Meet author Deb DeArmond
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. Her award-winning books focus on topics related to the family and women.
Her newest book, We May Be Done But We’re Not Finished, encourages women 50+ to make the rest of their life the best of their life. Written with 22 guest authors to challenge women to ask the question: “What’s my purpose now?” It’s never too late to start and it’s always too early to quit!
Tell us about your newest book.
It’s all about joining the ranks of the mature middle aged. The nest is empty, professional path established or concluded. It should be an exciting time. We’re free to pursue the possibilities. But it’s a little scary, too. Much of what has defined our lives for the last 30 years is no longer required. Having completed most of what was placed on our plate – raising kids, building careers, driving carpools and Little League, I firmly believe the best may still be ahead.
We May Be Done, But We’re Not Finished challenges women 50+ and older to examine how the rest of their life might be the best of their life. Many may have wondered if they’ve accomplished the purpose for their lives as God intended. Here’s a clue: if you’re still here, the answer is no. Please remember, adventure has no age limit.
What inspired you to write We May Be Done But We’re Not Finished?
It sounds ridiculous, but AARP was stalking me. I began receiving ads for their services like health care and car insurance. First, occasional mail. With each birthday, they stepped it up until I was constantly bombarded. It felt intrusive. I was close to qualifying for their “club” but all of the women in their advertising looked 20 years older than me. I was still very active in the professional world, my community. I wasn’t quite ready for the silver menu at Denny’s, thank you. My friends were experiencing the same “push” into senior society. One reported she’d had an interview for a job that matched her 25 years in the industry. The interviewer was impressed with her resume, but said, “You’re already close to 60; how much longer are you planning to work? Candidly, I could hire two kids straight out of college for what I’d have to pay for your experience. And they’d probably stay 10 years or more.” That did it for me. But many women accept the perception that adventure and growth are a thing of the past. I wrote the book for them.
What genre do you focus on?
My focus has always been Christian Living / non-fiction. Relationships are key to life. Whether in families, with friends, or in a professional environment. I was blessed to witness a strong marriage and great love between my parents. I was only 19 when I married, but we got it right. 46 years later, we are still very much in love and best friends. Not everyone got that deal.
For years people asked me, “How did you get so lucky?” I told them two things: “We live in covenant, not contract. And we work hard to walk together in Christ.”
A frequent response: “You should write a book.” So, the adventure began . . . I focused on in-law relationships and marriage in the first three books. If the enemy can divide the family, he can divide the church. We often fail to see the connection between these two. My most recent books are devotionals that touch on many of the same issues, with a bit of humor on the side in a quick-read format.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
It starts off with a great burst of single-focused energy. I might be at the computer for 8-10 hours every day the first week or two. My husband says the house could burn down around me during those sessions and I’d not notice at all.
When I realize the frenetic pace is not required, and the writing muse seems to be working along with me, I slow down. I am self-employed as a writing coach and work from home. I can set my own schedule and begin to create some healthy margin for life and family. They know the pattern and t give me grace that first few weeks. Once settled in, I probably write for 25 hours each week. The WIP, a monthly column for a Lifeway magazine, guest blogging – all included.
Why do you write?
It’s a great question. I loved books as a child and became a voracious reader. But I never considered writing until my mid-50’s. And it wasn’t my idea. Three people in my life insisted I was called to write. I thought they were crazy. I built a successful career in the field of Learning and Development, working with companies to help managers become genuine leaders. I loved the work.
But as I said in an earlier response, people encouraged me, sometimes insisting I write. The final moment came when my friend, Eve, challenged me after I’d brushed her comment off once again. “Eve! It’s not what I do.” She nodded and said, “Just because it not what you’ve done, doesn’t me it’s not what God’s asking you to do. I dare you to ask Him.”
That stopped me in my tracks. I asked Him. He responded. So, 10 years later, here we are. Some have asked, “Do you regret you didn’t start earlier?” My answer is always, “No. I had to live all of those years for God to qualify me on the topics I write.” Who wants in-law information from someone who isn’t one? Or marriage advice from one married four years?
What is the hardest part of being an author?
I can’t answer that question, because I’ve not found it hard. Enlightening, exhilarating and occasionally, exhausting. But never hard. I’m a lifelong learner; I love it all. Even the “No thank you” from editors—because my agent extracted feedback from them that helped me improve. I had 11 rejections for my first book, but still it sold within six months of the first submission. The next several were easier.
Perhaps the only item I might note is the isolation that comes with hours at the keyboard. Deadlines can dictate my days and deny me a night with my husband, family, or friends on occasion. I work hard to avoid it, but it happens.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
This one is easy. Hearing from readers who have connected and thanked me for helping them in a difficult marriage or family relationship. Recently, I received an email entitled, “You Saved My Life.”
At first, I thought it was spam. It wasn’t. It came from a mother-in-law whose sone and daughter-in-law moved away and refused to speak with her because of the way she had treated her son’s wife. She realized after reading the book that she was actually the one to blame. She confessed it to her daughter-in-law and asked for her forgiveness. The young woman was so taken aback, that she acknowledged she too, was partly to blame. They are re-connecting and rebuilding. But it’s on track.
What’s one unusual fact about you?
I grew up in a multi-cultural home. My mom, a midwestern Christ follower. My dad was Jewish, descended from Russian parents who came to America to escape the pogroms. Dad was a first generation American, and though he did was not a religious Jew, he was very proud of his Jewish heritage and culture. We celebrated Christmas and Chanukah, Easter andPassover. I thought it was a great deal as a child! We our boys with a “Christian Bar Mitzvah” and there is always a menorah displayed at the holidays.
What is your favorite pastime?
It’s simple: time with my husband, Ron. We met at 17 and I knew from the first date, he was different. He led me to Christ the night before we graduated from high school. He and I are opposites in many ways, but we joke that together we make one really outstanding person. We knew when we married at 19 that we could only be successful if we buried our life in Him. That’s how we started, and how we plan to finish strong – together. After 45 years, he’s still my favorite human.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
I do. They include:
Related by Chance, Family by Choice: Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships, Kregel Publications
I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last, Abingdon Press
Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Abingdon Press
Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes, a humorous devotional, Elk Lake Publishing
We May Be Done But We’re Not Finished! Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life, Elk Lake Publishing
Website: Deb DeArmond/Family Matters (www.debdearmond.com)
Link to book: amzn.to/GAQZy
Social media links:
Follow me on social media!