Deborah Teeter Raney (born 1955) is an American author of Christian fiction who specializes in the inspirational contemporary women's fiction genre. She is best known for her novel, A Vow to Cherish (1996), that drew national attention to the pervasive impact of Alzheimer's disease on a traditional American family. The book was later developed into a movie that was released in 1999 by Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures.
Raney was born in San Antonio, Texas and grew up in Rice County, Kansas. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Raney was inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's popular Little House on the Prairie series. More than 25 years would pass before she would attempt to write her own book. Raney graduated from Lyons High School in Lyons, Kansas in 1973 and subsequently attended Emporia State University and later, Kansas State University.
Deborah and Ken Raney live near Wichita, Kansas. They have four children.
After spending two decades as an at-home mom to her and her husband's two sons and two daughters, Raney finally began work on her first novel – a contemporary story that developed out of a discussion with her husband and teenage children on Alzheimer's disease. 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. The award-winning book, A Vow to Cherish, published by Bethany House Publishers, would go on to win the 1997 Angel Award from Excellence in Media. It has since been translated into Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Dutch, and was also published in a hardcover large-print edition by Thorndike Press.
In 1999, the World Wide Pictures adapted the book into a screenplay that became a made-for-television movie and was aired in 200 major markets, with Raney and her husband attending the Hollywood premiere in June of that year. The movie was rebroadcast a second time in December 2004, and was subsequently released on video and DVD in seven languages. Ten years after its first publication, A Vow to Cherish was reissued in trade and mass market formats by Steeple Hill books.
After the releases of two additional novels, In the Still of the Night (Bethany House 1997) and Kindred Bond (Bethany House 1998), both of which are now out of print, Raney would pen Beneath a Southern Sky in 2001. The Waterbrook Press (Random House) novel won the 2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, the 2002 Inspirational Readers' Choice Award, Book of the Year for American Christian Romance Writers, and Romance Writers of America's 2002 RITA Award.
After the Rains was published by Waterbrook Press in 2002. A sequel to Beneath a Southern Sky, After the Rains also garnered numerous national recognitions. After the Rains also earned Book of the Year Honors (2003) from ACFW, was a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice nominee (2002) and named a Top 20 Fiction book (2002) by Christian Book Distributors.
Raney's next release, Playing by Heart, a novella, was published by Barbour Books in 2003. The plot relied on a bed-and-breakfast for its setting, and was conceived the previous autumn when Deborah retreated to write at such a B and B while on a tight deadline. Playing by Heart again earned ACFW Book of the Year honors (2004), was a 2004 Christy Award Finalist, and recognized with the National Readers Choice Award for Best Novella (2003).
Since then, Raney has written or contributed to more than a dozen other books, most notably her Clayburn Novels series from Howard, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She serves on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers, and has been on faculty at the organization's annual writers conference since 2001. She has also served on faculty at other writers conferences, including Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Autumn in the Mountains Novelists Retreat, among others.