How I Got Here … I Think, by guest blogger Deb Kinnard

Deborah Kinnard started writing at age ten. She’s a member of American
Christian Fiction Writers, serving as Midwest Zone Director, and confesses to
being a loud singer at church. In the early 2000s, she sold her first two
novels. Now with eight books published, she’s won the Grace Award in
speculative fiction in 2010. “The Faith Box”, a series of medieval romances,
will release from Desert Breeze starting in September, 2012 with Peaceweaver. When
Deb’s not at the computer writing, she keeps busy reading and doing beadwork,
and needlework. She loves to travel and meet new people, some of whom turn up
later in her stories.  So if you
meet a short woman with a light in her eye…

How I Got Here – I Think
Sum up a long road in few
I started writing due to
becoming a honked off ten year old. I was a fan of “Bonanza.” Being a
less-than-patient sort of kid, I kept waiting for the women to appear. I waited. And waited. No women. Or worse, whenever
a woman appeared, she was either a Loose Woman or a Doomed One. Remember Ben’s
wives? Doomed, every single one of ‘em, and no surprise there. Ben wasn’t known
for holding onto ‘em very well.
I gave it half a season. “If
they don’t put one in, I’ll do it myself.”
Enter Vanessa Cartwright, Ben’s
long-lost, newly discovered daughter. Being ten, I didn’t speculate how she’d
gotten onto the Ponderosa. She just arrived.
No six-gun, of course, but leather pants and her own horse. She had
adventures, mostly with Hoss and Little Joe, ‘cause I didn’t care for Adam. Too
much black.
They spoiled her stupid, the
Ponderosa men. My parents wouldn’t get me
a pony, but Vanessa had a palomino quarter horse. I wrote her as spoiled as
I wanted (of course it didn’t ruin her character—Vanessa was a sweetie in spite
of overindulgence by four grown men). I could give her long, curly hair! I
could make her a redhead, a brunette, someone who could handle a rope and a
calf. I could take her up into the high Sierras and have desperadoes menace
her. I could make her outwit them.
All this, and she never had to
cope with 6th grade!
Opening my mind to Vanessa
awakened all sorts of possibilities. Once I outgrew “Bonanza,” I wrote popular
girls. I wrote athletic types, adventuresses, career women, co-eds, sharp and
witty and successful. Better still, for an hour or so at a time I was all these people. Free to wander my
own imagination’s Ponderosa, I could get into lives and make things happen.
I never stopped writing. In
college and afterwards, I filled notebook after notebook. Anya Seton awoke me
to the possibility of writing real, true love stories. A few years later,
Carolyne Aarsen showed I could write real, true love stories that encompassed
God’s amazing love as well as that of a man and woman. I wrote the end on my first book in 1983, and
foolishly sent it out. My rejection letter was kind. That’s all I’ll say about
From then on, I’ve written to
publish. My first novel, POWERLINE, sold to a small press in 2002, and since
then it’s been a ride up and down them hills on the Ponderosa. Though not everything
has sold as of now, I’ve made a quality decision to write only what I love.
It’s all rooted in Vanessa Cartwright, and feeling my way toward how things should be. That’s my power. That’s my
pen. Writing romance in a Christian worldview gives me freedom to express
faith, love, and hope—and not always in order.
I wouldn’t trade that for
Vanessa’s palomino.
Is healing really a phone call away?  Cassandra McAdam volunteers at the
church-sponsored crisis line. With a wall around her heart due to early losses,
she believes all she can do is listen. Only God’s help gives her anything of
value to offer.  
A devastated man calls the Powerline to discuss his thoughts
of suicide. Jeff Hadley recently lost his wife, and questions why a loving God
allows such suffering. Though caller and client are not supposed to meet, a
neighbor’s illness accidentally brings them face-to-face. Jeff realizes
Cassie’s voice is that of the woman on Powerline.
Cassie soon wonders if a relationship of helping can
possibly turn into a partnership of equals.