I want to thank Deborah for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to sit and do this interview with me. I truly appreciate it.
Cindy: What would people be surprised to know or discover about you?
DR: Oh, gosh, there are so many things. I guess something that people are always shocked by is my ability to burp whole sentences (I think I inherited the gift from my dad). I still remember the first time I did this in front of my now-husband back when we had just started dating. I kind of forgot where I was and just let it rip, then covered my mouth in horror, fully expecting him to walk out the door. But instead he laughed, and even to this day, he continues to appreciate my special “talent.”
Cindy: I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that you wrote a ton of Blue’s Clues books, which my son loved (books and videos) and would watch Blue’s Clues religiously. What was your favorite thing about working with Blues clues?
DR: I loved so much about working on that show, especially because I knew what a great program it was and how thoughtfully it had been conceived – it was a job I felt really good about. But probably my favorite part of what today I refer to as my “Blue’s Clues Era” was the group of women I worked with there. Two of the co-creators, the head researcher, and the executive producers were all women, and cool, smart, inspiring ones at that. I grew so much as a person and really came into my own power while working on that show, in large part because of these women. And I’m grateful they’re still an important part of my life today.
Cindy: When I was on your site I noticed that you are very busy and I was wondering when your not busy running, hiking, singing, gardening, and playing piano what else do you do for fun?
DR: Well, those things take up a lot of time! But I also like to watch bad reality TV, go for walks with my bestie in Seattle, sort my son’s Legos (I thrive on organization), and go rock climbing.
Cindy: You are not the only one who watches bad reality tv (I should have ask what reality shows do you watch?) I also noticed that you do a lot of volunteering with teen girls, what is your favorite thing about doing that and why?
DR: I love developing relationships with teen girls, whether for an hour or two, or for years, and watching these girls grow and learn and have those kind of a ha moments that I know are going to make them look at life differently. It is an incredible thing to witness and I love being able to be a part of their support system and cheering squad.
Cindy: I should mention that Deborah has been named a Champion for Dove’s Movement for Self-Esteem, which invites all women to join in in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.
Cindy: This is your debut YA novel, do you have any other books in the works? Is so are you able to share anything with us?
DR: I’m in the VERY early stages of several ideas at the moment. In the fiction world, I’m developing three different ideas – one a middle grade adventure series, one a YA realistic fiction, and lastly, another YA romantic comedy. I’m also knee-deep in writing two book proposals, one for a book aimed at recent college grads and the other is a collaboration for a book about parenting.
Cindy: If your main character, Janna had a theme song what would it be and why?
DR: Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Maybe Beautiful by Christine Aguilera, since Janna doesn’t realize how awesome, and beautiful, she is just by being herself.
Cindy: Janna, your main character is joking around in Starbucks and when approached by Julian why did you choose her to have her pretend to be Hungarian? My in laws are Hungarian and this was one of the reason I wanted to read the book.
DR: I’m not sure where the initial idea of having her pretend to be Hungarian came from other than I have been to Hungary and absolutely love the country and the culture. I also saw Hungary as a less-then-obvious choice for an exchange student story, and I thought it would provide lots of opportunities for misunderstandings and humor.
Cindy: When you write do you have a schedule and a routine? Any must haves while writing?
DR: As someone who’s worked from home for 8 years now, I periodically change up my routine and am always figuring out ways to be more efficient when it comes to writing, especially because I’m always juggling a ton of other things, like promotional work, freelance consulting, developing new projects, and raising an active kindergartener. So at the moment, my approach is to create a detailed work schedule every Sunday that lays out what I hope accomplish that week (yes, it’s color coded) and how and when I will actually make it happen. So far it’s working really well. Oh, and my latest writing addiction is Omm Writing, a free download that turns my giant, cluttered computer desktop into a zen writing haven. I love it!
Cindy: What are you currently reading and listening to?
DR:I just finished reading The Nixie’s Song from the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series (my son is into them and we’ve been having fun conversations about the books), and am halfway through Lorie Ann Grover’s lovely book in verse Hold Me Tight. I’m also reading a book by Byron Katie called Loving What Is, which is recommended reading for the life coach training I’m currently doing.
DR: Music? Hmmm…I’ve been playing lots of Michael Jackson lately (trying to teach my six-year-old son some moves) and writing to one of my favorite musicians, Badly Drawn Boy.
(Cindy: I found this on You Tube and thought I would share this with you so you would know who this band is. I like them.)
Cindy:If you could give one piece of advice what would it be and why?
DR: One piece of advice? About anything? I guess I would share the words I try to live by, which is that everything happens for a reason…that everything we experience – good, bad, difficult, challenging, sad, incredible – is an opportunity to learn something and grow as a person. Sometimes it’s hard to see in the moment how something positive could actually stem from a particular situation, but if you’re patient and look for the opportunity, it really does work out that way.
I want to thank Deborah again for taking the time out of her busy achedule to do this interview with you. Thanks Deborah. I am looking forward to reading your upcoming books.
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