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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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Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Freeday: I GOT THE JOB!

Happy Friday!

As my title says, yesterday, I got the call that I was selected for the part-time position of Administrative Specialist I with the Department of Technology! The pay, I've NEVER seen a number like that! The hours, I might actually have a break! lol This is going to be exciting. I've told everyone who needs to know, and I'm now just trying to tie up some things because there are people I need to train before I deuce out. I'm so happy! :D

That's really all I had to say today, so I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Express Yourself: With Special Guest...YOU!

Welcome back to Express Yourself Tuesday! This meme is brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books, and this week they ask us: If we could be ourselves in any tv or movie, what would it be, and what could we bring to the table?

This is a very fun question.

I think I wouldn't mind being in Daria, as the new girl who's socially inept and awkward. Daria would get a kick out of that. lol

I have been told I am the girl in the horror movie who you think died halfway through but comes back in the end to save the day, so if there were a Scream 5, knowing that I live, I'd be okay with being in it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

My WIP: Fantasy Betas

I'm bored, so I thought I'd pop in. :)

Tomorrow I go in for my second interview for a real position (last interview was my first in YEARS), and while I'm claiming 2014 will be Deborah's year financially, spiritually, and romantically (hey now), I need it to also be DEBRA'S year. I spent the last couple of years revising my fantasy WIP Save the Queen, and the last revision even came with a name change: The Crystal Bearer. My sister doesn't like it, but she also didn't finish reading it for me, so *sticks my tongue out at her*.

Even though I've decided to try to query my tribute sequel first (which entails, you know, working on the query), I don't want to all out give up on Ghuli's story, so I want to find betas for it. Hopefully, some of you who are reading this came from the tweet I will be attaching to this. Below is my latest query, with which I'm feeling more comfortable than I have with my prevoius query drafts. And if you're interested in being a beta reader, please comment or e-mail me: debramckellan (at) ymail (dot) com.


All that remains of the most powerful people on T’orre is Ghuli, and with a metal army destroying everything in its path to get to her, she feels powerless.

Ghuli’s parents sent her away from their land before the army destroyed it. With the ever-present threat in the back of her mind, she grows up trying to live life, mainly by swinging from willow trees and aggravating her watchmen. She reads fairytales of safer lands to occupy her dreams, but the closer danger comes, the more those dreams turn to dark, abandoned castles, to ghosts and faces Ghuli’s never seen. At least, she doesn’t remember seeing them.

Once separated by shipwreck and alone in the world she has come to fear, Ghuli discovers her dreams are more real than she desires. They are glimpses of a time that she has reversed. The price: her consciousness, the part of her that contains her memory and the control of her erratic powers, has separated from her body. Ghuli’s consciousness guides her body towards a rune called the Great Scroll, the key to piecing her back together and becoming more than just the protected. She can help stop the metal army, but another price comes with regaining her full potential. She must discover whether or not she is the reason her people were destroyed.

THE CRYSTAL BEARER is a YA fantasy complete at 98,000 words. It balances the line between dark and light tones and has a slight horror element.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Freeday

A very windy morning to everyone!

It's warmer outside than it is in this office, so if only I could take my whole phone and computer system out there, I'd be a happy girl.

Next week, or even tomorrow, really, I have no plans, I want to refocus my attention to querying. It's been a pretty stagnant month for me, so I want to have a productive March. I've never been a very motivated person, so it's going to be hard, but if I want to do this, I have to, you know, DO it.

There's something you don't want to see while you're typing: Tornado Watch.

Anyway, so yeah. I also want to focus on one of my WIPs; I have so many started, and I need to maybe finally *gasp* outline and see if they have potential to go anywhere.

That's really it. Just in case they send us to some hidden shelter, I'll see you guys next week. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Express Yourself: 5 & 5

Welcome back to the Express Yourself meme! This weekly bloghop is brought to us by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani Bertrand @ Entertaining Interests.

This week, they ask us to name 5 books we wouldn't want to live in, and 5 books we would like to.

Sheesh, this will be hard.

My Don'ts (in no particular order)
1. Fahrenheit 451. A place where books are so obsolete they're illegal? No thanks.
2. Sense & Sensibility. I sided too much with Marianne. I probably would end up the scandalized maiden, and I don't have time for that.
3. Stephen King's It. I have NO time for killer aliens dressed as clowns. None.
4. A Clockwork Orange. Even though it seems like a world we do live in now, I don't like the idea of a gang of gibberish-talking thugs lurking around corners preparing to rape, steal, or kill anything with a pulse.
5. The Crucible. All someone had to say was you were a witch, and you were burned at the stake?!

My Do's (in no particular order)
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. A magical wardrobe to another world? I would try to make myself dream of places like this for most of my life. I usually just ended up sitting in a closet.

I read a lot of dismal stuff, so I don't think I'd want to live in any other book I've read...I need to read some happy books.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Freeday: Snow

When I was a child, there was nothing I loved more in Winter than waking up to 6+ inches of snow, the huge ditch behind our complex to slide down when we lived in Pennsylvania, and the ice at the bottom of said ditch. Even up to high school, I loved not having school because in Delaware one inch means we will all die if we're out on the road at the same time. I'd laugh at myself for falling (except that one time when I was 9 where I busted my entire face. My sister laughed, so I burst into tears and ran home with a scraped forehead and bloody lip.) and enjoy the snow ball fights and snow angels.

Now that I'm almost 30, I've learned snow days equal no pay days, falling HURTS, and the likelihood that I will get a sinus infection goes up with the speed of the wind gusts. The plow guys don't come until after the state offices are shut down, and you really want to go outside, but it feels like 17 degrees. As someone who also gets hot very easily, I only have 3 sweaters...Yep. I'm cold right now.

So in the spirit of winter, I also thought I would pay homage to some great "Snowy" characters.

Mary Margaret aka Snow White from Once Upon A Time This Snow packs a punch! Though she's also a bleeding heart, and though that was the reason her stepmother, Regina the Evil Queen, hates her in the first place, Snow always has the purest of intentions and just wants to live happily ever after with her (hot) Prince Charming David. If you're not watching this show, my goodness, you're missing greatness.

Jon Snow(First off, Kit Harrington, mmm). Unfortunately, Snow is the last name of bastards in the northern part of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire, but who doesn't love a broody, dark-haired character? It seems like the moment Jon decides to take the Black, which means he has to leave all of his past life behind him, Seven Hells break loose, and that's all he gets to hear about! I cannot WAIT for The Winds of Winter, even though I must. As one of the late great Eddard Stark's children who are alive, I need them all to find each other, though with GRRM, we don't know if that will ever happen. :(

Well, that's all I have for today. Happy Valentine's Day to those with one. Singles, enjoy your day. lol

Monday, February 10, 2014

Express Yourself: Book Couples

Happy Early Valentine's Day!

For this week's Express Yourself, Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books ask us to talk about some of our favorite book couples.

I've read too many books and don't remember many couples' names anymore. lol I at least remember the books, so I can look them up.

Tien and Ben in The Deep Green Sea by Robert Olen Butler. The love these two have really make the story, and for most of my reading this book, I wanted that kind of love. I refuse to give away the twist, but there is one, and it's devastating.

Jeremy and Deborah Cole in Wabash by Robert Olen Butler. I clearly remember saying, "If these two don't have sex by the end of this book, I will be upset." They struggle to make it in a steel mill city while the death of their daughter has put such a wrench in their relationship, but you just want them to make it!

Ed and Winry in The Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. Not only is this the best anime I've seen and manga I've read, but watching Ed and Winry grow and try to figure out their relationship through the conspiracies of their country just brings you hope. lol

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG: Why I Must Succeed


I'm writing this a day early, so I don't know who the helpers are this month, but THANK YOU for visiting us all, and as always, a big "DOMO AMARIGATO!" to our Sensei, Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh, for creating this support system. You can now also visit the Insecure Writers Support Group page to view and/or join us!

Now, my semi-dramatic topic. Over the past couple of weeks, I've realized a few things:

1) If I never get published, I may never be completely happy.

2a) (Thanks to a Parenthood episode) I didn't acquire any other marketable skills besides writing and singing, so the chances I'll be doing anything else but deskwork increase astronomically the longer I don't push myself. 2b) I really need to push myself to get this done. It's scary, and you're about as vulnerable as you're going to get when you put yourself out there, but I have to do it!

and 3) I'd rather not end up like my mom's older brother, who is near 60 but has chased pipe dreams most of his life, bless his heart. I come from a very arts-inclined family. My great-uncle is the only one I know who actually sells his artwork. The rest of the singers, dancers, writers, and artists in my family have basically gone down the "What-if" path, and I'd rather not.

So with that said, I'm going to do my best to succeed this year. This year is a stretch, but it's just now February, so I have faith. lol

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Express Yourself: Goals

Welcome to Express Yourself, the weekly meme brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books. This week's question is about what goals we have for ourselves this month.

I plan to (weather permitting) get out of the house this month. It's exceedingly hard when you don't have a car, but I need to get out. Most of the time, I see nothing but my house, my church, and my work, and I need a LIFE.

A bigger goal for myself this month is I want to try to obtain beta readers for a tribute novella I wrote last year based on Octavia Butler's Fledgling. I really loved that story, and I put a lot of research into it when I wrote the novella Ruby. I think it might have the makings of my first novel(la). I was thinking about this last night, and writers have said sometimes their first work isn't their first published, so while I'm not particularly certain, I want to see how this goes, as it's my second finished WIP.

SO there you have it! More to come on this tomorrow, actually, and be sure to visit the other participants! Oh! That is another one of my goals: to visit my followers and more bloghoppers to whom I'm connected. I've already started that one! :)