D_Terranova Headshot 2018

Debbie Terranova is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction. She specialises in ‘fiction with a conscience’, meaning fictional stories that are inspired by true events or controversial issues. Of particular interest is the struggle of non-British migrants and women in the mid-twentieth century.

In 2018 she was awarded a QANZAC 100 Fellowship with the State Library of Queensland to undertake a research project entitled “Queensland Women and War: a multicultural perspective of the experiences of female civilians during World War II”. A non-fiction publication of the findings is earmarked for release soon.

Her new novel, The Bootmaker of Berlin, set in WWII Australia is due for release in late 2021. As they say, watch this space!

Enemies within these Shores is historical fiction, inspired by a shocking true story about internment in Australia during the Second World War.

Baby Farm and The Scarlet Key are Books One and Two of The Brisbane Mysteries, crime mysteries set in beautiful subtropical Brisbane featuring crusty investigative reporter, Seth VerBeek and his smart young sidekick, Cate Bradshaw. As well as being gripping reads, the stories incorporate controversial issues such as forced adoptions, positive ageing, coping with loss, and forgiveness.

Debbie has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Master of Public Administration from the University of Queensland. She is a human resources professional and previously managed offices of the former Commonwealth Employment Service. She is a regular speaker at libraries and book clubs. Her most popular presentations are about indie publishing and the ‘stories behind the story’.

As an ‘indie publisher’ she edits and formats manuscripts for ebooks and print.

‘I simply love reading the work of talented Australian authors, in particular stories set in this amazing landscape of ours.’

Check out her What’s New? page and catch up on FacebookTwitter or Goodreads.


Enemies within these Shores Historical fiction about the internment of ‘enemy aliens’ and life on the home front in Australia during WW2. (2018)

The Scarlet Key  (Sold on Amazon Kindle as Indelible Lies) Urban crime mystery novel about the addictive world of body ink, a clairvoyant, and a woman with a deadly secret.  Every tattoo has a story. (2016)

Mischief  A cracking short story about reinventing yourself and falling in love with a cat. Published 2016. Prizewinner Rockingham Short Story competition 2011.

Baby Farm  (Sold on Amazon Kindle as Shameful Lies) A cosy crime mystery novel about forced adoptions in the 70s. (2014)

Mowbray Brothers An adventure short story about growing up in Brisbane in the 1920s. Republished 2014. Prizewinner One Book Many Brisbanes 2011 as Mowbray Bathers.

New Land New Life, a short story about migration from Italy and surviving the tropics of Far North Queensland in the 1950s. Published 2009 in Beginnings.

On being a writer:

Learning to be a writer is like learning anything else: you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

That said, you might prefer to do this learning thing differently. As someone famous once said: when you’re skating on thin ice, you might as well tapdance.

And so it is with writing.

You stick your neck out every time you sit down at the computer and send your thoughts yonder …  into the Cloud, or cyberspace, or the never-never, or maybe nowhere at all.

Practice, patience, and persistence are the three P’s that will get you through.

Practice writing every day. Give yourself a target number of words. I try for 1000. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get there. Perhaps you’ll do 500 or 200 or 50. But if you can’t, who’s going to punish you for being lazy?

Be patient with yourself. Some days you’re too exhausted, or angry, or sad, or excited to settle. So don’t be harsh. Let your writing be a pleasure, not a chore. Come back the next day, or the next.

Persistence kicks in when you think you’re getting no-where. If you want to succeed, don’t give up. Simple as that. Find someone else who shares your dream and your passion. Inspire them and give them the courage to continue and soon you’ll redisccover it in yourself.

Above all, enjoy what you do.


PrintMember, Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)

Associate Member, Australian Society of Authors (ASA)

4 Responses to HOME

  1. Zina says:

    I remember reading this in 2011!
    Great story 🙂

    • dterranova says:

      Thanks, Zina. It was inspired by the stories my father used to tell me when I was a kid … about him growing up in East Brisbane in the 1920s ( he was an old dad).

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Debbie, just wanted to say how great Baby Farm is. I read the whole thing in 24hours, it was a fabulous read. I have passed on the other copies to various girl friends with explicit instructions for them to pass the books on so we can raise your profile. We’ll all be waiting for your next effort ….so no pressure. Thanks again for writing such a terrific book, warm regards, Michelle
    PS….can we have bigger type next time….we’re all quite blind.

    • dterranova says:

      Many thanks, Michelle. So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for all your support. I’m in the process of writing #2, and will take your comment on board about the font size. Thanks again and best wishes. Debbie

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