Chatting With a Friend. Deborah Smith, Founder of an Online Fiction Group, Talks About What She Likes to Read.

Posted on 3rd August, 2018

This week I am delighted to welcome Deborah Smith to my blog.


Deborah is a keen reader who took her love of books to the next level by starting an online group for readers of sagas and other women's fiction. It is now a thriving and ever-growing community.


Debs is personally responsible for the tottering piles of to-be-read books in her members' homes all over the world!

Debs, welcome to my blog. It's the first time I have been joined here by a reader rather than a writer, so I hope you're going to enjoy answering my questions.

Fire away, Sue.

What are you reading at the moment. Why are you enjoying it?

I'm reading my first Lyn Andrews book, From Liverpool with Love. The story is set in the early 1900s where poverty is inescapable for this family. After trying very hard to manage after the death of the husband/father, who was the main breadwinner, they now have no choice but to enter the workhouse. This book follows their lives, loves and determination to free themselves from this godforsaken place called the workhouse.

I just love stories written around this era.


I know your TBR pile is about a hundred books high. Tell us about a couple of them that you're specially looking forward to reading.

OL, Sue, more like 500 high and growing almost daily 😂.

I'm very much looking forward to reading
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I am fascinated with this historic subject and read both fiction and nonfiction regarding the lives of the Jews during WW11 and what horrific injustices they had to endure: certainly a piece of history we should never forget. Such an emotional subject, Sue.


I also can't wait to read Secrets of a Whitby Girl by Jessica Blair, as Whitby is close to my heart, having spent a great deal of time there throughout my life and know the place very well so hopefully I will be able to picture the places mentioned. My husband and I actually got engaged in the Abbey grounds - what a wonderful day that was.


I know that Anna Jacobs is a favourite author of yours. Is there one of her books or series that stands out in particular for you?


Oh yes, Anna is such a wonderful and talented writer. Her books imprison you from the first page to the last. I have to say that Anna's stand-alone book Freedom's Land and the 5 book series, The Gibson Family Saga, will be forever entwined in my heart, although I haven't read The Traders series yet 🤔 LOL.


You’ve got a treat in store with The Traders books. Once you start reading The Trader’s Wife, you’ll race through the whole series. Guaranteed!



Tell us about a book that made you cry.

A few books have brought a tear to my eye, but I'm guessing The Tattooist of Auschwitz will take me on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

What were your favourite books as a child?

I have to confess I didn't read much as a child, apart from the
Ladybird books, i probably wasn't interested in books back then, which is quite a while ago LOL, but I think I've certainly made up for it since. Children should read - you learn so so much from someone else's mind.

As an adult reader, do you have an all-time favourite book? Who are your favourite writers?


Good question Sue. I have quite a few favourite books and I guess Miss Applesby's Academy by Elizabeth Gill is up there with best. Such a wonderful read.

At the moment my all time favourite
authors are:
Anna Jacobs (obviously)
Dilly Court
Kitty Neale
Rosie Goodwin
Kathleen Morgan

And a few authors I found after starting up my wonderful book group:
Susanna Bavin (
Emma Hornby
AnneMarie Brear
Lynda Stacey
Elaine Everest, to name but a few.
Oh, and did I mention Susanna Bavin! 😉


**blushes and tried to look modest**

Do you re-read books you enjoy? If so, what have you re-read recently?

Oh Sue, that's funny. I have a hard enough time reading the ones I haven't read, the TBR pile grows by the day, so my answer is, no, I don't re-read a book, I may however re-read a page, ha

Physical books or e-books?
Well, either to be honest, my kindle is great for taking on holiday etc. and there's some excellent bargains to be had too, but a physical book feels much more t
actile and personal and I love looking at all the wonderful colour cover photos which you don't get with an ebook.


Where do you like to read?


Well, actually I like to read anywhere, but my favourite places are in my rocking chair in the living room, the garden (only when the weather is nice though) and in bed where's it relaxing and peaceful.


Debs, it has been a real pleasure to have you here on my blog. Thanks for telling us about your reading.

Oh Sue, I've enjoyed my first blog and it's been a real pleasure talking to you today. I've loved every minute.
Thank you so much xx ❤️


Happy birthday for Monday, Debs. Enjoy all those books you will undoubtedly get as birthday presents!



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Comments (23)

Such an interesting post, Deborah and Susanna and you've given me some new books for my TBR pile too!
Thanks, Kazzy. Glad you liked it. It's always interesting to see what other readers enjoy, isn't it?
Great post, Susanna and Deborah. I very much enjoyed reading it.
Thanks, Kirsten. Glad you liked it xx
Fab interview. I really enjoyed this xx
Thanks for your comments, Lorraine and Roslin. Glad you enjoyed the blog.
It could of been me getting interviewed there as i would of answered the same to many of your questions to you Deborah, I did get a couple of new authors from Debs list of favourites i have to say The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris caught my eye and i have now ordered it
Did you realise Deborah I was invisibly perched on your shoulder throughout this interview and I was very impressed. What a shame I was unable to take part LOL
Hi, Lesley. Lucky you, meeting Anna Jacobs herself. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.
Great blog Deb and Susanna.So we can all blame you for our giant to be read piles 😂😂 even if we've been building them for years. Deb is not just the creator and admin of the group but a great friend to us all.
I recently met Anna Jacobs and we were talking about the group with another lady whom I didn't know, and one of the things Anna said was ' A good thing about Deb is she won't stand any nonsense and if anyone causes trouble she's not afraid to throw them out.'
Keep up the good work Deb xx
Wow - so many comments - a real testament to how popular and well thought of Debs is. Thank you, Carol, Chris, Judy, Maureen, Sue and Terri for leaving comments. I'm so pleased you all enjoyed the interview.
That's a lovely interview, Debs. You work so hard organising things for the rest of us, it's great to see you take centre stage. :)
It was lovely to hear all about what Debs is reading and her favourite authors. I only know Debs after joining her wonderful online book club and although we’ve never met we have become friends on Facebook, she is always there for me if I need to talk One day I know we will meet up,but I only have to see her smiling face to brighten my day .Really enjoyed the blog, well done to you both. Ps Debs was the person that introduced me to your books Susanne & I just love them, Was lucky enough to win one in your competitions Xx
Great interview Deborah, you will enjoy The Tattooist from Auschwitz. Like you I am fascinated with WW11 I have visited most of the camps,every time I go to a different country there is usually a camp to visit.
Happy birthday for Monday Debs.
Really enjoyed reading the blog Susanna, Well done Debs z
I'm overwhelmed by all the wonderful comments here, thank you all, I really do appreciate all the love I'm feeling right now.
Also thank you for the lovely birthday wishes for Monday, this will be a very memorable one.
Thanks Susanna Bavin, lots of love to all, Debs 💐💞
Lovely interview with our Deb where would we be without her. Like Deb I have been introduced to so many new author and friends since joining her group. My list of reading and author I like has grown considerably.
Great interview guys! Thank you Susanna for an insight into books from another vital point of view. Happy birthday for Monday Deborah and enjoy the promised sunshine! xx
Sue, what a lovely thing to say - Debs is the binding and the rest of us are the pages. Such a good way to express it. Thanks for saying you'll pre-order The Sewing Room Girl. Grab the Kindle while it is at such a good price!
Well done Debs and when do you start your own blog 😉 Thank you for setting up our group ! we are your pages and you are our binding xx
P.s need to pre order your new book Susanna The Sewing Room Girl x
Hi, Dianne and Louise. Thanks for commenting. Dianne, as a member of the group, you know how we all benefit from sharing our views and book recommendations with one another. It is wonderful to connect worldwide. Louise, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and the glimpse of Deborah's friendly group.
Lovely interview. I always like to hear about other people's reading habits. I love the idea of all those tottering TBR piles all over the world. Deborah must be so proud of starting her online group. I'll look out for some of the authors she has mentioned here.
I think Deborah has summed it up nicely the group she has started is worldwide I personally have found so many new authors by chatting to Deborah and other members and it is a wonderful showcase for new releases.