Today’s interview is with Debora Coty. Hi Debora, tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
I’m a simple – but not stupid – country girl born and raised on the Florida-Georgia border before it was a smash band. I loved collecting creepy-crawly critters from the swamp behind my house, I loved to laugh, and I loved Jesus!
What’s your favorite genre to read and write? Who’s your favorite author?
The book that changed my life was Christy by Catherine Marshall; I read that book 9 times as a teenager. It changed my faith, my outlook on life, and planted a seed in me that one day I’d like to write a book that would touch the hearts of others like Christy had touched mine.
Life intervened and that dream sat on a back burner for 25 years while I majored in Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida, met a great fella whom I wooed and married (40 years now!), started a 36-year OT career, and had two beautiful kids, Matthew and … can you guess my daughter’s name? Yep: Christy.
When did you start writing?
Not until the sweetly ripened age of 45 when my youngest chick flew the coop for college. I was at a crossroads, with healthy careers in OT (25 years at the time) and music (I taught piano for 20 years) but I knew there was something more I was supposed to be doing. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what. One day as I sat in a dentist’s office, I prayed for Papa God to make it clear what it was He wanted me to do, and I heard His still, small voice whisper to my heart two words: “It’s time.” I knew immediately that it was time to chase that dream He’d placed in my heart so long ago … to write for His glory.
I’m the poster child for “If God wills it, He fulfills it, against all odds.”
I started with magazine articles and progressed to a newspaper column and then books. Fifteen years later, I’ve been blessed with more than 200 articles published and over 40 books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series, now with a half-million copies sold.
Tell us about this book. What did you learn about yourself through writing it?
Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms (releasing Sept. 2018), is my latest book in the award-winning Too Blessed series for women. It’s especially for women who feel like they’re drowning in the everyday stress-pool. Moms who wish they could make busy-ness a business so they’d be a millionaire.
In my typical girls-over-lattes-at-the-kitchen-table style, I offer women empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help frazzled moms of all ages hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.
I’ve learned to always be real; that women can see right through veneers and we identify best with other flawed-but-sincerely-trying women just like us. I share lots of funny stories related to motherhood mistakes I’ve made, and try to always be open and authentic about the toughness of living a life of faith in the trenches.
Is there a special place you like to write?
I divide my writing time between my home office in central Florida (what my fam calls my “writing cave” and my little Smoky Mt. hideaway in North Carolina. I love it up there – our cabin is at a high enough elevation that it’s a lovely respite from brutal Florida summers.
What advice would you give a new author?
Keep on plugging; it takes time to get established. It was only after dozens of published magazine articles and my first three books were published with a small press that I was able to land an agent. He, then, opened up bigger doors to larger publishing houses and more lucrative opportunities but it took me nearly fifteen years of steadily plodding before I found what many would term “success.”
What project are you working on now and how do we find your books?
Two new books are coming out this year in my Too Blessed line: In July, the Too Blessed to be Stressed 2019 Planner hits bookstands (an annual favorite, these gorgeous little planners sell out every year before Christmas), and the long-anticipated Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms debuts September 1. Of course, you can preorder before September, and we have all sorts of awesome contests and promotional giveaways planned for late summer and fall. You can stay on the cutting edge by signing up for my FREE e-newsletter at my website, www.DeboraCoty.com, and while you’re there, join our laugh-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) by subscribing to my Too Blessed to be Stressed blog. C’mon and join the fun!