Getting to Know Deb Kastner
Publishers Weekly Bestselling and award-winning author Deb Kastner strives to create a cord of three strands between the hero, the heroine, and Jesus Christ. Deb’s contemporary western romances contain sigh-worthy heroes and strong heroines facing obstacles that draw them closer to each other and the Lord. She writes for the Mommy's Little Matchmakers series. You can learn more about Deb and her book here.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now? Tell us something a lot of people don’t know about your home town.
I was born in northern California but we moved to Colorado when I was only four years old so I consider myself a transplanted native. Johnstown is a small Colorado town located about an hour north of Denver. It contains a single main street and the only fast food available is McDonalds and Taco Bell. We live in a housing complex, but any direction we drive, we’ll pass working farms and ranches.
What is your favorite part about writing Sweet Romance/ Cozy Mysteries?
I adore writing sweet romantic comedy because I love to explore the joyful side of life and make my readers laugh right along with me.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I have been a storyteller for as long as I remember. I was the kid in the corner with my nose stuck in a book. I do remember one specific time in my sophomore year in high school when my best friend and I were given a creative writing assignment. Her forte was math, whereas I believed mine was English. She ended up with a B grade while I got a C on mine. I headed home and went straight downstairs to my room so I could cry and sulk over the unfairness of it all.
My mom is awesome. She wouldn’t let me feel sorry for myself. She asked me, “So, what are you going to do about it?”
I was scared to death because this teacher, Mr. Starkey, had a reputation for being tough, but I pulled myself together and went in and asked him why he had given me a C on my assignment when my friend got a B. His answer? My friend was a B-level writer. Me? Not so much. He knew I was capable of much more than I’d given, so he told me to go home and rewrite the assignment, this time putting some effort into it.
I did, and I got an A+. Mr. Starkey had been right to push me—and he became my favorite teacher ever.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
Hmm…I think I would be a casting director for movies and television. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched a movie and felt it was miscast, or else I knew exactly whom should have been cast in that role and wasn’t. I love going through the complete filmographies of my favorite actors—who are generally not A-listers. I’ve discovered some really awesome films that way.
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
There’s a reason my hero is the Doggy Doctor. I am SUCH a dog person. I could talk about them all day. First is our eight-year-old shepherd/pit bull mix Sadie. I have always had a thing for those bully smiles and sweet temperaments. She is such a hugger and lover.
I recently lost my fifteen-year-old terrier mix Missy to a massive stroke. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, having the be strong enough to be there with her through her last moments.
I’m too much of a dog lover not to be surrounded by them (we also have several “grandpuppies” including a purebred toy Yorkie named Jack the Yipper, a chihuahua named Mea [short for Romea…my daughter thought she was going to get a male and name him Romeo, but when Mea came along…] a chihuahua named Paris and a my eldest daughter’s large mixed-breed named Yogi [she married a man named Baer…get it?])
I wasn’t looking to replace Missy, but my when the time was right, we visited a friend’s miniature schnauzer litter. I had all kinds of preconceived notions about what I wanted—most especially that I thought I wanted a male puppy this time. I even had a couple of really cute names picked out.
But one sweet little girl puppy would have none of it. She crawled into my lap and that was that. She told me in no uncertain terms a rolling voice (not a bark…she’s “speaking,”) that she was going home with us.
It took us two days to “find” her name. She is such a little angel but that didn’t seem quite right. She is also a pickle. Then it came to me—Gabriella. An angel…and her nickname?
Gabby. Absolutely spot on. I’ve never known a dog who likes to talk quite as much as Gabby.
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
I’ve been truly blessed with having almost 32 years with the love of my life, Joe. We met when I was in college. He is twelve years older than me, so friends introduced us. Six months to the day later, we were wed. And even through the tough times like Joe’s double stroke a couple of years ago and his subsequent disability, some things just seem to get better and better. It may sound cliché, but I love him more now than the day we were married.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
Oh, my goodness. There’s no way I could narrow it down to just one. So very many books have influenced my life. There’s nonfiction self-help, business books, finance books, memoirs and lives of the saints that have greatly moved me. Nearly every work of fiction I read changes me in some way.