I’m so excited to have Debora Cody back with us today. Here “Too Blessed to be Stressed” book series is such an encouragement. She is an award-winning author of over forty inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
I’m a small-town girl, raised in a laughter-filled home near the Florida-Georgia border (long before it was a smash band) by hardworking Christian parents.
My sister and I rode our bikes and played with the neighbor kids from dawn to dusk when we weren’t in school or church. I was a rabid reader (frothed at the mouth for books) in the summertime and loved to ride my bike the two miles into town to the public library and fill my bike basket with books to take home and bring back the next day. I had consumed every book on the children and young adult shelves by the time I was 12.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle gripped my early imagination and taught me the magical power of the written word. Then at age 15, I fell in love with Catherine Marshall’s Christy. That book changed everything – my outlook, my faith, my life. It planted a seed that one day I’d like to write a book that touched other hearts the way Christy had touched mine.
But life intervened and I didn’t get back to that dream until I was 45 years old, sitting in a doctor’s office, praying about what was missing in my life. I simply couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt a hole that needed to be filled. I randomly reached down and picked up a magazine, which flipped open to an ad for a writing contest. A still, small voice whispered to my heart two words: It’s time.
A light bulb popped on somewhere in my head.
I found a mentor – a friend of a friend with a bit of publishing success – and began writing magazine articles about what Papa God had been doing in my life. That progressed to a newspaper column and then books. Now, 15 years later, I’ve been blessed with over 200 published articles and 40 books, including the award-winning Too Blessed to be Stressed series that has sold over 1 million copies in multiple languages.
My newest book in the series is Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms. In my typical latte-sipping-around-the-kitchen-table conversational style, I offer my sister-moms empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help frazzled moms hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.
Is your favorite genre to read the same as what you like to write?
I enjoy reading Christian fiction – particularly cozy murder mysteries and mystery/adventures with a touch of romance, but you can bet I devour women’s inspirational humor every chance I get, which is what I write now. I started writing this genre because I loved reading it so much.
Who’s your favorite author?
Rhonda Rhea, Martha Bolton, Deb DeArmond, Tricia Williford.
Is there a special place you like to write?
When I’m working on a book, I generally split my time between my “writing caves” (so dubbed by my daughter) at my home in central Florida and a remote family cabin in the Smokies.
What was your inspiration for writing Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms?
I’ve traveled extensively as a women’s event speaker since the original Too Blessed to be Stressed came out in 2011 (I call it the “Mama book” because it gave birth to more than 20 “Baby Blessings,” including my newest release, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms). During my cross-country travels, I’ve encountered many, many women who’ve expressed frustration with specific stressors common to the ‘hood – the motherhood.
Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms is me throwing a life preserver to mothers who feel like they’re drowning in the stress-pool of life. This life preserver really and truly helps a woman keep her head above water because it’s made of empathy, good reasons to LOL (don’t moms need more of that?), and lots of encouragement.
How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?
The type of books I write – applying scripture to real life – require me to immerse myself into Papa God’s Word, which is a wonderful place to be. This has definitely deepened my relationship with my Heavenly Father (Abba in biblical Aramaic) as I make sure I don’t simply depend on other people to feed me what they’ve ingested from the Bible, but take care to chew up and digest my own spiritual nourishment one bite at a time. Something we all need to make a priority, don’t you think?
What’s one thing you wish readers would take away from this book?
My books aren’t written for the have-it-all-together, but for the scattered and tattered, the scarred and scared.
My hope is that Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms will help my sister-moms recover their misplaced joy.
How long does it normally take you to write your books?
It depends on the type of book and the topic; generally I’d say about six months, but my 365-day devotional, Too Blessed to be Stressed: Inspiration for Every Day, took the better part of a year. And the hardest book I’ve ever written, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, took way longer than usual because when you write a book about a hot subject like fear, the Enemy engages in a full frontal attack aimed at the weakest spots in your armor, bombarding you with every fear, night terror, worry, and what-if you can imagine. And some you never have.
At least it was great fodder for the book.
What do you find to be the most challenging when writing?
I try to keep it real in all my books. Sometimes that’s hard to do, especially when truth falls very close to those you love and your transparency might be hurtful to them in some way.
For example, I have a complicated relationship with my mother (who is now 90 and going strong) and some of the pesky baggage I’ve had to deal with in my adult life was unintentionally packed and loaded by her when I was growing up.
In one of my books, I told a story about something that happened in modern day that opened my eyes to a repressed childhood memory when I had been inadvertently wounded by my mother. This incident was instrumental in me developing a particular habit that continued for the rest of my life. My point was supposed to be that our adult behavior can be affected by our past more than we might realize.
Well, Mama read this in my book and was hurt that I hadn’t addressed it with her privately before sharing it with the world (and of course she was right – I certainly should have). We were able to work it out but I have to stay on my toes not to express my personal revelations in print before I deal with them in person with the appropriate parties.
I know many women struggle with similar issues with their moms and we do want to be as sensitive as we can.
What project is next on your list?
Two more books in the Too Blessed to be Stressed line are about to debut within the next month or two: The first is a lovely repackaged edition of my bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed: 3-Minute Devotions for Women. This new version is a fabulous all hot pink gift rendition of the popular devo that has sold over 400k copies in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
My fall release is the ever-popular Too Blessed to be Stressed 2020 Planner, the sweet little purse-sized annual planner that sells out most years before December. The 2020 edition is especially adorable and may be the last planner we create, so if you’re interested in getting one, be sure to order it early (besides Christian bookstores and many groceries, gift shops, and big box stores, my books are available in print and ebook format through online vendors like CBD and Amazon).
Where do we find your books?
All my books with descriptions and reviews (PLUS a lot of giveaways and great freebies!!!) may be found at my website www.DeboraCoty.com. While you’re there, be sure to join our fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) by signing up for my FREE e-newsletter and Too Blessed to be Stressed blog. I really love to give away great stuff so you’ll be on the front row to snag some awesome loot!
About the Author
Debora M. Coty is a humorist, columnist, speaker, writing workshop instructor and award-winning author of over forty inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series. She has also contributed short stories and devotionals to numerous anthologies.
Deb began writing professionally after her youngest chick flew the coop back in 2002 Since then, Deb has been blessed with over 200 published articles, and 40 award-winning inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series (over 750k sold). Deb loves to swat a tennis ball around and hike in the mountains. She lives, loves, and laughs in central Florida with her longsuffering husband and her desperately wicked pooch, Fenway. Join Debora’s fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) and her Too Blessed to be Stressed blog at www.DeboraCoty.com