5 minutes with Debbie Macomber

By Donna Duggan

With more than 170 million copies of her books in print, Debbie Macomber is one of today’s most popular authors. We chat to her about her latest book, Starting Now.

The main character, Libby Morgan, goes through a long stretch of unemployment. Was Libby’s experience a reflection of your own?

Unemployment or the loss of a job wasn’t my personal experience – it was more a family experience.  My husband, Wayne, who worked as a construction electrician, often experienced layoffs and slowdowns on the job site.  One year, in a slow economy, Wayne was unemployed for nearly nine months.  It was a difficult time for all of us.  

How was the writing process for Starting Now? Did the story flow freely? What were the challenges?

Because the gift God gave me is that of a storyteller, I often have multiple ideas and need to devise a method of choosing which stories to develop.  I do this by checking my plot premise against several key words.  They are: relevant, provocative, realistic, creative and entertaining.  Starting Now fell solidly into the relevant.  Once I had the storyline down in my head, the words flowed.  As for challenges . . . this was my first book with Random House and I was particularly concerned that the story live up to the publisher’s expectations.  I was working with an entirely new team; new editor, new cover art… new everything.  My hope is that this book lives up to their faith and commitment to me.

Knitting features prominently in the book. Are you a keen knitter yourself?

Saying that I am a keen knitter is an understatement of my love of the craft!  I believe I inherited this love of craft from my grandmother, although she died before I have any memories of her.  My older cousins tell stories of sitting in a semi-circle on the rug in front of her rocking chair and watching grandma crochet at lightening speed while rocking and snoring.  She was sound asleep.  I don’t know that I’ve reached that level, but I will tell you that I dream about knitting.  I have a queue of projects waiting to be knit that would stretch from Washington to Florida – the two states where my husband and I divide our time.  

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