These are Deborah's most frequently asked questions.
1. How long have you been writing?
I can't remember not putting stories together in my head. Mom may have called them fibs, but I like to think of them as my first"stories."
2. When did you start writing seriously?
I didn't take an official class (where I learned about formatting and the Magic Rule of Three) until 1991. I'd played around with short stories for years, but it wasn't until a wonderful teacher and writer, DeWanna Pace, taught me the basics. That was when I got serious about writing.
3. How did you know what kind of stories you wanted to write?
I really tried to be a romance writer. My teachers were romance writers. My writer friends were romance writers. The only writing group I knew was the Romance Writers of West Texas. But, when I tried to write romance, they were so sickenly sweet they could throw a reader into insulin shock. I had always enjoyed reading mysteries and so I tried my hand at that and there I found my true voice.
4. What was the first book you read that made you want to be a writer?
I, THE JURY, by Mickey Spillane. My girlfriends were reading LITTLE WOMEN and there I was all curled up with rough and tough Mickey Spillane. I tell my writing students to forget about "writing what you know" and start "writing what you love to read."
5. Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas are everywhere. I've always wondered about all the people in cars passing me on the highways. Maybe I'll never meet these people, but they have connected with my life -- if only briefly -- and I'll wonder about "their" story -- the "what if's" that could happen to them. To find ideas for a story, all we have to do is allow ourselves to imagine. And then, to express that imagination in order to share it with the world.
Do you have a question for Deborah? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe your question and her answer will be on this page! Put FAQ in the subject line of your e-mail.