Debra Diaz, Author of Historical, Suspense and Inspirational Books

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. I had a fun childhood that involved lots of visits to both sets of grandparents, who lived an hour or so away in neighboring small towns. My mother’s father was a county sheriff and the jail was actually a part of the big old house in which he and my grandmother lived; the cells were up a flight of steel steps that ascended from a separate entranceway to the house. They had many interesting visitors (apart from the prisoners, I might add) – among them a faded old lady who, it was said, was the inspiration for the song “Delta Dawn”.

My grandmother had a “haunted” portrait called Southern Belle that snapped, crackled and popped when you were left alone with it. My other grandmother also lived in a large old house, with one whole room full of books (I Southern Bellespent hours there), an antique doll collection and lots of interesting outdoor places to visit.

As a young adult I began wishing for a “simpler” life and moved to a small city in Mississippi. I enrolled in nursing school and on that college campus I met my husband and promptly dropped out of nursing to set up housekeeping...then found that two incomes were more or less necessary to make it in today’s world. I worked part-time while raising our two children, then went back to full time jobs, which have included: secretary, bookkeeper, working in the editorial department of a newspaper, owner of a short-lived resume-writing business, and personnel specialist. I’ve done such challenging things as hanging off an overpass to take photos of graffiti (for the newspaper, not for fun), and arranging a political event attended by the governor.

My first book, Shadow of Dawn, was published in 2003. My writing encompasses several genres that are often interconnected: historical, romantic suspense, inspirational, and mystery.

Once upon a time I took an interest in horror – as children my younger brother and I sat glued to the TV watching old movies like Night of the Living Dead, The Beast with Five Fingers , Screaming Mimi, etc. (We were also big fans of the gothic soap, Dark Shadows.) On Friday nights there was always a scary movie on, introduced by a ghoulish character named Sivad (pronounced Sivod, with a short o) – not exactly the male equivalent of Elvira, but something like that. I believe he wore a cape and a top hat and drove an old-fashioned, horse-drawn hearse. Anyway, things started getting too real for comfort…

We had recently viewed some horrific movie about a woman who is swimming in a lake or pond at night and is murdered by an axe-wielding madman. My family had a swimming pool, and at that age I thought it romantic to swim by moonlight. So there I was, dreamily backstroking away, when I looked up to see a dark figure standing at the edge of the pool holding an axe. My brother said afterward that I was the second person to walk on water (well, third if you count Peter); all I know is that I exited the pool without the convenience of a ladder, broad jumped the yard and, as I recall, vaulted over the fence. It's amazing what a little adrenaline rush will do.

That episode (among others) dimmed my enthusiasm for horror, but I do enjoy writing less violent suspense, and I’ve written a mystery for young readers. Historical periods covered in my books include the Civil War, the Biblical period circa 30 AD, the Memphis yellow fever epidemic of 1878, and (in progress), the Oregon Trail.

Hobbies are reading, research, visiting museums and touring old houses, national parks and battlefields. The photo on the Home page was made in an antebellum house in Natchez, Mississippi.

(By the way, I'm not the author of the book, The Red Camp. That is another "Debra Diaz.")

But enough about me - this website is for you. Step inside the books, escape from reality, and dare to dream….

 

 

 

 

© Debra Diaz, 2012. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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