Monday, October 29, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Debby Giusti

Thanks for sending this great candid of you and your carriage tour guides in Charleston, Debby!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR? 

DG: Thanks for this interview, Beth. I’m excited about CFRR 2019 and know it will be fantastic, just like CFRR 2016 and CFRR 2017 were. I was able to take part in the first two retreats and send my thanks to the wonderful team who always works so hard to bring Christian authors and readers together. CFRR is an amazing event. Friendships are formed, and we all have fun. There’s lots of laughter with time for prayer as well. God is truly present! And He’s smiling! Probably laughing along with us.

Beth: We're so happy to have you back, Debby!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR? 

DG: Connecting with readers! The CFRR format ensures we all mix and mingle, play games, share stories, chat over lunch and at breaks and come away at the end of the day having made so many new friends. Each retreat leaves lasting memories that I continue to treasure.

Beth: Oh, I agree!

Are you a hugger?

DG: Yes! Yes! Yes! If you see me, expect hugs!

Beth: Yay! I love your hugs!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

DG: My secret talent? To become someone else. I have the ability to become anyone in the whole world…of course, that’s when I’m writing. In some amazing way, I morph into the characters I write, at least until the story is finished. For me, writing is a spiritual process and the story that starts as only a small spark of an idea blossoms into a full-length novel with compelling characters not because of me, but because of the Lord who is my inspiration.

Beth: Writing stories is an extremely special talent!

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

DG: My husband and I toured Ireland in September, which was on my bucket list. Last year, we visited the Holy Land and that trip was a dream come true. I’d like to return to both destinations and spend more time, especially in Israel. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, so to speak, was a powerful and prayerful experience. I conjure up the memories when reading scripture and my own recollections make the Bible even more meaningful.

Beth: You are a regular world-traveler, Debby! Good for you and your husband!

lovely beach photo by Debby
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

DG: May I include an aquatic mammal? As a child, I often dreamed of being a dolphin, probably because I love to swim. The beach has always been my Happy Place, and the thought of frolicking in the waves, like Flipper, still appeals to me.

Beth: Of course you may! Oh, dolphins are such charming creatures!

If you were a spy, what would your code name be?

DG: Willow! My maiden name was Willoughby, and growing up, friends called me Willow. They also called me Wibs, but in my opinion, Willow sounds more intriguing. 

Beth: I love it!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read? 

DG: Suspense, preferably romantic suspense. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and never get tired of murder and mayhem!

Beth: You do not strike me as a murder and mayhem type, Debby... guess it's always the quiet ones who surprise ya!

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

DG: I like quiet spots for reading, usually in bed before I go to sleep.

Beth: As a general rule, I always prefer quiet!
How do you organize your books? 

DG: I didn’t know they needed to be organized. 🙂 My books are in piles and stacks and in baskets and bookcases and on shelves and stuck in nooks and crannies around my house. Basically, books surround me and that makes me happy!

Beth: Mine told me they appreciate the time I spend arranging and rearranging them but perhaps yours are more social and free-spirited!

How often do you pleasure-read? 

DG: Daily, unless I’m on a tight deadline and working late into the night. In those instances, I fall into bed too tired to read.

Beth: Oh, isn't it sad when life gets in the way of reading?!

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

DG: I wrote six full manuscripts before Love Inspired Suspense bought and published by debut novel, Nowhere to Hide, released in 2007. Since then I’ve published a total of 23 books with Love Inspired and have two additional self-pubbed stories.

Beth: You have been a busy writer!
What genres do you write?

DG: I write Christian romantic suspense.

Beth: The more I read romantic suspense, the more I like it!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?

DG: I have an October release, Amish Christmas Secrets, the fourth and final story in my Amish Protectors series. In February, Amish Safe House will hit the bookstores. It’s the second book in the Amish Witness Protection continuity from Love Inspired Suspense! I recently submitted a new three-book proposal to my editor and am waiting to hear back from her.

Beth: Go, Debby! Multiple series simultaneously?!

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? which aspect is most natural for you?

DG: Filling the blank page is always the hardest part of the writing process, especially the opening of a new story. Once I introduce the hero and heroine, the writing moves more quickly. I write the first three chapters slowly, then reach for my AlphaSmart, a small word processor that runs on three AA batteries. The AlphaSmart has very few functions so I’m not tempted to edit as I write, thus I can type page after page into one of the eight files that I later download into my computer. The process allows me to write a fairly fast first draft. Later I rework and revise. That editing process is what I most enjoy…and that’s when the story and characters come to life.

Beth: Distractions are quite bothersome!

What are your must-have writing supplies? (pen/paper, post-its, coffee, snacks, smartphone, facebook, etc.)

DG: My AlphaSmart is a must and I take it everywhere when I’m working on a story. I also keep a kitchen timer close at hand and set it for thirty-minute writing bursts. When the timer dings, I stretch, drink water and then reset the timer for my next writing session. All during my writing time, I chew gum. Lots of gum! In addition, I always have a tall glass of ice water close at hand.

Beth: AlphaSmart sounds like a reliable side-kick!

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?

DG: I like to write alone, although when I’m stuck or having trouble concentrating, I’ll take my AlphaSmart to Starbuck’s. The chatter of the other coffee shop patrons provides a type of white noise that helps me focus for some reason. Of course, the coffee helps as well!

Thanks for a great interview, Beth! I’m eager to see everyone at CFRR 2019!

Beth: Hehehehe, coffee seems to be a popular writing accelerant! It's been a pleasure chatting with you, Debby! See you soon!

About the author...

Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Debby Giusti is a medical technologist who loves working with test tubes and petri dishes almost as much as she loves to write.  Growing up as an Army Brat, Debby met and married her husband--then a Captain in the Army--at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Together they traveled the world, raised three wonderful Army Brats of their own and eventually settled in Peachtree City, Georgia, where Debby spins tales of suspense that touch the heart and soul.

Debby has more than 900,000 books in print, and her stories have won numerous awards, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, Golden Quill, the Beacon, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Write Touch. Her twenty-fourth novel, Amish Christmas Secrets, released in October and is the last book in her Amish Protectors series. Amish Safe House, the second book in the new Amish Witness Protection Continuity series from Love Inspired Suspense, will be available in February 2019.

Say "hi" to Debby in the comments and let's chat in the comments about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her here and in her stories!


  1. Debby, you are always such an inspiration! This is a fun interview because I learned more about you. I love your code name....also my youngest granddaughter’s name. Congratulations on your well-deserved success and on the upcoming releases. Blessings and hugs!

    1. Sherida, thanks for your kind comments. So fun to see you here. Such a great blog. Beth Erin is talented and sweet! Hugs to your Willow! I bet she's a cutie. No doubt takes after her grandmother! :)

  2. Hi Debby! What a fun spotlight! I love learning more about the authors we'll be seeing/meeting/hugging at CFRR 2019!

    1. Sounds as if you're a hugger, Winnie! Yay! CFRR 2019 will be so special...and so much fun. Looking forward to seeing you there! :)