with Debbie Fuller Thomas

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Welcome to Patterings, Debbie!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.

My neighbor once mentioned that she wrote for Sunday School takehome papers and asked if I’d ever considered writing. She gave me a brief ‘how to’ about submitting, and I worked up a personal experience piece which my denominational magazine bought. I held that $15 check in my hand and thought, “This doesn’t seem too hard.” Little did I know that I wouldn’t sell another thing for almost 15 years. In between, I wrote during nap times at my home day care and eventually finished a 55,000 word manuscript.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
Raising Rain was the most fun to write because of the diverse personalities of the four college roommates who raised Rain in the 70’s. They sort of ricochet off of each other. My favorite character is Andie from Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon because she touched my heart with her story. I wanted to adopt her!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My problem is finding time to write. I work full-time in a job that doesn’t allow me to mentally disconnect when I leave work, and it tends to suck my creativity dry at times. My solution is to get up early, stay up late, work weekends, holidays and take vacation days the closer I get to a deadline. I found a beautiful convent-retreat center in town where I can get away for a few days cheaply, which gives me enough time to get a good jumpstart on a first draft.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I would have to say Bebe. She is entering a time of change and an empty nest, and circumstances force her to search for closure for some past mistakes, which I can certainly relate to. I think it’s a universal issue.

What is your strangest habit?
I always take the kale off my plate when it’s used as a garnish. Twice I have found little worms in the curly leaves, and although the restaurants took my dinner off the bill, it’s made me a bit leery. I don’t like creepy crawlies or anything with scales.

Oh. my. Worms just kind of really kale! *shiver*
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Creating a department budget at work and changing the litter at home. Ugh!

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Waking up in a bed and breakfast in Monterey (possibly the Jabberwock), exploring Cannery Row and spending the afternoon sitting on the beach enjoying the waves and the sea lions. Going to The Fish House for dinner. Watching the city lights twinkle on Monterey Bay.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy upmarket fiction – a mix of literary and genre fiction - but I’m also a fan of Ray Bradbury. I am currently reading Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young and Handsome. I love the way Enger’s first book, Peace Like a River, explores spiritual topics without giving the appearance of having an agenda. I thought it was powerful, and this second book has elements of spirituality, also. I just finished Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and before that, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I also enjoy Jodi Picoult, and every amazing novel from my five sister-bloggers at Novel Matters.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I tend to write about family relationships. A family is a small cosmos of the world and just about every decision you make impacts the ones you love the most in a myriad of ways. We all need the Lord!

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
He has reminded me that I am not enough to live a successful, fulfilled life. Overwhelming circumstances turn me back to him for strength and peace every time.

Thank you, Debbie. It was great having you here!
You can follow Debbie through Twitter, at her website: www.debbiefullerthomas.com and her blog, Novel Matters, and purchase a copy of Raising Rain at CBD and Amazon:

Debbie is giving away a copy of Raising Rain. To be entered in the book giveaway, you must have a US address. Leave a comment and check back on Thursday, October 1st to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you sign up for the email notifications and confirm your new subscription, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget to check out and leave a comment on Nikki Arana's book giveaway!


  1. Pick me!!! I'll have it shipped to my stateside address!!!

  2. Debbie writes my favorite type of fiction - "upmarket" fiction. I loved Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon and expect Raising Rain to be just as good. Thank you for the chance to win a copy - and I'm already a subscriber.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  3. Thank you so much, Carole! I appreciate your kind words about Tuesday Night.

  4. You said: "He has reminded me that I am not enough to live a successful, fulfilled life." Isn't that so true. But we often forget!

    Please enter me for your book. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. JoAnn S5:29 PM

    I enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the book drawing.


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