Deborah J. Lightfoot                Author and Editor

(aka Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore)

Selected Works

"A teenage girl runs away from her life of servitude only to be captured by a sorcerer who will help her discover her true past. … Carin and Verek’s well-crafted relationship balances in a tense power struggle … intriguing premise and original characters … Fine fantasy." —KIRKUS
NEW: E-Books and Paperbacks
History & Biography
FOUR STAR FUNERALS packs the emotional wallop of Titanic, darkened with a dash of Tales From the Crypt. This 10-author anthology about death and its aftershocks will sear your soul, make you laugh … and ultimately help you heal, if you’re haunted by a death that has upended your emotions in ways you never expected.
"A fascinating look at one man's life during an important era of American history."
"A most compelling and highly recommended slice of Texan-American regional history."
Midwest Book Review
"This history of the firm of Freese and Nichols and its substantial impact in Texas constitutes a survey of 100 years of civil and environmental engineering."
—Book News, Inc.
Magazine Articles
A biography of Yakima Canutt (1895–1986), a master of movie stuntwork from Stagecoach to Ivanhoe.
Reviews I've Written
Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy—a review recounting the parallels with my own move to Mexico.
Stephen Hawking's Black Holes and Baby Universes—space and time aren't what they seem.

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Twin Passions

How does a writer go from Western history to epic fantasy?
Deborah J. Lightfoot, a native of West Texas, got her love of history from her grandfather, a High Plains cowboy. From her mother, an artist and avid reader, came her love of books and all things mysterious and magical. Dark horsemen entered her imagination through such early influences as the television show Have Gun—Will Travel, in which Richard Boone's Paladin was "a knight without armor in a savage land." Small matter that the sophisticated Paladin wielded a six-shooter instead of a sword.

Six-shooters figure in Lightfoot's award-winning books of Western history and biography. Swords and sorcery provide the action in her newest work, WATERSPELL, a YA/crossover fantasy with medieval overtones and historical background. In combining her twin passions, Lightfoot takes inspiration from movie stuntmaster Yakima Canutt, a former rodeo champion whose horseback stunts in such classic films as Stagecoach and Ivanhoe took him from the Old West to Medieval England.

With a degree from Texas A&M University in agricultural journalism, Lightfoot has worked on both sides of the editorial desk for newspapers, magazines, and book publishers. She freelances for a national nonprofit youth organization as a writer and an editor, working with subject matter in the biological and environmental sciences. She has taught creative writing at the college level and has won many writing awards.

Besides writing, editing, and ingesting books, her pleasures include traveling abroad and hiking the Yorkshire moors, Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim National Park, and Mexico's La Primavera Bosque. With her husband, Gene Sizemore, Deborah splits time between the prairies of Texas and the mountains of Mexico.

"History did not have to happen the way it did . . . what exists today is not its logical conclusion. There is no freedom where history is a straitjacket."

So writes Theodore Zeldin, author of An Intimate History of Humanity. His words neatly pull together Deborah's two ways of looking at, and writing about, history.

The real history—history that happened "the way it did"—appeals to the journalist in her. Searching for old stories, finding the facts along a trail that is not much trodden now: that's like going on a treasure hunt.

You'll find history's true happenings in Deborah's three books of History & Biography (all of them award-winners) featured at left under "Selected Works":

Trail Fever: The Life of a Texas Cowboy (by D.J. Lightfoot)

The LH7 Ranch in Houston's Shadow (by Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore, her "other byline")

A Century in the Works (by Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore, coauthored with the late Simon W. Freese)

For Something Entirely Different:

These days Deborah is also a novelist, and she loves the freedom of writing fiction that speculates about history as it might have been (or may become). To explore her "speculative history," please visit the website of her new fantasy trilogy: WATERSPELL.

Or read a sample chapter at Goodreads.

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"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."

—Art historian Bernard Berenson, quoted in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer