Missouri-born, Tennessee author Deborah Sprinkle is not saying it’s genetic, but she cut her eye teeth on mysteries. Because her mom loved a good mystery book, Deborah grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and P.D. James—all excellent English mystery writers. “I guess I always wanted to tell a story like they did—to write a mystery.”

In high school, she fell in love with Chemistry and became one of ten women among 400 men to attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis as a chemistry major. “We were not babied! If anything, most of the guys didn’t want us there. My first job was as a biochemical researcher at St. Louis University Medical School, studying rat lung lipid metabolism. Later I moved to Washington University Medical School and studied glycogen storage disease. I guess that’s when I was actually first published because I was listed as a co-author on papers from each of those research projects.” 

Once Deborah retired from teaching chemistry, she planned to do three things—attend a Wednesday morning Bible study at her church, join a book club, and write a mystery novel. After attending Bible study for a year, she was asked to be a leader which required sending out weekly updates via email. Her women’s leader, Mary Ann Ruff, liked the way she wrote and invited her to a “She Speaks” conference. It was there, she met Kendra Armstrong with whom she’d later collaborate on her first book. “In 2011, we went to our first Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference together and met Les Stobbe, who eventually became our agent. We also met our future publisher. In 2013, Eddie Jones of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas published our book, Exploring the Faith of America’s Presidents.”  

Deborah’s debut novel, Deadly Guardian, released last month.  “It took a year to write—the first time. I thought I was writing a mystery, until an editor friend informed  me I was writing a romantic suspense novel. I have since learned something about genres and agree I will be writing suspense, romantic suspense, and hopefully cozy mysteries in the future.” It would take another five years and several rewrites before Mantle Rock Publishing would say “yes” to her manuscript. “All I can say is God’s timing is always perfect. I needed to do all the revisions, all the edits, and go through all the disappointments in order to grow not only as a writer, but as a person.”

Publishing her first novel at the age of 69 is only the starting line for this Formula 1 racing fan and former racing communicator. Don’t count her out when the flag comes down. Deborah’s revving up for a full throttle run before heading into that final curve. She’s currently working on her second novel and has a third one waiting in the grandstand.  

When asked what advice she would give a fledgling writer, she said, “Three things come to mind. First, learn your craft. Go to conferences. Join local writer’s groups. Join Word Weavers. Read books on writing. Second, persevere in the face of everything. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t been able to write for days or even weeks. When you can’t write, use what spare time you have to think of what you’ll do next. Make notes about scenes you want to write about or characters you want to bring in to your book. And last, pray. Stay connected to the Author of our lives. Take everything, little or big, to Him.”

Deborah’s agent is Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency, and her books can be purchased on her Amazon Author page. You can connect with her at dsprink2@gmail.com or on her Deborah Sprinkle Facebook page. 


“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him.” —Psalm 28:7 (NASB)

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