Colorado. (Now known as the ACFW – American Christian Fiction Writers.) Jim Peterson liked the idea of a southern female mechanic/mud bog racer who had to constantly contend with male chauvinists who disagreed with her choice of career and sport. He also liked the Chevy/Ford rivalry between my hero and heroine. Two years later I received my first contract for The Bride Wore Coveralls.

3.  How do you handle rejections?

I know this will sound strange, but rejection doesn’t really bother me because I know God has a plan, and I trust Him to fulfill that plan in His time.

4.  Why do you write?

Mostly, because I want to help people the same way I’ve been helped by writing stories that will give them a reprieve from the pressures of this world and ones that will minister to their hurting places. And because I love it.

5.  What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I shudder to think what I would be doing. Writing has filled a huge void and given me a purpose in my life. One thing I would do though if I weren’t writing is read a lot more. Don’t get near the chance to read like I used to and I miss that.

6.  What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the sequel to The Unlikely Wife (coming January 2012) which is the sequel to The Unexpected Bride.

7.  Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

I think every writer does, don’t you? A lot of my stories consist of things that I have either struggled with or have gone through or that I love. I can see my personality in a lot of my books as well. Sometimes I write about things I’d love to do or places I’d love to go. I think it’s my way of escape. My way of becoming someone I wish I were. And if I can’t be that type of person, then I can create characters that are. I guess it’s kind of like living my life vicariously through my characters. *grin*

8.  Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Because I have always been fascinated with the south and Jane Austen’s stories, I thought it would be fun to create a heroine whose background was from both worlds. Rainelle Victoria Devonwood’s father was British and her mother was a southern belle. Rainee’s mannerisms support both of those lifestyles; only she detests the rigid rules of those societies and rebels against them. When her parents die, she is forced to flee her home to marry the man who answered her “groom wanted” advertisement. A man she’s never met. A man, she discovers upon her arrival, who didn’t send for her and doesn’t want her.

My hero, Haydon Bowen, vowed to never marry again because his first marriage was a disaster. When he finds out his brother ordered a wife for Haydon, he is livid. Haydon tells his brother that he’ll have to deal with her. But an accident keeps his brother from doing that. Therefore, the task of picking the woman up at the stagecoach falls onto Haydon. On the way to pick her up, he decides to send her right back to where she comes from. But, an incident upon her arrival keeps him from doing that. The only gentlemanly thing left to do, is to take her home.

9.  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn from people you trust, people who don’t try to change your style or your voice. Don’t get bogged down by the rules. Rules are meant to be guidelines to help us write quality stories, not stop our creative flow or stifle our unique writer’s voice.

And don’t let rejections stop you from doing what you love. Elvis Presley was told he would never make it in the music industry. We all know how that ended.

10. How important is faith in your books?

Extremely important. Many times when I’ve been broken, fearful, or in need of a huge dose of hope, a Christian fiction book ministered to me in a ginormous way—a way that only God could have orchestrated. I’m so grateful to those authors who listened to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I pray that I will do likewise, and that my books will give readers hope, encouragement, and joy. But most importantly, that they will lead them to One Who can do all of those things and much, much more.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

Spiritual and emotional themes I like to write about are overcoming rejection, never measuring up, unforgiveness toward others and ourselves, unanswered prayer frustration, and feeling abandoned by God. (We know He doesn’t abandon us, but sometimes when adverse circumstances or major problems arise in our lives it sure seems like He does. So I like to write about how He really was always there during those times. Sometimes we just don’t see it at the time.)

Physical themes would be things I would love to do, or places I would love to see.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

They all are of course. *smiling* But if I have to choose one, it would be Déjà vu Bride. That story is the epitome of my life a few short years ago. A time when I felt abandoned by God and truly believed He didn’t give one whit about me or my desperation. When I wrote that story, I had no idea at the time that God was speaking directly to me. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized it wasn’t my heroine, Olivia, that God wanted to deliver, but me. And He did.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have one. I do try to write daily, but I’m a feast or famine type of gal. Sometimes I’ll write from sunup to sundown for weeks at a time. And sometimes, I won’t write for days at a time. I want to change the way I do things though. A lady I know, says she actually gets dressed and ready as if she’s going to a regular job. At eight o’clock, she goes into to the office in her house and works as if she were going to an actual 8 to 5 office job. Now that’s discipline. I could sure use some of it. *smiling*