Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Write to the Point with Deanna Klingel January 28, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:49 am
Tags: ,

Deanna Klingel Picture for BlogsToday we get write to the point with Deanna Klingel. I interviewed her a while ago. You can read that interview here. Read on to see what she is up to now.

Tell us about your newest book.

My newest book will be out this spring. The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber is for our middle grade readers. It’s 1/3 biography, 1/3 historical fiction, 1/3 choose-your-own-ending. Jim Limber was a real person, a freed black child in Richmond, VA, in 1864. He was being abused by a mammy who looked after the orphans in town. Varina Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, came to his rescue. She took him home, not as a slave, but to live upstairs in the nursery with the Davis children. For the next year every detail of his life is documented in Varina Davis’s journals, diaries, letters to friends and to her husband, sharing the intimate details of her family’s life and Jim Limber as a part of it. He was with them when they fled Richmond; he was with them when they were arrested in Georgia. Then she gave him to a friend, Major Rufus Saxton, a Union officer whom she had known for many years. She told Saxton to protect him and educate him. That’s the first third, the biography of one year of this child’s life in the White House of the Confederacy. Then we move into historical fiction, speculating on how he grew up.  It is presumed that Jim stayed with Saxton who was overseeing the low country organization of the freed and abandoned slaves, and that he would have attended one of the schools in the Port Royal Experiment, before eventually moving north with Saxton. Finally the last third of the book offers three possible endings which the reader may choose, or…write their own ending. I hope many of the young readers will want to write their own ending.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I’m probably editing, rewriting or reading. I also spend a lot of time marketing and traveling.

Where do you get your ideas?

Mostly the ideas are hatched in my head or heart. But this one, Jim Limber, was handed to me. I was at a Civil War reenactment selling my Avery and Gunner books sitting next to a reenactor who was in character of Varina Davis. She was excellent! She was bemoaning how the people don’t trust her, start rumors about her northern connections, and now its about Jim Limber, and people just don’t understand. “You have heard of Jim Limber, haven’t you?” she asked. “No,” I answered. “I don’t believe so.” She told me the story. I couldn’t wait to get home and start researching it and discovered she was telling a true story. I arranged to go to the Museum of the Confederacy to research it further. The Museum was once the White House of the Confederacy, so I was able to see the nursery and all the things Jim Limber would have seen and experienced. It was very exciting. So yes, it was handed to me.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I’m seat of the pants, but once I get the story established, I sort of outline what I have on a story arc to be sure it’s progressing the way I want and not getting caught up in a lot of side trips. That’s so easy to do.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Yup. We all have. Waiting With Elmer is the last one. The others have finally made it, some waited many years. Two of those will be out in 2016. I’ve recently finished a couple but I’ve just started the submissions with those.

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

Probably a little like all of them. I tend to put a lot of emotion into my characters, and it’s reasonable to assume that I use emotions that I’m familiar with, so probably that would make us alike in some ways.

Are you working on a new project now?

I’m eager to get started on a new idea. It came to me while walking my dog!

Anything you would like to add?

I really like the traveling I do with my books. I write a little mini blog about that. I post Mondays and Thursdays sharing what I’ve seen, the interesting people I meet and what I learn about selling books. Please join me on the mini blog “Selling Books” found  at

I hope you enjoy the Mysterious Life of Jim Limber.

It was great catching up with you again, Deanna. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey.


Write to the Point with Deanna Klingel March 20, 2013

Congratulations to Devra Carmical, who won last week’s book, Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse.

This week we get write to the point with Deanna Klingel.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

deannaMy husband and I both grew up in the same little town in Michigan. We were the proverbial “high school sweethearts.” We married while still in college. We’ve raised seven children who are out in the world and have given us eleven grandchildren. I’ve been writing all my life, but for publishing since 2010.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

On my website you will find my short story “Marsha Blue.” I followed Marsha down the aisle when I was just a little girl.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

My most recent release is Cracks in the Ice, published by Write Integrity. At the end of the book there are discussion questions for teens and resource information concerning teen alcoholism. There are three million teens in our country who are alcoholics. I hope one of them will read Gina’s story and see herself, a teen with a dream that has melted away, but for whom there is hope. There is forgiveness, there is mending of the heart and family. There is always another chance. Jesus is always there for us with another chance.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

My own blog is a daily blog, the 30-second mini blog. It can be anything. It’s the first page of my website. This month it’s been the Stations of the Cross for Lent, one a day. Before that it was the magical growth of my amaryllis. One time it was “first words,” the opening words of each chapter of Cracks in the Ice. In February I did a tribute to my dogs. Like I said, it can be anything. But the point is it’s a quick (30 second) smile with a cup of coffee, and BYOB, bring your own Bible. I guest blog a couple times a month.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading A Noble Treason. Before that I read a wonderful, marvelous book, Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

The Genesis 50:20 in my life was probably Lyme Disease. It nearly destroyed me. But! While I was out of commission and trying to “get a grip” Lily came into my life. She was a golden retriever puppy. You can read her story in her own book, my first published one, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. Because of Lyme Disease I learned to train dogs, got involved in therapy dog work, rescue work, and became a published writer. God needed to sit me down, take me out of the action, and refocus me. I’m so grateful.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse? 

You probably mean a “go-to” verse? Probably John 3:16. Without that, well…But I just got this new Bible app on my ipad. I just type in what’s on my mind at the momentCracks in the Ice Cover FINAL FRONT and up pops the appropriate verse. Not quite the same as fingering through the thin worn pages of my Bible, but it sure is efficient!

Where can we find you on the web?

I’m at I’m also on facebook, pinterest and twitter, though I really haven’t figured that twitter thing out too well.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I’d like to add that I love to make middle school visits and talk to the kids about my books. I also speak to women’s ministry groups and OLLI. Thanks for having me and giving me a soapbox.

No problem, we are glad you stopped by to chat with us today.

Readers, Deanna is giving away a paperback copy of her book to one commentator. Leave a comment by March 26th at 5:00 pm to be entered.