Deborah is a fulltime professional writer, and has been since 2000. She lives with her husband and several cats in Hamilton, New Zealand.
She was born and grew up in 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 that didn't work out so she changed her major to History.
Deborah has written 17 novels, all of which have appeared on the New Zealand bestseller list, plus a young adult novel for Scholastic Australia. She 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.
In 2017 she received a Distinguished Alumni award from Waikato University, and in 2018 she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and historical research. Her books are sold in the UK, Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia and Australia, and in large print and in audio format.
She reads a lot, listens to Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie, and thinks the 1970s were great. She also likes ‘Antiques Roadshow’, cats, good tattoos, empty beaches and the 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.