Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of Honeybush Mandarin Orange tea and we’ll get started.

Please help yourself to an egg salad sandwich and a mini-empanada. I made your recipe for the egg salad. And thank you for bringing the Carrot Torte for dessert and providing the recipes at the end of our interview.

Hi there, Jill, nice to see you again!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Central Texas, about an hour north of Austin.  I was born in the Bronx, NY, but we moved across the GW Bridge to Northern NJ when I was three.  I am the middle of five children, one sister and three brothers.  My father (who is featured on the cover of my book) was a Crime Reporter for the NY Daily News for 38 years and then NBC until he died in 1987. 

I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man, who is my greatest supporter and the love of my life.  Before he retired from the US Army we lived in Germany for three years.  We have one daughter together, and I have a step-daughter as well.

I work as an editor for a government contractor on Fort Hood, the largest Army base in the free world.  I have been there for almost 23 years now.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am traditionally published through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.

What are your hobbies?

I like to make things for my husband to surprise him.  On his birthday two years ago I had people email me what he means to them.  What an amazing tribute with some going back 50 years!  I bound it and added pictures.  It was beautiful, and he just loves it.  I put together little books for him every now and then.  The surprise is the best part for me.  Other than that, writing is my main hobby.  I wish I could make it a full time job!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, A Christmas I Remember came about because my girlfriend asked me to write something for her for Christmas 2010.  She said she loved the way I wrote and wanted something, anything really so that she could frame it.  I agreed and later that evening (26 days before Christmas) I sat down and wrote “To Kindra with Love.”  That was as far as I got for weeks.  I wrote prayers asking God to help me find the words, or to bring me memories of Christmases past.  On the 17th of December the memories started coming, and the next day the poem that became a book was born.  I read it to another friend at work and she declared it was a book!  I told her no, it was a poem for Kindra.  She insisted, as did I a few times, and then she said, “No, it’s a book for children!” Then I looked for a Christian publisher, found Tate, and was accepted.

Deirdre Christmas 1963

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have always loved to write.  I really got into writing in high school.  Years later I took a course from Long Ridge Writer’s Group in Connecticut, but chickened out when the freelancing lesson came.  I dropped the course out of fear of rejection. I loved to read letters that my father wrote.  He had a unique style that I haven’t seen anyone else have.  Maybe it’s genetic.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Once my prayers were answered the book was written in just a few days, five, I think.  Of course it’s a children’s book, a poem, so it isn’t like writing a novel. But inspiration must still be there, and prayer is a good way to be inspired!

Where do you like to write?

I like to sit on the easy chair in my office.  My best writing seems to come first thing in the morning.  I also like my front porch, which faces east, but only when it is not terribly hot. I write everything long hand first and then type it later. I know doing it this way takes that much more time, but when I type first I don’t ‘feel’ anything. When I write with a pen (or pencil), I see the words come from God through me onto the page. It is then my inspired work. To me, typing is so impersonal, the words look the same no matter who wrote them. Do you know what I mean?


Favorite author(s)?

I don’t have a favorite author.  I enjoy different genres, it’s really what my mood happens to be when I start looking for a new book to read.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have only completed A Christmas I Remember.  I am in the process of writing another book, but not a children’s book (that was such a surprise to me).  I am compiling my thoughts and experiences into either a devotional or book of Christian encouragement.  I am covering topics like trust and things I wish I knew when I was younger.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

I certainly would!  People can purchase hardcover and Color Me coloring books as well as the standard soft cover book on my website.  Even my publisher doesn’t carry the hard cover or coloring book.  They sell quickly because children really love them!  I will list my website in the next question.  Also, they can purchase directly from my publisher at:, or Amazon or Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.. Just about any on-line book store has it.  One quick mention, my book (both hard and soft cover) come with a free audio download, so it is like getting two books for the price of one.  Once downloaded a child can listen to me read the book and they are prompted to turn the page when Christmas bells chime.  It frees up Mom to do other things, especially if the child wants to hear it again and again!

What about a link to your website?

My book is for sale at  I also have a link to my blog in there (Thoughts and Prayers Page – ), for anyone who needs a pick-me-up and to be reminded that God’s love is all around them.   I do not sell the ebook at my site, but the readers can purchase it at Tate –

I hope that your readers will visit and come to love my book and my blog!  And thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, Jill!  I hope to meet up with you again one of these days and maybe go to lunch together!  God bless you for helping us authors out!

It’s been my pleasure Deirdre, and best success with your writing endeavors!

Deirdre Tolhurst’s Recipes

Good sandwich. I just like an egg salad sandwich made by smashing the eggs and then adding a little diced onion, diced celery, S&P, chives, mixed with a little Hellmann’s mayo and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Spread it on some fresh whole wheat or whole grain bread with a little romaine lettuce and voila!  Fabulous!

Favorite DessertMy mother used to make this and now I do, and it is absolutely my favorite dessert.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture; it gets eaten too fast to take one when it is still fresh!

Carrot Torte

4 eggs separated                                   grated rind of 1 lemon

1 C sugar                                                juice of ½ lemon

1 C  grated raw carrot                          ½ C  flour – sifted

1 t  baking powder                               ¼ t salt

1 C  heavy cream, whipped


Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually beat in sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  Add carrot, lemon rind, and juice.  Sift together dry ingredients and fold into yolk mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into first mixture.  Pour into 2 ungreased 8-inch layer pans. Bake in preheated moderate oven (350º) for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand in pan until cool.

Remove and spread sweetened whipped cream layers on top.  Sprinkle a little fresh grated carrot on top.

NOTE:  I usually double this recipe so that I can have 4 layers.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Delinda McCann (@CalicoGardens)
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 18:59:46

    It was good to get to know more about you. I’m glad your friends have encouraged you to write.


    • deirdret
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 01:46:51

      Delinda, prior to that, every morning on our 5am walk my husband would pray (we do that when we walk) that I would start writing again. At first I thought it was cute, but then I started to get annoyed because I had no intention of writing again, and one day when he was finished I said, you know, that’s YOUR dream, not mine. I really don’t want to write. The next day he prayed it again! So God put the desire back in my heart, and here I am now, published! Thank you for commenting! God bless you, Delinda!


  2. Sandy Nachlinger
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 19:11:49

    I enjoyed today’s interview with Deirdre and her story of how A CHRISTMAS I REMEMBER came about. I’m sure many children (and parents) will enjoy her tale, especially with the audio download included.


    • deirdret
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 01:49:18

      Thank you everyone for all your comments. I certainly appreciate them, and Jill, thank you so much for the lovely time we have had together. I hope that our paths meet again soon so we can share again. Thank you for the opportunity, and thank you for calling us your ‘celebrity’ authors! What a great feeling that is! Have a beautiful evening and God bless you all!


  3. Nancy Jill Thames
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 19:31:16

    Thank you Sandy! Deirdre is such a lovely lady and will definitely leave a legacy with “A Christmas I Remember.” Thanks for joining us today!


  4. linneann
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 19:40:00

    This was fun to read. Deirdre is a beautiful woman, heart and soul, and her writing is very inspirational.


  5. Cherrye Vasquez
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 19:56:45

    I enjoyed reading your interview and learning first-hand what prompted you to write your book.
    Your friend must be thrilled. What a tribute to your friendship one to another.

    Christmas is nearing so I’m sure that many stockings will be stuffed with your book.



  6. Nancy Jill Thames
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 20:15:36

    So glad you enjoyed the interview. I would agree – Deirdre is a true “lady.” She inspires where ever she goes! Thanks for joining us for tea, Linneann.


  7. Sandra McLeod Humphrey
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 21:05:30

    Loved the interview, loved Deirdre’s book, and now I’ll have to try her recipe!
    Nancy, you have wonderful interviews and wonderful guests–thanks so much!


  8. Nancy Jill Thames
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 21:12:20

    Sandra, it is always a pleasure to hear from you! Thanks for joining us. The Carrot Torte was to die for!


  9. Peggy Strack
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:55:19

    Great to learn more about Deirdre through this interview. I love reading about author journeys.


  10. Jon Magee
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 16:56:44

    Thank you for the opportunity of reading this interview. Great to hear of your desire to follow Gods direction in your writing, the greatest motivation of all.


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