Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Author Behind the Story Series - Debra Webb Rogers

How do you like my glasses?
They belong to my granddaughter.
Greetings from the sunny South! Hope everyone is thawing out up north.

It's the second Wednesday of the month. That means it's time for another page in our "Author Behind the Story" series! I hope everyone has enjoyed this series so far as much as I have. It's fun getting to know new people. It's even more fun getting to know the authors behinds the titles I see on Amazon, Facebook, and elsewhere. A book title and cover is great, especially when it's a great cover. But who is the person who wrote the pages in between? That's why we're here! So, when you finish reading this page, I've listed the page linl for our previous authors, in case you missed them! 

This month, we welcome - to the blog "Where imagination meets eternity" (drum roll, please...) - Debra Webb Rogers!

Welcome, Debra! Give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Debra Webb Rogers? 

I spent the first decades of my adult life working as a professional ballet dancer. I danced with the Birmingham Ballet, The Israel Ballet and the Florida Ballet. When I left the world of performing, I began my current job: teaching dance at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a public performing arts high school in Jacksonville, Florida. When I’m not writing, my hobbies include genealogy and various artistic endeavors, from tatting to art.

That's interesting. I would never have equated tatting and ballet dancing, So, before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I wrote little stories and poems when I was in elementary school! I actually thought about becoming a writer at that time, when a professional writer came to my school and talked about how he wrote books. I was fascinated!

What educational background do you have?

I went to Pompano Beach Senior High School in Florida, and then to Florida State University where I received a B.S. degree in Education. I also performed with their dance department. I chose FSU because of their education program, their dance program, and because it is such a beautiful place.

You know Debra, I'm a Gator fan. We have two favorite teams: The Gators and anybody playing FSU. So, to invite you onto my blog is definitely a God thing (J/K). I do think we're gonna get you guys in football in 2017, but I digress. Are you married? Single? Have kids?

I am married (for 22 years) to my wonderful husband Sam. I have an equally wonderful adult stepson, Chris. Sam and I share our home with two cats and one dog.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Food: Anything chocolate
Favorite Drink: A glass of merlot on Friday night
Favorite Song: Ghost in This House by Alison Krauss, and The Dreaming Fields by Trisha Yearwood
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Books on historical unsolved mysteries – like the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
Favorite Bible Verse: Matthew 6:25-27 (Because I am a worrier!)
Favorite Movie: Somewhere in Time
Favorite Actor or Actress: Christopher Walken
Favorite Novel (other than your own): The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Favorite Novelist (other than you): Terry Kay
Favorite Sport: Ice skating and gymnastics (as an observer, not a participant)
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Jacksonville Jaguars
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: Art
Favorite Subject Now: History
Favorite Teacher in School: Victoria Leigh (ballet instructor)
Favorite Time of the Year: Spring
Favorite Place to Vacation: North Carolina Mountains

Debra writes under the
pen name Violet Rightmire
If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

I’d like to meet Serge Diaghilev. He wasn’t a dancer or choreographer but he changed the face of ballet in the early 20th century, and influenced many dancers who became famous and went on to pass on his legacy.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

I have always wondered about the unnamed woman Jesus forgives for adultery. I’d like to meet her and learn her name, find out more about her, and what her circumstances were. I think she would be a fascinating person to meet.

I heard a comedian say once he thought the reason why the Jewish leaders tossed their stones to the ground when Jesus said what He said ("Let he who has no sin cast the first stone") was because Jesus was writing their girlfriends' names in the dirt. Wouldn't you love to know what He was doodling in the dirt? Okay, besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

This is an interesting question for this particular moment in my life. Last month my husband almost died of a double pulmonary embolism. But God was with us every step of the way, and I am so thankful for the miracle we received. My husband is home now and recovering well. It makes me remember that everything is in God’s hands and in His time. As far as how this relates to writing, I remind myself about this when my latest manuscript collects rejections.

Ugh. We all know about rejections. Been here. It's simply part of the business. On that sour note, what’s the craziest thing you have ever done?  

Accepting a one-year contract to join the Israel Ballet when I was barely 22 years old. I’d never been out of the United States, didn’t speak the language, and had no idea what I was getting into!


Why do you live where you live?
Debra's writing assistants

I live in Jacksonville, Florida, because I accepted a contract to dance with the Florida Ballet. I stayed because I love Jacksonville’s unique combination of big city amenities tucked into a small town atmosphere. I live in a 1923-era cottage in a lovely, walk-able historic district called San Marco.

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?
I read My Name is Maude by Katherine Murray Steele. It is the true story of a young woman who taught in a one-room schoolhouse in a remote mountain community in the 1920s. The author’s matter-of-fact details about the difficulties of everyday life in such a remote location made me think about (and appreciate!) all the things we have today that we take for granted – like indoor plumbing and central heat!


When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you?
A new home must have the right “feel.” It would be an old house with character – floorboards that creak, windows that rattle, angled ceilings, and a potential for secret hiding places. In other words, it would be very much like the house I have now!

When you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you?

I just purchased my dream car this past summer: a blue Subaru Forester. My husband and I spend lots of time in the North Carolina mountains and an all-wheel drive is a necessity.

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?

I look for something different. In fiction I love a story with some mystery, some historical basis, and also a hint of the paranormal. I also love non-fiction books in history, biography, or science genres. Any books I think about long after I finish them are the best! I love being haunted by a book.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

 John 3:16

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

Just as I love being haunted by a book, I hope my novels do the same for my readers.

To find out more, please visit my website:

Thank you, Debra, for taking the time to visit with us! We hope your writing dances to new heights, and we pray your husband continues to recuperate fully.

And may God bless all of you, our readers, as you bless God.


PS - If you missed the first two ABTS entries, click below:


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Author Interview on Kathy Harris's Divine Detour Blog

Had the wonderful opportunity to do an interview with Kathy Harris on her website's blog: Divine Detour.  Click HERE for the interview.

Thank, Kathy!