Spreading love one story at a time.



What was Debra’s first book?

A Desperate Journey was published by Samhain Publishing in 2008 in ebook and 2009 in print. The publishing house is no longer in business, which to Debra’s surprise now makes those first editions collectable. A Desperate Journey was the first novel Debra wrote, after penning short stories.

How did Debra get published back in 2008 before there was self publishing? 

Debra’s first book, A Desperate Journey, was part of a contest called The American Title II.  Similar to the TV show American Idol, twelve unpublished authors competed for one publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing. The contest was put on by Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times magazine. Each month two authors were “kicked off the island” and Debra’s book made it to the second round before she was kicked off. Before the contest ended and the winner was declared, Debra had signed with an agent and a year later the book was picked up by Samhain Publishing. Though both publishers have since closed, Debra will always be thankful to them and to Romantic Times magazine for launching her as a published author.

When did Debra first start writing?

Debra cannot remember a time when she created her first make believe story as she’s been doing it all her life. She remembers as a child making sing song rhymes and fairy tale stories on the school playground before she could write words. She has always loved poems and stories, particularly fairy tales and folk tales.

When did Debra start self publishing?

For years friends and family had asked Debra when she would come out with a book of her poems. She’d had poems published in literary magazines while in college, but after graduation had focused on working at the Collierville Herald in TN while writing short stories. As self publishing became more accessible and more popular among writers, in 2013 she decided to test the waters with her first poetry anthology, Twilight Dips. Bringing the book out in ebook through KDP and in print through Createspace, she took that leap and now thinks of this book as her training wheel self published book. She hired a cover artist she’d worked with at one of her publishing houses and an author friend edited the anthology. Everything else she did herself.  The book is still available in print and in ebook. There is a possibility she might bring it out in audio one of these days.

Why does Debra call herself a hybrid author?

A hybrid author is one who publishes in the traditional publishing way through a publishing house as well as self publishing his or her books. Coming from a traditional background and having once been with five publishers, Debra was first traditionally published, then branched out into self publishing with her first poetry anthology. After obtaining rights from three of her former publishers, two of which are no longer in business, she re-released those books through her own label, Belo Dia Publishing. With one foot in each world, Debra believes in doing what is best for each book as well as herself as the author. She knows there are pluses and minuses to each way of publishing and does not believe in criticizing either one. For each the goal is to put out good books.

Why did Debra choose Belo Dia Publishing as the name of her publishing company?

Belo Dia is Portuguese for “Beautiful Day”. Debra believes “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” This forms the bedrock of Debra’s belief system and her publishing house, and her goal is to contribute to that beautiful day through publishing stories and poetry.


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