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Debra Clewer-


Can you tell us a bit about your early life, where you were born and where you grew up?

I was born and raised in inner-city Sydney, in the suburb of Leichhardt. It was a working class suburb, and my mother was a young unmarried Mum until I was 8. Her parents did a lot of my raising. Both Mum and Granny worked in factories, and my pop was a carpenter who worked for the local council. My grandmother was a costume maker for a small factory that was licensed by Disney. She was a great story teller and imbued me with a love for poetry and story-telling. I also get my creative flair from her. I have actually featured her in my second MG book.

Do you write fulltime, or do you also work? When do you write?

I write each week as I can. On Thursdays I volunteer in a local op-shop. I also have a hobby business as a puppet builder, something I have been doing since 1991, bringing other author’s characters, and my own, to life.

What was your first story or book? When did you write it and did anything influence you writing it?

My first book was the MG time-travel fiction story, Harriet and the Secret Rings. I initially wrote the first draft in 2016 and it was independently published in 2017. It was influenced by my love of history. The protagonist, Harriet Cooper, is 11, and along with her best friend Will they travel through time to Ancient Rome, Philippi and Sherwood Forest, each time through the means of a ring which jumps off the pages of a library reference book. The story was historically researched to give accuracy and to try to share some history with children in a fun way.

Tell us what genres you like to write. What are you currently working on?

I enjoy writing fiction and fantasy for children, but also short adult stories, of which several have been published on the U.S. site Reedsy. I’m currently working on my second chapter book, which features a Persian cat detective (the first was released in 2022) and finally writing the 4th book in my Harriet MG series. The third book was released in 2019.

Have you plans for future books?

I have three books planned for my cat detective, Ah-Fur and his rat nemesis, Ratho the black rat. The first was The Case of the Missing Moggies. The current WIP is called The Case of the Crooked Chocolate Chef. The third is yet to be determined. I also have another chapter book manuscript, the first in a 4-book series, fully edited, waiting in the wings for future direction. It’s called The Groovee Granniez Super-Snooper Squad.

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