Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Author Interview with Debbie Austin --"Heart Uplifted"


Debbie Austin

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school, etc. Let them get to know the personal you.


I currently live within the Adirondack Park in Long Lake, NY, with my husband Keith and my blue heeler Remington (Remi). I have one son who is engaged to be married. Garrett and Cierra currently live in California. Raising my son has made me more loving and trusting than I really am. I adore my children and my husband.


I had a tumultuous childhood. We moved a great deal up and down the East Coast. Most time is spent in New Jersey, where a lot of our family and friends are from. Life has dispersed us far and wide. And with that, as time passes, there are losses. My mom was lost to us in 2020.


Over the course of my career, I have taught in many capacities, both in the classroom and within a corporate setting. I have always found myself writing; there was poetry as a young girl, journaling continuously. A few years ago, I started a blog to encourage and uplift those around me. Get to know her better at www.heartuplifted.com. As an author, I like my readers to be able to dig deeper.


I love gardening and flowers! Just recently, it has been that I turned the corner into being a nurturer rather than a plant killer. I press flowers and make floral designs. I love creating with natural materials. There is art in everything and everywhere: from a tablescape to landscape, from assembling graphic elements to illustrate a page or pie crust cut outs, we pour a piece of ourselves into everything we do. Our very own expression.


What inspired you to author this book?


My loss is no greater than another’s, nor is my compassion to reach out. I see the struggle and wanted to offer an offering that, in some way, may be a helpful tool to engage deeper-level conversations for children about grief, changes, and loss.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?


I see the cover as running toward hope. Running toward God. Running toward others to help. And Ellie, the main character seems happy depicted here, it is keeping our heart uplifted.



Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?


The Lord, I feel honored that he has given me a gift to paint with words of sorts. My favorite quote is from Rabbi Herschel, “Words create worlds.” That is inspired. And within Heart Uplifted a world has been created, an escape or opportunity to discover. I write out of devotion to what the Lord teaches me. It helps me grow as a person to become better.


What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?


The process has been daunting. And there was a huge learning curve. I had missteps. But that is how we learn. I am sure it still could be improved. I started out working with someone and never expected to be on my own; it is bittersweet. However, I had to keep moving the project forward throughout the process. It was costly. When you believe in something and can not let go of it in your heart, follow that lead. So here it is.


Tell your readers about your book.


Families who share in my book Heart Uplifted may find hope. It subtly challenges one to change perspective. The ultimate goal is to engage children in conversation to help them heal after loss or while they are grieving life changes. The enchanting illustrations set the stage for discovery within its pages, sometimes canceling out the noise of the world and pausing for a moment to realign our perspective with truth.


Ellie is the main character. Her name means beloved. She is anonymous, so she can be anyone with any emotional expression. She helps several woodland friends with a particular problem and realizes that in helping each of them, she is helping herself.


Who is your target audience, and why?


Families with children dealing with any kind of loss or change.


If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?


It is beautiful, read it through, and it just might change your perspective.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?


My family means everything to me.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?


I have no idea what I am doing, but I am doing it, anyway. I am adventurous and a risk-taker, I guess.


How do you overcome writer’s block?


I go for a walk in the woods or sit by the lake. Just reflecting on all the beauty that surrounds me fills me to overflowing.


What is one piece of advice do you have for new authors?


Perseverance, if you have a story to tell. Tell it! Be who you are and don’t let anyone discourage you.


What is next for you in your writing career?


Well, I think Ellie might be the star of other stories and the other characters within this book could have their history told. 


Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

If I had to share a summation of my life, I would reference Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." It is a fantastic journey, and I look forward to tomorrow.

Thank you for considering my work. I hope it helps.



Link to Purchase book  https://store.bookbaby.com/book/heart-uplifted1

Facebook Link https://www.facebook.com/heartuplifted

Author website Link: www.heartuplifted.com