Debbie Roome is no stranger to the Page Turner. This is her third time named as a finalist – but THIS time, her book Twisted Ribbons has taken the top prize. Read on as we hear about Debbie’s writing, her passions, and what inspires her.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your win! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out (I believe you were actually on vacation)? What was your reaction?

IMG_9521DEBBIE ROOME: I was visiting my parents in South Africa and it was early in the morning in their time zone. I was sitting in bed reading when my phone dinged – a message from Deb Porter suggesting I check out a post on her Breath of Fresh Air Press Facebook page. I’d completely forgotten it was the day the Page Turner results came out and my heart was racing as I clicked on the link. When I saw I’d won, I was so excited and also grateful that the hours of work I put into my entry had been worthwhile.

JOANNE: Bet your parents were excited. This is your third time in the Page Turner winners’ circle (though, of course, you were a runner up the other two times) – and the second year in a row. Do you have “a secret?” Where do you get your ideas from?

DEBBIE: My best ideas are definitely inspiration from God. He takes the things I see and experience and adds His life to them, enabling me to turn them into stories and words that can reach people’s hearts.

JOANNE: Two of your past placements were for non-fiction – yet this year, your win is for fiction. Which do you prefer? Which do you write more frequently? Do you feel most comfortable writing?

DEBBIE: At heart I prefer fiction and this is the area where I have had the most success. I dreamed of writing books from a young age so it’s a passion that’s always been part of me. However, I write non-fiction as well and am equally comfortable with both forms of writing.

JOANNE: Share a bit about Twisted Ribbons. Where did you get the idea for it? What’s it about? How far along in it are you?

DEBBIE: Twisted Ribbons starts off in a remote village in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It’s an area I pass through every few months and I love it when it’s snowing up there. I was on a trip through the mountains when the outline of the story dropped into my mind and it’s grown and developed over the last few months. I have the whole book outlined and have finished the first three chapters. I spent hours working on the first chapter, making it the best I possibly could. It starts off in 1980 with a medical scene in a rural clinic. I tracked down a nurse who was working for government at that time so she could check it for accuracy. She made a few corrections and I was confident when I submitted it the Page Turner that it was the very best I could have done.

JOANNE: Sounds fabulous! What kinds of books or genres to you prefer to read?

DEBBIE: I read widely and enjoy Christian and non Christian books. Medical dramas are a favourite and I also like books by John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, Bette Lee Crosby and Ted Dekker.

JOANNE: What writing projects are you working on now? What books and such do you already have available, and where can we find them?

DEBBIE: I’m currently working on A Pile of Stones, which received a Highly Commended award in last year’s Page Turner. It’s an unfolding story and I believe that when it’s done, I’ll know it’s time to do something further with it. I’m also working on Twisted Ribbons and scribble paragraphs while flying and make notes in between visiting clients.

My latest book, Broken Shells, that won the Rose & Crown New Novels Competition in 2012, has just been released by Rose & Crown publishers. Apart from that, my published fiction titles are Embracing Change, Contagious Hope and Fragrant Hope. My non- fiction titles include Magnitude 7.1 & 6.3 – a compilation of people’s experience of the Christchurch earthquakes. This came out of my Page Turner entry that received a highly commended in 2010. Loving Leanne is the story of my disabled sister’s life from birth up to her death on New Year’s Day 2014. Cyber-Bullying is Never Alright and Fly with Me are the other two titles. All my books are available through the usual channels including Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository.

JOANNE: What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten? How has it helped you?

DEBBIE: I can’t say any one thing was the best advice but here are some of the things I believe and fully embrace about writing. Write often and don’t worry what the first draft looks like. Absorb life and watch people around you for inspiration. Fill your writing with sensory appeal without overdoing it. I want people to feel my settings, inhale aromas, feel icy winds roughen their cheeks, and shed tears as understated emotion grips their hearts.

JOANNE: Fabulous advice! What are your other passions besides writing?

DEBBIE: Those who are my friends on Facebook will know I love travelling and flying. I’m blessed that the part time work I do involves both and I firmly believe that God does give us the desires of our heart. I travel extensively around New Zealand and beyond and much of my inspiration comes from things I’ve seen and done while away from home. Fly with Me is a collection of inspirational experiences I’ve had while flying and I’ve had great feedback on it. People say that it’s inspired them to reach for their own dreams and believe that God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

JOANNE: This sounds great! Where online can people find you?

DEBBIE: My website is www.debbieroome.com and my personal blog is www.debbieroome.blogspot.co.nz. I have a number of other blogs that relate to my books and travel experiences and also have a large collection of articles online at www.suite.io

 Thanks so much, Debbie, for sharing this information – and congratulations again!

Watch for interviews with the runners up, Harriet Ford and Rachel Malcolm, in future blog posts.

 

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Related posts:

  1. Meet 2014 Page Turner Runner-Up Debbie Roome
  2. Meet 2010 Page Turner Runner-Up, Debbie Roome
  3. Congratulations to the 2015 Page Turner Winners!
  4. Top 15 Finalists for 2015 Page Turner
  5. Meet 2012 Page Turner Champion Leola Ogle!