I am so excited to have the opportunity to interview one of my favorite storytellers, the lovely and talented Debra Webb. Debra writes spine-chilling suspense for Harlequin and St. Martin’s Press. Debra’s latest releases are the most recent Colby Agency story, Broken, and her self-published Jackie Mercer novel, Dirty.
Debra Webb was born in Scottsboro, Alabama, to parents who taught her that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. She loved telling stories and began writing at age nine.
What was the most memorable research trip you've made?
One I truly loved was with my family to New Orleans! We roamed the city, visited former plantations and rode the bayou! It was awesome, alligators and all!
Please share with us the most interesting stories law enforcement or forensic professionals have told you.
I can't go into details since it was a real case (already closed at the time, of course), but an ABI (Alabama Bureau of Investigations) agent visited our local RWA chapter and walked us through a real murder case from the discovery of the body to the apprehension of the suspect. It was awesome! He brought a huge box of evidence, crime scene photos and reports.
Anything that changed your real life or that made you write a story you never thought possible for you to write?
My most recent Colby Agency story, Broken, was a step away from the norm for me in terms of the ending. Generally with romance you want as much of the story to end "happily" as possible. However, last year I suffered a personal tragedy and lost most of the use of my right arm and hand. Unfortunately the loss is permanent. It took months for me to come to terms with the new me and how my life was changed. So, as I wrote Broken with its damaged hero and heroine, I decided to go with a real life ending. Yes, it's a happy ending ultimately but that happiness is only realized after the acceptance that some things can't be changed.
Are there any stories that have made you cry, laugh, stunned you or rendered you speechless when you heard it, that you had to incorporate them in your fiction?
I saw an interview once with a woman who was deaf and worked for the FBI. She was so good at lip reading that they decided to use her in the field to "listen in" on suspects where electronic devices wouldn't work. I found that so interesting that I created my Silent series in Bombshell with a deaf heroine! It was challenging to write since I did her POV in first person and I had to be extremely careful not to show her "hearing" anything!