Deborah has always been short and a bit of a coward, which is why she writes books about spies, ghosts, soccer legends and kids living in a flooded city with sea monsters and flying machines. Her 24 novels include Grimsdon, New City and Teresa A New Australian, which was inspired by her dad who lived through the devastation of WW2 before migrating to Australia. Her latest book is The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee. Deb’s won awards for her books but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters. She is an ambassador for the Premier’s Reading Challenge and Room to Read. www.deborahabela.com
Briefly state your conference role and conference responsibilities
I am the ARA for SCBWI NSW and part of the magnificent SCBWI leadership team that operates under the guidance and steam of Susanne Gervay. Anyone who knows Susanne knows she is a powerhouse of energy and generosity and enthusiasm...they'll also know that if you're standing near her for too long, you'll have volunteered for something. That's how our relationship has worked for over a decade.
Describe your most notable achievement or proudest moment in Kids’ Lit to date
Being part of the kids' lit world has been a feast of magnificence since my first book was published in 2002. There have been so many highlights....launching Teresa a New Australian with the president of Malta at her palace, being named a Koala Legend in 2017, but one of the loveliest times was when a teacher wrote and said she'd read my novel to her class and when she finished the last page, the entire class got to their feet and clapped. I was very teary.
What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?
Ahhhh again there are so many....the dancing, the lunches, meeting lots of new people, and the flopping down exhausted on a coach with my fellow lovely SCBWI team at the end....I loved every minute.
Name one thing you can’t live without
Provide at least one Fun Fact from a SCBWI Conference you’ve attended or organised (any where in the world)
One conference we gave Susanne Gervay a table tennis paddle with the word 'no' plastered on both sides, to try and get her to stop saying yes to everyone and anything people ask.
…I think that worked for six minutes or less!
We’ve still got lots of lovely memories and behind the scene facts to unearth around the potting shed. Come back again soon to discover them.
Rove ya’ later!
Dimity (Head Gardener)