From the moment Deborah Raney opened the cover of "Tip and Mitten" in first grade, she has loved to read. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, she was inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s "Little House on the Prairie" series, and first tried her hand at novel writing at the age of twelve. But after accidentally putting airplanes in a story set in the 1700s, she tore up her manuscript in frustration and vowed never to write historical fiction again. More than a quarter of a century passed before she dared to attempt another book. After spending two happy decades as an at-home mom to two sons and two daughters, Deborah finally began work on her first novel–a contemporary story–after an intriguing discussion about Alzheimer's disease with her husband, Ken, and their young teenagers. Drawing on her experiences working in a New York nursing home early in her marriage, she crafted a fictional account of one family's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. A VOW TO CHERISH was published by Bethany House Publishers in 1996 and won an Angel Award from Excellence in Media. It has been translated into the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian languages, and is also available in a hardcover large-print edition from Thorndike Press. Steeple Hill Books recently released an updated and expanded version of the book, available in trade or mass market size.
A VOW TO CHERISH was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' highly acclaimed film of the same title. The film won a Silver Angel, a bronze Omni Award and a Gold Special Jury Award at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival. It is now available on video and on DVD in seven languages. Book and film continue to shed healing light on the ravages of Alzheimer's disease for families and caregivers. See photos of the Hollywood PREMIERE of A VOW TO CHERISH Ken and Deborah attended in June 1999.
Since then, Deborah has written more than twenty books. Her newest series is The Hanover Falls Novels, published by Howard/Simon & Schuster.
Publishers Weekly said of her 2004 novel, A NEST OF SPARROWS (WaterBrook Press/Random House), "In this thoughtful novel by Raney...multifaceted characters and a fresh story line keep the pages turning. Raney intertwines poignant moments with genuine humor... This is one of Raney's best novels..."
Deborah's novels have also won the RITA Award, the National Readers Choice Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, ACFW Carol Award, and numerous others. In addition, PLAYING BY HEART (Barbour Books 2004) and REMEMBER TO FORGET (Howard/Simon & Schuster 2007) were both Christy Award finalists. Deborah has been a contributor to numerous books on the craft of writing, and has also written essays and articles for such publications as Christian Parenting Today, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, Writer's Digest's Writing Success, Welcome Home, as well as writing a column for Crosswalk.com with her daughter Tobi Layton.
Deborah and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in central Kansas. The Raneys recently became empty nesters. They have four children and four grandchildren who all live much too far away.