Meet Debra Webb Rogers, Multifaceted and Multi-published Author!
I “met” Debra Webb Rogers online through the client group of Linda S. Glaz, our wonderful agent. I was so intrigued to read about Debra’s background in ballet and that she writes under the pen name of Violet Rightmire! She’s also an artist as you will learn in our interview. She is one author with many talents.
Welcome, Debra! It seems you have had an eclectic journey. How did you go from a professional ballet dancer to a writer and amateur genealogist?
Even when I was performing, I was writing. Whether it was in a journal, or in letters home, the writing bug was always there. The interest in family history was always there too. I’ve long been fascinated by the treasure hunt that is genealogy, and it was a natural transition to write about the stories I uncovered. You truly can’t make this stuff up!
I get that! We have some interesting stories in our family history for sure.
As I’ve read the descriptions of your novels I see you’ve woven dance into your romances, among other elements such as time travel. What made you decide to write romance under the pen name of Violet Rightmire? Would you like to share anything about those stories?
There is a well known writer named Debra Webb, as well as one named Debra Rogers. So my real names were taken – at least in the fiction market. I decided to use my maternal great-grandmother’s name, Rightmire, as my pen name. A friend suggested pairing it with Violet because he thought that was a good name for one who writes love stories. It also works from a branding standpoint: I wear purple to book signings and conferences.
I love to write stories I’d like to read, and I’m always drawn to the unusual. I especially like stories with several twists in them. I love to be surprised! Time travel is one area of fascination, but there are so many true and unusual facts in life and history that I will never run out of inspiration!
Oh, that’s great, to have your own color to wear to interviews! I also think Violet Rightmire has an old-fashioned, romantic sound to it which works for romance.
How has God guided you through this process?
He is a constant presence in my life, and I have always felt guided – in everything. Often this becomes especially evident in retrospect. An article I wrote for Guideposts several years ago describes an amazing “God moment” in my life: https://www.guideposts.org/friends-and-family/friends/an-old-friend.
He also guided me to enter the journezine Christmas story contest: http://www.journezine.com/one-single-present/.
Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
There are so many! One I discovered recently that really helps on those days when I am facing a blank page with no inspiration in sight is:
“…work. For I am with you…”
- Haggai 2:4
Beautiful and to the point. I need to remember that one when I struggle to get words on the page.
I also What would you like to tell us about your latest release, The Family Tree Coloring Book?
I studied art in high school, and at one time I considered it as a career. But ballet won out! Recently, I was looking for a creative way to organize my genealogical research, and I searched for a coloring book that would work. I was surprised to find there was nothing like that available, so I made my own. I also did a second book, Frames, Borders and Backgrounds to Color, that acts as a companion volume – or it can stand alone.
Thank you, Debra, for taking the time to visit my blog this week! Debra is kindly giving away both of her coloring books to one randomly chosen winner, so please leave a comment below to enter.
More about Debra:
Ms. Rogers is a former professional ballet dancer who now teaches dance and dance history at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She danced with The Birmingham Ballet, The Israel Ballet and the Florida Ballet. She graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. degree in Education, and is a multiple-year honoree listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
Ms. Rogers is the author of several works of nonfiction: “Choosing a Dance School: What Every Parent Should Consider,” “Dancing Between the Ears,” and a genealogy book on the descendants of Israel Boone entitled: “The Boone Connection in the Lost Counties.” She has written articles for national magazines Guideposts and Dancebag, plus a guest column for the Florida Times-Union. Her first novel, Dancing in Time, published by The Wild Rose Press (www.thewildrosepress.com), was a finalist for an EPIC Award in 2011.
Ms. Rogers first historical non-fiction publication was called San Marco. Published by Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, it traces the history of the area using vintage photographs. Her most recent book for Arcadia is Jacksonville’s Southside. It is a recipient of the 2014 Historic Preservation Award from the city of Jacksonville.
Find her on the web: