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Interview with Deborah Malone

Deborah Malone is an author and a photographer. She writes and provides photos for the historical magazine Georgia Backroads. She reviews and writes for two mystery-focused blogs. Her writing is characterized as fiction with a touch of the South.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write since I could remember. Mysteries have been my favorite genre for many years. When I started writing I knew I wanted to write a cozy mystery. I’d finished the first draft when I discovered Margaret Daley’s Christian Fiction. I didn’t even know Christian Fiction existed until then, but I knew that’s the direction I wanted to go with my book. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and as they say, “the rest is history.”

Does your photography ever help or influence your writing? How?
That’s a good question and yes it has influenced my writing. Over the years writing for the historical magazine Georgia Backroads, I’ve taken many photographs for my articles. I’ve incorporated many of those pictures into my writing. Also, when I’m researching an area, I go and take as many photographs as possible so I can get the layout of the town in my mind. I can refer back to these if I need to.

Where did the idea for Chilled in Chattanooga come from?
I had already written three books with titles that included popular tourist areas in historic districts. Even though Chattanooga is not in Georgia the surrounding towns such as Lookout Mountain and Rock City are in Georgia. Chattanooga is a wonderful historic town to visit. There are many things to do and see. I hope after people read the book they will be inspired to visit Chattanooga if they haven’t already.

What type of research have you done or research trips have you taken in preparation for your book?
I’ve taken trips to the locations of my books and documented most of the area with pictures. I make a notebook and fill it with pictures and information I’ve gotten off the internet or through brochures and local maps. I try to keep the setting as true to life as I can so I strive to be accurate. I’d visited Chattanooga several times in the past so I knew some of the main attractions.

Why did you choose to write mystery stories?
This is what I love to read. I’ve heard many times to write what you enjoy reading. That’s what I did.

What type of books do you read for pleasure?
I used to stick pretty much to mysteries, but when I started reviewing Christian Fiction for my blog I discovered that I enjoyed many genres of books. It was like a whole new world opened to me. Now I read many genres.

What type of theme or message do you hope readers will take from this book?
There isn’t a particular theme in the book, but I hope that people realize the friendship between Trixie and Dee Dee is special. They have encouraged each other, and Trixie looks at Dee Dee’s faith as an inspiration. I hope my readers will be able to relate to their friendship.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I hope to encourage and entertain women as they read. I want to write a book that is filled with good, clean fun. There might be subtle messages of faith in my books, but I hope that I haven’t hit anyone over the head with preaching. I’ll leave that up to the ministers.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
I think joining American Christian Fiction Writers was the turning point of my writing. I had been writing, but I now had a direction and the support I needed to go all the way to publication.

Do you have your own writing space? Describe where you write.
Believe it or not, I write on the couch in the living room with my laptop literally in my lap.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I could give all the regular advice such as reading good books, going to conferences, joining writing clubs and critique groups. But I think the most important advice I could give is never, never give up. It could take years to get established and published, but keep writing while you’re waiting for your turn.

What other parting words do you have to share?
Thank you so much for having me this month. I hope that you enjoy my Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. I love to hear from my readers – I can be reached at And be looking for my new series, Skye Southerland Cozy Mystery Series. These will be taking place around the Atlanta area. The first in the series is Buckhead Dead.

Thanks for sharing with us, Deborah Malone!

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