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Delaware, United States
Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

And the winners are... (Versatile Blogger Award pt. 2)

Here is the first part of my Versatile Blogger post...and the 1-1/2 part.

Fortunately, I realized early that while I'd love to look at all 95 sets of Hookers & Hangers, to make my decision BASED on the Hookers & Hangers, it was wiser of me to make sure they hadn't yet received the Versatile Blogger award. Shaved a lot of time.

My 10 nominations for the Versatile Blogger award, from the list of Hookers & Hangers entrants, based either on those posts or their other posts are (*drum roll*):

Winner based on posts I read.
1. T. L. Bodine Great posts that I'm currently reading, and I've already followed her on Twitter. She also has a list of short stories on her blog to read, and I plan to do that soon.

Winners based on Hookers & Hangers.
1. Tobi Summers Chock Full of Words I knew she was getting one when I saw her GaiaOnline avatar! Her current novel in the editing stages is an urban fantasy about werewolves. Exciting!

2. Amanda Olivieri From Imagination to Ink Her project Death & Co. sounds very intriguing. I also like 1st-person POV shifts.

3. Jenny Morris Jenny's Imaginary World Her Hookers & Hangers from Already There, her collaboration with Kelley Lynn, sound like our every day conversation in this tiny "city" of Dover. The cynicism and determination define a generation here.

4. A.W. Exley Mutterings from the Oubliette Hey, a Kiwi! :-D I love their accents. Anyway, sylphs and embers. Sexy. Her current manuscript is a steampunk called Nefertiti's Heart. I've never read steampunk, but with hookers and hangers like those...I can get into it. *wink*

5. Mara Rae Scribble Scrabble First off, she gets one for that giant baby in her banner. He's adorable. Second, her hangers were awesome.

6. Amy L. Sonnichsen The Green Bathtub The Crazy Part is her current WIP, and the hookers and hangers to it are intriguing.

7. Gina This is Not Your Blog The lines from her YA Romance sound like things I would say. lol

8. Deana Barnhart Yeah, knives in bellies. Not a good look. hehe I also like the image of someone rushing up to another person and punching them. I want to know what he did to deserve it.

9. Kristin McLaughlin Her hookers and hangers painted some really telling pictures, and I'm quite interested in knowing the story around them now.

And a year later (not really, but it took SO long!) I have finished my Versatile Blogger noms! =D I made it just over 2/3 of the way down the list of Hookers & Hangers. I'll still probably skim the rest, but from what I've seen, these are my favorites.

These aren't in any particular order, but I see some of my picks were either the Hookers & Hangers winners or honorable mentions! Congratulations, all!

Here are the rules to the Versatile Blogger:


1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. List the rules.
3. List seven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate ten people for the award. And notify them that you've given them an award.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Can I express how utterly and totally distracted I am right now!?

I'm sitting at my desk at work on a day where I actually HAVE work to do, and all I want to do is blog and brainstorm and revamp my blog to accommodate my smaller works. I enjoy this job, and I love how laid back it is (I'm in the Office of Directors, but still, these people are SO chill), but--and they said I was going to be--I'm BORED.

Not bored as in "this is a boring job," but bored as in, "This is NOT my job." I said from jump (from jump I mean, like, when I was 12. Excuse my lingo and grammar right now, too, I'm in my Deborah-rant-zone, and I do run-on sentences when I'm ranting) that writing was going to be my full-time job. People have told me it's a hobby, and I won't be able to get by on just writing, and I know a lot of people have day jobs because writing isn't all that sustaining, but I want to dream bigger than the logical and the typical.

I want to be a bestselling author. I want to write the screenplay when they (whoever they are) ask to adapt my book. I want to sit in the Executive Director's chair and yell "CUT, do it this way! This is the vision!" I want to be at the Editor's side because for the love of GOD LOTR and King Kong were TOO LONG and some scenes from LOTR that didn't make it into the final cut needed to be in the final cut, because I notice when things aren't resolved. Geez, I've heard it said Stephen King pops up in a lot of his movies now because he hated how The Shining was done! I can be there if I say I need to be there!

Breathe. One. Two.

Okay. I'm calmish.

I'm 28 years old. I had dreams of marriage and my second child by now. So now that that's gone to pot, I still remember that when I was 21, I said in 10 years I'd have a book published and some other stuff that I've forgotten (it was 7 years ago after all). This process, the editing, the revisions, the queries, the critiques, is putting me on that goal, so I hope I see it soon.

In the meantime, I'm going to be finding something more MY job to do with my time while that happens. I'm not quitting my job, by any means, but I'm definitely looking at my other options. I'm the least normal person I know (which often sucks), and I want a life that reflects all of who I am.

Nervous breakdown over. It came 2 years too soon, so I'm going to have a great 30th birthday. I claim that now, Jesus.

Back to work.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Totally About to Cheat (Versatile Blogger Award pt. 1.5)

Well, not really, but...

Okay, so I'm pretty sure everyone I follow has had the Versatile Blogger award because most of the people I follow right now are in the Agent Query Connect circle, so they've nominated each other as one of the ten already.

BUT there was a bloghop contest (you know, the one I mentioned in my last post Hookers & Hangers) that had NINETY-FIVE entrants! What are the odds that all of them have been nominated?!

Pretty good, probably, but it at least gives me a chance to look at others' blogs, too, even though I'm lousy at keeping up with even the ones I follow now! Still, ten of those peeps are about to be given the Versatile Blogger award once I go through their hookers and hangers. And I might even follow them, too. hehe

Hookers & Hangers

That's a great title. lol

Falling 4 Fiction had this great bloghop contest where you post the first sentence from some of your chapters on one day, then the last from some of your chapters on another. I didn't do the contest, but I thought it would be cool to see what some of my openers and enders were, and if they were intriguing or not. SO, here are some from Save the Queen. And, yeah, some aren't just one sentence. lol


Ghuli awoke thinking she would be wandering aimlessly, undead with no one to pass her on to T’orre’s Energy, but she had survived.

Andyrsn came down the stairs, glanced over at his fellow watchmen and the temple scholar unconscious beneath multiple layers of dust, plaster and wood, and stopped walking. (Long doggone sentence.)

Ghuli awoke to the distant voice of the temple scholar calling for his sister. Brodie shifted beside her, sighed as she climbed out of bed, and left to answer him. (That sounds extra scandalous out of context!)

Andyrsn now had someone who was willing to play cards with him. (Hurray for Andyrsn!)

The Southern Continent of the Contagion: an ominous world none dared to touch.

Across the inhabited continents, those with the cursed eye hadn’t moved or made a sound since their fall.


He started back down the stairs with a warm smile on his face. (That, too, sounds scandalous out of context.)

Ghuli needed answers. She knew they must find the Great Scroll. Her life, more than this journey, now depended on it.

She looked up when she realized someone else was there, and her eyes widened when they focused on Andyrsn. Before he could do or say anything, she disappeared.

Cyan tried to move his mouth to identify the soldiers, but the one over him gently pushed his eyes closed.

They had to overcome on their own, surpass their fathers and survive all that would come their way. Ghuli’s life depended on them.

Ghuli closed her eyes, felt as though the wall was moving away, and she put both hands on it to go wherever it would lead her.

Conclusion: I should probably change one of those lines that ends with Ghuli's life depending on something even though they're in two separate books of the whole novel...and the ones that begin with Ghuli waking up, even though one was from unconsciousness and the other from sleep...

We shall see how that turns out. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

I got an award?! (Versatile Blogger Award part 1)


I never get anything, so I was surprised to see SC had nominated me for theVersatile Blogger Award! Thanks, SC! Visit his beautifully blue blog here.

And with such a prestigious award comes responsibilities:


1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. List the rules.
3. List seven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate ten people for the award. And notify them that you've given them an award.

I hope I'm reading ten people's blogs, first off. The hard part will be what to do if they're already nominated. -_-

Some random facts about me.

1. I have a callus on my right thumb from playing FFX for too long (Lulu's limit break called for agonizing use of the right analog stick).

2. I'm the middle child of my dad's children, the middle child of my mom's children, and the middle child of my mother's father's grandchildren...

3. I love pink.

4. I love the WWE even when it sucks.

5. My birthday is this Thursday! :)

6. I read at 146 words per minute (thanks for telling me,

7. I'm pretty sarcastic most of the time.

You'd think I'd mention something writer-related, wouldn't you?

My nominations will come soon. I have to do some searching and make sure no one I pick's already gotten it. I'm sure they wouldn't want to go through this all over again. hehe

Thanks again, SC!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Save the Queen: The query

I THINK I might have it...

To So and So Agency:
Ghuli cannot understand why she is being hunted. When she is forced out of hiding, she meets the person with the answers.

The last of the Crystal Bearers, peaceful people with crystals in their hands and feet, Ghuli hid for most of her life. An army of iron beasts, the Contagion, burns cities and cuts down thousands searching for her. Despite her own impulses and desires for adventure, Ghuli has her watchmen to protect her from potential danger.

But for how long can they protect her from herself? Ghuli stumbles from continent to continent, plagued by everything from preying beasts to her own uncontrollable powers. Dark, fragmented dreams reveal that she may be the true cause of the world's terror. Then, Ghuli meets the one who controls the Contagion. She blames Ghuli for the death of the other Crystal Bearers and vows to stop at nothing to make her pay. Ghuli fears believing her, but her words line up with the dreams.

Before the world is destroyed, Ghuli must piece together the truth and gain control of her powers. She is the only one who can stop this foe and the Contagion once and for all.

SAVE THE QUEEN is a young adult high fantasy. It balances dark tones with light and has a touch of action-adventure. Thank you for your consideration.

The Origin of Love

You know how some things just stick with you once you've seen them? That one song that says everything you need to say, that movie that emotionally wrecked you?

"The Origin of Love" is one of those for me. It's from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. You can find it on Youtube. I haven't even seen the whole movie, but we watched the scene in my Mythology class my first year at Florida State. Parts of it are still hilarious to me (the song is pretty ridiculous when you listen closely). The story as a whole, though, is so profound and moving.

So, I wrote a short story based on it. This might have been the fastest story I've ever done. I started it on my cell phone after work (I sometimes love my Blackberry) and just finished it. I will read it over to check for any superficial errors, but I will be posting it within the hour.

[UPDATE: The aforementioned post was picked up for publication and taken down in order to be published. A sample of the story and e-zine in which it's found are now in the tabs above!]