Debra Webb was born in Scottsboro, Alabama, to parents who taught her that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. She loved telling stories and began writing at age nine. Growing up on a farm in rural Alabama provided the wide open spaces and fertile ground for her vivid imagination.
When she met and married the man of her dreams Debra put her writing aside and tried some other occupations, including door-to-door sales, various factories and restaurants, a day care center, a hospital and a department store. Shortly after the birth of her first daughter Debra’s husband joined the military and she decided to go to college. Eventually the U.S. Army took them to Berlin, Germany, and Debra accepted a position as secretary in the commanding general’s office. By 1985, they were back in the States, and her next major career move landed her at NASA in the Space Shuttle Program.
For more than a dozen years after returning to the States Debra and her family lived in a small Tennessee town where everyone knew everyone else. A few years after settling in Tennessee her second daughter was born. Though she hadn’t written in nearly two decades, in 1996 Debra took up writing again. With the support of her family and God’s blessing her dream of being published came true in March of 1999.
Debra’s life has come full circle now. She and her family, along with their three dogs, have moved back home to Alabama. As a multi-published, best selling author Debra writes spine-tingling romantic suspense for St. Martin’s Press and Harlequin Intrigue. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I’ve written stories since I was a little kid. I have complete short stories in my files that I wrote at age 9! My grandmother was a storyteller and I think she blessed me with that gift!
Who is your favorite author?
Too many to name, honestly. You’ll find nine of my favorites on www.murdershewrites.com! I can never turn down an opportunity to read Vicki Hinze or Peggy Webb. I’m really excited about a debut hardcover author coming in May, Anna Michaels.
Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere! The news. My family and watching people!
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I’m currently working on another Colby Agency for Harlequin Intrigue. Spring 2012 will herald the 50th installment of that series!
What advice would you give young writers?
Write! Write! Write! And read, read, read! Write whether you’re contracted or not. You write to hone your craft and develop your voice. You read for the pure pleasure!
What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
From my mother and father: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can do anything.
When are you the most productive? (Morning, noon, or night?)
Definitely mornings. Sometimes I’ll have a burst at night. I prefer to sit down and dive into the story before the world intrudes.
Are your characters completely fictional? Or do you base them off real people?
Most are nearly completely fictional. Occasionally I model a character after a certain person but I always acknowledge that person. When I say most are “nearly completely” fictional I mean that what we create is immensely influenced by our life experiences.
What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
The easiest was NAMELESS. I had wanted to write those characters for so long they were incredibly real to me. The hardest was EVERYWHERE SHE TURNS. There were editorial requests up front that changed my vision of the characters. It took a long time for me to “get into” the new vision.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Just write. Write because you love the storytelling. Write because you love the characters. Write because it’s more than what you do, it’s who you are. You’re a storyteller.
What was your favorite book to write?
Wow! That’s a tough one. I think I’d have to say STRIKING DISTANCE, a Harlequin Special Release connected to my Colby Agency series. I cried through many scenes!