Debbie Roome is no stranger to FaithWriters, or being recognized for her writing, Not only has she placed several times in Best of the Best Writing Challenge contest, but she has also been on the winners list for FaithWriters’ premiere contest, the Page Turner First Chapter Contest. And this year, she is at the top of that list! Read on to learn more about Debbie’s lengthy publishing credits, her winning entry, and more!

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your win! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

DEBBIE ROOME: I was lying in bed early Sunday morning and picked up my phone to check my emails. I’d forgotten the results for the Page Turner would be out and Michael’s message was completely unexpected. I was very excited – but then cried because I couldn’t tell my mom who was my biggest fan and supporter. She passed away in August this year.

JOANNE: So sorry – I imagine it was bittersweet. This is your fourth time in the Page Turner winners’ circle: two runners up in 2010 and 2014 plus two first places – one in 2015 and then this year. You are clearly a prolific (and excellent!)  writer. Do you have “a secret?” Where do you get your ideas from? What books do you currently have published, and where can we get them?

DEBBIE: Ideas come to me from daily life and what happens around me and to me. I love to watch people and imagine them as characters in my books.

I have a number of books published. The fiction titles are:
Embracing Change
Broken Shells
Contagious Hope
Fragrant Hope

Non-fiction titles
Magnitude 7.1 and 6.3
Christchurch Earthquake Images
Cyber-Bullying is Never Alright
All About Travel
Fly with Me
Loving Leanne

Children’s Picture Books
What in the World is a Disability
What in the World is RTS
What in the World is Cyber-Bullying
Herman & Harriet

Ebooks
Tender Christmas Tales
All About Flying, Aircraft and Comfort
Insider’s Guide to Hotels and Accommodation
Moods of Africa
List Maker
Mind Games

JOANNE: That is quite a body of work. Congratulations! When I saw the title of your book, I KNEW it was something I needed to read. What motivated you to write The First World Problem of Clutter? How are you approaching the topic? What do you want people to take away from reading it?

DEBBIE: Over the last five years, we moved five times and each house was smaller as our children moved out of home. I realised how much clutter I’d collected and how much stuff I had kept in case I needed it one day! It was a process and also a spiritual experience in learning to manage my stuff rather than letting it manage me! The book will go through various areas people struggle in. The table in the hall where papers accumulate, the clothes that might fit you again one day, ornaments that belonged to a long deceased relative that you didn’t even know, kitchen cupboards overflowing with duplicate items, suitcases full of photos … I want to help people find freedom from their stuff. That they learn to manage it rather than being controlled by it.

JOANNE: That is certainly something that would be helpful to me, and I’m sure many others! Tell us about yourself a bit. I know you live in New Zealand. What about your family? What do you do in your spare time?

DEBBIE: I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa when I was 25 and in 2006 moved to New Zealand. We have five grown children and two gorgeous grandchildren who have added such a special dimension to life! We are blessed that our family are all with us in Christchurch. In my spare time, I buy and sell miniature furniture for doll houses and rearrange my own two doll houses. These are not toys and the furniture is detailed reproductions of real furniture. It’s a fascinating hobby.

JOANNE: It sounds fascinating. 🙂 What kinds of books or genres to you generally read?

DEBBIE: I read a wide variety of books and enjoy fiction and non-fiction. Motivational and self-improvement books are near the top of the list, and I also like medical thrillers, legal mysteries and will read a romance occasionally.

JOANNE: What writing projects are you working on now?

DEBBIE: I’m working on Twisted Ribbons, that won the Page Turner contest in 2015. Apart from that, I haven’t written much this year.

JOANNE: What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten?

DEBBIE: Write without worrying about getting it perfect the first time. Most first drafts are terrible but they’re a starting place.

JOANNE: Great reminder for all of us! What are your other passions besides writing?

DEBBIE: Flying, travel, my garden, doll houses, my dog …

JOANNE: Where online can people find you?

DEBBIE: www.debbieroome.com www.debbieroome.blogspot.com

JOANNEThanks so much, Debbie, for sharing. Best of wishes on your future endeavors, and congrats again!

Watch for interviews with the two runners up – Annette Griffin and Lori Othouse – in the coming weeks!

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