Local Author and New York Times Bestseller

Posted: October 22nd, 2012

Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author, has 160 million books in print and over 100 million sold. The first book she ever sold was in 1984 called “Heart Song” and the first book she’s ever published was in 1983 called “Starlight.” Aside from romance novels, Debbie writes devotionals for “GuidePosts,” an inspirational magazine that publishes a book once a year containing 365 devotionals for each day of the year. Debbie commented: “I’m always doing magazines and short stories. I’m published all around the world now. In England, before the book is coming out, they have me do short stories in their newspaper. They are usually used for promotional purposes. I am a novelist.”

Debbie is originally from Yakima, WA. Her husband, Wayne Macomber, is from Colville, WA and they originally lived in South Seattle then Kent, and now Port Orchard. When asked three words to describe herself, Debbie replied, “optimistic, disciplined, and joyful.” Her hobbies include: knitting, reading, family, cooking, gardening, and traveling. Debbie also reads romance novels that took place during the regency time period in England during the years of 1811 to 1830 timeframe. When asked about an interesting fact about her family, Debbie replied, “My dad was a prisoner of war in World War II.”

Debbie commented on what she thinks of her career, “I am amazed by it, it goes beyond anything I could have thought or imagined. I can remember asking God just one book and now I have 160 million books in print worldwide and five of my books have been made into movies. I have a TV series that’s debuting in January, it goes beyond the imagination of what I could have ever hoped for. The TV series is called “Cedar Cove” and the pilot version will air on the Hallmark Channel on January 19, 2013.”

She discussed the best thing about her career, “I think the best part about my career is getting letters from people who talk about reading my books and how it helped them get through chemotherapy or the loss of their husband. They can’t sleep and are reading my books. God’s used my ability to tell stories to help others.” When asked what led her to her current career, she replied, “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write. I always was a story teller; I was the highest paid babysitter in Yakima because the kids loved how I would entertain them with my stories and include their names in my stories.”

When asked the favorite book she’s written, Debbie replied, “That’s like asking me my favorite child. There are certain books that are closer to my heart than others. The book “Between Friends” I struggled hard to sell it and it’s so different; it’s all diary entries and like a scrapbook of two people’s lives. “A Shop on Blossom Street” because that was really a life changing book for me. I combined my two passions: writing and knitting. I’m an avid knitter and long time knitter and had an explosion with my sales following that book. “Susannah’s Garden” was another favorite as there’s a twist in it that you don’t expect and I love doing twists in books. There’s a twist in “A Shop on Blossom Street,” too.”

Debbie revealed what many people may not know about her, “I didn’t learn to read until I was 10 years old because I’m dyslexic.” She revealed what many people may not know about her career, “I started with a rented typewriter that I had on the kitchen table, moved it at meal times, and put it back when the meal was over and when the dishes were done.”

Debbie’s biggest accomplishment is raising her four children (two boys and two girls). She is motivated by the joy of writing, “There are times when I have to stop and just look out and say “how did this ever happen?” this is a mystery to me [the fact that she could be as successful as she is selling books]. I really believe God created me to write books. Being dyslexic made me slow in school, I am lucky to have graduated from high school. School was always a struggle for me.”

When asked what her long-term and short-term career goals were, Debbie responded, “I made a list of goals in 1992 and wrote five audacious goals and found out five years later, that I accomplished them. So, I made a new list and they’re really audacious:

  1. Own part or all of the Seahawks franchise; move over Paul Allen!
  2. To give 10 million dollars to further God’s kingdom in one year without dying.
  3. To have a Broadway Play musical based on one of my Christmas books.
  4. To have a TV series based on my books.
  5. To have not just a feature film, but an Oscar winning feature film based on one of my books.

When asked what her life goals were in general, Debbie replied, “I made a mission statement several years ago and my mission statement is to be a blessing; to bless my family, my community, and my church, and to bless others.”

Advice that Debbie would give to someone that wants to write a novel, “Don’t give up. Keep doing it. It took me 5 years to sell the first novel and I think I got discouraged and quit I would’ve lost a piece of my soul.

I took four novels and took them apart. I then wrote an outline of the book and did that four times over. I learned about back story point of view you and that you don’t really pay attention to when you’re reading a book; that was my instructions. It’s sort of like learning a piano; you don’t start with the fifth symphony.”

Stay tuned for Debbie’s latest book “Angels at the Table” in stores this Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Debbie discussed the synopsis of the book, “The three angels have an apprentice training with the usual mishaps and miss-directions. My goal at Christmas is to give people a reason to relax and laugh. Everyone gets stressed out during that time of year.”

For more information about Debbie Macomber and her books, please visit: http://www.debbiemacomber.com.

 

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com

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4 Comments

  1. Carly, 5 years ago

    Happy Birthday Debbie! (Monday, Oct. 22nd) is her birthday. I love your books, you are really my favorite author. Nobody can tell interesting stories like you. Keep up the great work!

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  2. Olalla Bob, 5 years ago

    What an inspiration for others to follow. I attended a special event with a great friend of mine in Debbie’s honor. Debbie was recently given her family’s genealogy. To see where her roots came from hundreds of years ago and into the interesting powerhouse she is today is a lifetime story in itself. Great Job Carly.

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  3. alan, 5 years ago

    Carly you are a great interviewer, your well though out questions really allowed Debbies story to be told, good job~

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  4. jpp, 5 years ago

    What a great story- you can feel her genuine warmth seeing her smile and hearing her story! I had always been intimidated by all my friends who were avid readers of pretty intense books….so I pretty much stayed away from anything that wasn’t cooking, knitting, crafts or self help because I was such a slow reader….but then Carly recommended Debbie’s books and while on vacation one weekend, I picked one up in the gift shop. I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. And low and behold, my intimidation of not being a “reader” had dissipated. It was just finding the right things to read for ME. I can relate to Debbie’s stories as if they were happening to me and my girlfriends. In fact, I’ve had many a day sitting knitting in one of my favorite shops and chatting with knitting friends.
    Thank you for the great story, Carly! And thank you for your inspiration and pure joy, Debbie! Happy, happy Birthday! Thank you for bringing us these delightful and heartwarming stories! I can’t wait to watch your up and coming TV series and wishing you the best! Congratulations….

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