Spotlight On...

Debra K. Owens

by Gina Lee Nelson

This month’s Spotlight, Debra K. Owens, works long hours for Homeland Security, drives to NT meetings from a town called Ponder, and still finds time to write. Let’s find out more about her.

Debra, what do you consider your genre(s)?

Children, middle grade and Young Adult. I love writing romance, paranormal and fantasy. I like the mental escape that my writing worlds provide.

What would you consider your biggest challenge to writing?

Time is not my friend. My day job is my bread and butter. It’s my first career. I work for the Department of Homeland Security at the FEMA office in Denton. When disasters strike, the writing gets put on hold. Which lately is often. But, I still force myself to set aside “me” time to write.

When you’re free to write, what is your writing schedule?

When time allows, I usually write on the weekends or when I have a day off from my full-time job.

Does that allow time for you to be a part of a critique group?

I’ve searched for the dream critique group, but I live in the sticks and my options are limited. If you know of any in the Denton area, please point me to them.

Congratulations on being one of our published authors. What led to your first publication?

My first sale was the result of placing first in a writing contest. I wrote a short non-fiction about a real-life experience entitled Burning Bush. The editor picked my story to be the lead story for the Thin Threads - Faith and Hope edition.

Who influenced you to become a writer?

Mostly friends and volunteers at my old church. I used to write children’s curriculum, Christmas and Easter drama productions, stage skits, and newsletters for a multi-site church in the North Texas area. From there, I ventured into other styles of writing.

Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most? Writing, editing, or plotting?

I’m a dreamer. Always have been. I’ll play the whole story out in my head and then write from beginning to end. So I guess I’m a fan of plotting.

What are you currently working on?

My novel, The Fourth Horseman, recently placed third in the YA category of the Romancing the Lakes writing contest. I continue to work on it and its sequel in hopes of getting the series, or at least the first book, published.

Tell me about your book, The Fourth Horseman.

It’s a modern day YA series inspired by the archaic story about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s written with a twist. The fourth horseman is a girl. A cowgirl, to be more precise. While most high school students are picking out their homecoming dresses or planning for college, Shayna Chanel Levi is in training to learn how to defeat a lunatic ex-angel with a huge grudge against the Horsemen and humans. Being the Fourth Horseman has its perks. You have powers that other teenagers don’t. You get to ride a supernatural steed that has the ability to telepathically talk to you. And you get to hang out with the coolest and hottest cowboy trio this side of the galaxy. There’s only one catch. Falling in love with your fellow horseman is not allowed. Or at least while you have a calling to fulfill. If Shayna can find the Armor of God, defeat her nemesis, and bring peace to the universe, she just might get the guy in the end. She has a long road ahead of her, though. Now that she’s bound by a kiss that saved her life, avoiding damnation has never been more complicated. But if Shayna is going to survive this trial, save her family and friends, and hopefully keep Gabe from getting condemned too, she’s got to stay the course and finish what she’s started.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My NTRWA authors are at the top of the list. Their stories inspire me. We have so much talent in this group, and I love how everyone is moved to mentor a fellow author. Aside from that, I love Nicholas Sparks, Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters, J. K. Rowling, Jenkins & LaHaye, Max Lucado, Stephanie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, James Patterson. . .and on and on and on. Too many to mention.

What are some of your favorite books?

All of Jane Austen’s books, The Hunger Games, all of Nicholas Sparks’ books, the Twilight series, and the Harry Potter series. I’m a big fan of fantasy and romance. But, I also revert back to a good ole classic lit between contemporary reads.

There’s always something we don’t know about our fellow members. What’s something we may not know about you?

To keep up the author skills, I write part-time for a local magazine, Lifestyles of Denton County. It has about a 200,000+ audience. Which is nice. I enjoy the freedom to choose my topics. My most memorable article to date was my interview with Mr. James Hampton, actor, writer, and producer. It made the cover of Lifestyles and received great reviews.

NT, let’s support Debra by following her on the web!

 

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