Kate's Writing Friends

International Women’s Day: Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction. She specialises in ‘fiction with a conscience’, meaning fictional stories based on real events or set in a specific era.


On being a writer:

Learning to be a writer is like learning anything else: you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

That said, you might prefer to do this learning thing differently. As someone famous once said: when you’re skating on thin ice, you might as well tapdance.

And so it is with writing.

You stick your neck out every time you sit down at the computer and send your thoughts yonder … into the Cloud, or cyberspace, or the never-never, or maybe nowhere at all.

Practice, patience, and persistence are the three P’s that will get you through.

Practice writing every day. Give yourself a target number of words. I try for 1000. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get there. Perhaps you’ll do 500 or 200 or 50. But if you can’t, who’s going to punish you for being lazy?

Be patient with yourself. Some days you’re too exhausted, or angry, or sad, or excited to settle. So don’t be harsh. Let your writing be a pleasure, not a chore. Come back the next day, or the next.

Persistence kicks in when you think you’re getting no-where. If you want to succeed, don’t give up. Simple as that. Find someone else who shares your dream and your passion. Inspire them and give them the courage to continue and soon you’ll redisccover it in yourself.

Above all, enjoy what you do.

Enemies within these Shores is historical fiction, inspired by a shocking true story about the internment of civilians in Australia during World War Two.

Baby Farm and The Scarlet Key are both crime mysteries set in Brisbane, featuring crusty investigative reporter, Seth VerBeek and his young sidekick, Cate Bradshaw. As well as being gripping reads, the stories incorporate controversial issues such as forced adoptions, positive ageing, coping with loss, and forgiveness.

Debbie is a regular speaker at libraries and book clubs. Her most popular presentations are about indie publishing and the ‘stories behind the story’.
As an ‘indie publisher’ she edits and formats manuscripts for ebooks and print.

‘I simply love reading books by home-grown talented authors, in particular books set in this amazing landscape of ours.’
Check out her What’s New? page and catch up on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


Enemies within these Shores Historical fiction about the internment of ‘enemy aliens’ and life on the home front in Australia during WW2. (2018)

The Scarlet Key Urban crime mystery novel about the addictive world of body ink, a clairvoyant, and a woman with a deadly secret. Every tattoo has a story. (2016)

Mischief, a cracking short story about reinventing yourself and falling in love with a cat. Published 2016. Prizewinner Rockingham Short Story competition 2011.

Baby Farm, a cosy crime mystery novel about forced adoptions in the 70s. (2014)

Mowbray Brothers, an adventure short story about growing up in Brisbane in the 1920s. Republished 2014. Prizewinner One Book Many Brisbanes 2011 as Mowbray Bathers.

New Land New Life, a short story about migration from Italy and surviving the tropics of Far North Queensland in the 1950s. Published 2009 in Beginnings.


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