ROCKFORD — The murder of her father leads a police officer back to her own unsolved kidnapping some 17 years earlier. And the clues are all pointing her to people she has known for years. So begins “When Darkness Killed Her,” the latest mystery-thriller by D.A. Reed, a native of Northern Michigan.
Deborah Reed, as she is known to her friends, grew up in Grayling, the daughter of Karl and Marge Schreiner. And she has loved writing for as long as she can remember.
“In elementary school I remember writing a story, I think it was probably my first story, about a kitten who was chasing a leaf and got lost,” Deborah recalls.
“I wrote my first novel when I was 14. Then in my 20s, my sister said I needed to rewrite it [and publish it]. So, I revamped it, rewrote it and printed [a copy] in book form and gave it to her at Christmas. I thought that would be the end of it.”
Instead, the book, “Australian Revenge,” kept getting passed around among family and friends and she was continually being asked when she would write her next book. Of course, as a writer, she did have more ideas for stories and eventually gave in to their requests.
“I have always loved it. Writing is one of those things that you don’t think you can do a whole lot with when you’re younger, but it is always in the background,” Deborah who resides in Rockford, Mich.
Eventually, Deborah said her focus in writing became narrowed down, where today she mostly writes young adult books and thriller-mysteries. While she may be the author, getting the books out is really a team effort. Her husband Matthew Reed formats her books for her before they go to print.
Seven different people edit her books before they go to print as well. Each of them read different genres of books allowing her to see her writing from different perspectives. Another friend, artist Phillip Lowe, designs her covers for her.
“I am really blessed to have so many people working with me.”
One of the turning points in her career as an author was when she wrote the book, “Daisies in the Rain.” The story was about a girl who is paralyzed on one side of her body. The main character in the story was modeled after an actual person she knew.
Deborah gave copies out to teachers who read it and then bought copies for their classrooms. The feedback was a bit overwhelming for her when she realized the lives she was touching.
“After that, it was hard to write books just for entertainment. So, I kept on writing young adult novels, but I try to put a message in there for kids and adults. It is a message that can correlate to all ages.”
As a Christian, Deborah says God plays an important part in her writing.
“I very much believe, especially with the young adult stories, they are His stories. He has very much given them to me to write. I ask him to give me the words, to give me the guidance, to give me the story.”
Deborah describes herself as a naturally shy person. She credits God for getting her out into the public to talk about writing and her novels. Before each event she attends, she prays.
Deborah says she loves going to writer’s workshops, especially those aimed at young writers, and encouraging them to write and use the talents they have. Next to writing itself, that is one of her favorite activities.
As for the future, Deborah is just enjoying what she does. She looks forward to writing future books and helping kids learn to write. She is willing to leave the rest to God.
Her novels are available at Tip’N the Mitten and Flo’s Hallmark in Grayling. They are also featured at Amazon.com and Lulu.com.