Q&A: Debra White Smith
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE CHASE?
With the divorce rate what it is, I wanted to create a novel showing how God can restore a broken marriage and repair shattered love. I wanted to show the process of a couple going through regrets, forgiveness, and a re-commitment to each other in hopes to encourage other couples to stick it out and promising to love for forever.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
When I was doing my undergraduate and graduate work, I was taken with Jane Austen. I love how she weaves so much undercurrent into her plots. I also loved American novelist Henry James. I think his novella Turn of the Screw is my favorite classic work. Jane Austen is romantic and Henry James's mentioned work is suspenseful, so I guess that's why I prefer to write romantic suspense. When I first started trying to break into the Christian industry, I really enjoyed B.J. Hoff's mystery romances.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I can't imagine writing without weaving my faith into it. Whatever plot or characters I develop, I always want my readers to take away a message that will inspire, uplift, or help change their lives. I write for eternal value, not just a good read.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
While I was always an avid reader, I began writing at age 25. I was in a college class, taking notes on a test review for the English novel, and I thought, "I could write one of these novels." So I started a novel right there in class, during the test review. My second novel sold when I was 26. The rest is history.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I have always been a very realistic writer. I don't shy away from hard issues or pretend like reality doesn't exit. My books are less fairy tales and more a hard look at real life and how to unravel the problems it represents in a godly way. I hope my readers will find help for dealing with real life when they delve into one of my novels.