About Deborah

Deborah Challinor Deborah is a writer and a historian. She lives with her husband and a nervous cat called Gus (see photo) in the Waikato in New Zealand. Previously, she spent four years in New South Wales, researching and writing her Convict Girls series, set in Sydney in the 1830s.


She was born in the Waikato town of Huntly, and attended Waikato University where she completed a Ph.D in New Zealand military history in 1998. She originally went to university to study English, but didn’t actually like it, failed miserably with several Ds and changed her major to History. Clearly the decision was a good one, as all her historical novels have appeared in the top five of the New Zealand fiction bestseller list, six reaching number one. Except, that is, for her most recent books, which aren't eligible as she is now published by HarperCollins Australia.


Deborah Challinor's cat, GusDeborah has also written non-fiction - Grey Ghosts, based on the research she did for her Ph.D. on New Zealand soldiers and the Vietnam War, and Who'll Stop the Rain?, about the effects of Agent Orange on the children of New Zealand's Vietnam veterans.


In 1995 she won a New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association Military History Scholarship, and in 1997 received a New Zealand History Research Trust Fund Award and funding from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board for the first edition of Grey Ghosts. Although she isn't a journalist, she also wrote an opinion column and feature articles for the Waikato Times, and taught a summer paper for the History Department at Waikato University on researching and writing historical fiction for several years.


Her books are sold in the UK, Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia and Australia, and in large print and in audio format.


She reads all the time, listens to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Howling Wolf, Bo Diddley, Black Keys, etc, and is fascinated by the culture of musical genres such as punk. She also likes ‘Antiques Roadshow’ (and adores antiques shops, especially the jewellery sections), cats, surrealist art, good tattoos, beaches with no one else on them, and NRL (go the Warriors). But most of all, she loves history. If she wasn’t writing books she’d like to own an antiques shop and spend her time at auctions buying things like taxidermied ferrets, mourning jewellery, 19th century wedding dresses, and old poison bottles, and probably go broke quite quickly.