Thursday, 28 May 2020

CWD Member Interview - Debbie Roome

Most Thursdays this year we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.

Today’s Interview Debbie Roome

Question 1: Tell us three things about who you are and where you come from.

I’m a wife, mother of five, mother-in-law to two and grandmother to two, with another due in July! I was born in Zimbabwe and lived there until I was 25. My husband and I then spent a number of years in South Africa before moving to New Zealand with our children in 2006. It was a massive change for us but the best thing we’ve ever done. I decided when we arrived here that this was a chance to concentrate on my writing.

Question 2: Tell us about your writing. What do you write and why?

My main focus in the past has been romantic fiction as well as assorted nonfiction topics. The nonfiction titles were all inspired by life experiences. My book about cyberbullying was the result of a prolonged cyberbully attack after the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011. Loving Leanne is the life story of my sister who was born with mental and physical disabilities and passed away six years ago. Fly With Me is an inspirational book based on my experiences in the skies. 

I have also published several picture books. The one that has done very well is called What in the World is RTS. This is a story with pictures that explains the genetic condition my sister was born with. It has been very well received by the families with children born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome.

Other titles include four fiction books, a series of three travel books, a pictorial account of the Christchurch earthquakes and some books of short stories.

Question 3: Who has read my work? Who would you like to read it?

Family, friends and strangers have all read my work. The most positive feedback has come from my picture book about RTS. It has given families a simple yet visual medium to communicate the basic facts of their child’s condition. I’ve heard stories of children taking it to school to explain what their sibling struggles with, and families sharing it with friends. 

I would like a large cross section of people to read my work and be inspired and encouraged by it.

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps the most?

I normally get a story in my head and then jot down a basic outline. Each book has been different. Some I’ve started at chapter one and written the chapters in sequence. Others, I’ve jumped around and written chapters in no logical order and then fitted them together later in the process. With the picture books, I wrote the story and then worked with my illustrator to get the perfect pictures for the book.

Question 5: What is favourite Writing Craft Book and why?

I’ve read a number of writing craft books but to be honest, I don’t have a favourite. I believe each has contributed to my skills. 

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author , writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?

Adele Jones was a great source of encouragement to me during a difficult time a few years ago. She kept in touch and made me feel it was worthwhile carrying on with my writing. 

Question 7: What are your writing goals for this year? How will you achieve them?

I won the FaithWriter’s Page Turner Contest 2015 with my fiction entry, Twisted Ribbons. Unfortunate circumstances and an upset made me lose my desire to write for an extended period of time. However, I have been working on the book for the last few months and aim to have it completed before Christmas this year. I’ve reached 52,000 words so am confident I can do it!

Question 8: How does you faith impact and shape your writing?

My faith is central to what I write and in all my books, I uphold my values of honesty, integrity and clean speech. I always imagine that I’m standing before the Lord, reading my work to Him. I ask myself if every word is thought provoking, interesting and whether it will encourage and inspire.

I am happily married to Kevin and have five wonderful children. Two of these are married and I have the best daughter-in-law and son-in-law I could wish for as well as two gorgeous grandchildren. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent 15 years in South Africa before moving to New Zealand in 2006. I work as a freelance writer and novelist and try to bring honour to God through all I do and write. When I'm not sitting at my computer, I enjoy photography and taking my dog for a walk. My husband and I recently pastored a church for five years but are now heading in a new direction as the Lord leads. Music is also an important part of my life. My favourite instrument is piano but I also play guitar and bass guitar. I'm a self-confessed travel addict and spend a fair amount of time wandering around New Zealand and further afield.


  1. Thank you, Debbie.Lovely to read a little more about your interesting and varied life and also the books you have produced. Well done to you! God bless.

  2. Wow Debbie, I knew you wrote both fiction and nonfiction, but I had no idea of the diversity of books you've put out. That's amazing. I'm glad you've found the enthusiasm for your latest novel again. Great job on reaching 52 000 words. I'm still plotting my next one and haven't written a word yet. Good luck with all of your writing endeavours.

  3. So pleased to see your passion for writing returning, Debbie. You have a unique and respectful way of bringing greater awareness to an array of issues through both your fiction and non-fiction works. As one who has enjoyed a number of your stories (with another at the top of my TBR pile) I anticipate your coming release, Twisted Ribbons. I really appreciate your writing check — as if reading aloud to God. A valuable measure of what and how we pen.

  4. Thanks Debbie for sharing something of yourself and your life and writing journey with us. I'm delighted by your bold approach to tackling variety in writing/genre - I find your example very encouraging.

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