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Get to Know Deborah Abela: Author, Teacher, Traveler

Hello readers! This month, we are thrilled to spotlight Room to Read Author Advocate Deborah Abela.

Based in Sydney, Deborah is a true global citizen who has lots to share about her diverse life experiences. From an early teaching career to publishing multiple children’s books, including her most recent “The Book of Wondrous Possibilities,” to traveling the globe, Deborah discovers inspiration and creativity at every turn.  

Deborah is a member of Room to Read’s Book Creator Collective, a network of authors and illustrators around the world who have a shared passion for the power of storytelling to bring diverse experiences to life. Check out our Q&A with Deborah below and get to know her better — she’s pretty awesome.  

 

Q&A with Deborah Abela 

A: I knew from the age of seven I wanted to be an author. My family never had much money when I was a kid, but when she could, my mum bought a Little Golden Book for 25 cents until I had this bright shelf of books that I treasured as if they were made of real gold. I was lucky that we had a library at school that felt like a comfy haven. My year four teacher, Ms. Gray, created a class library full of brand-new books and I made it my mission to read every one. This love of books definitely led to my very first book in the Max Remy series.  

 

A: My Nanna Teresa was born in Malta, the most heavily bombed place of World War II. She spent three war-torn years hiding in underground shelters, doing everything she could to protect and feed her children. My father was born in one of these shelters. My Nanna’s strength and determination to protect her children makes her one of the bravest and strongest people I know, and I always feel that if she could face what she did with such strength, then I owe it to her to be as brave as I can, not to waste my life and good fortune and try to be generous, just like her.

Nanna Teresa, grandmother of Deborah Abela


Rabat Church that housed the underground tunnel where Deborah Abela’s father was born

A: I love working with kids. I love inviting them to be excited about learning, books and reading and writing their own stories. When I’m with kids during an author talk or workshop, I sometimes need to pinch myself that I have such a privileged life to be able to share my love of writing with them. Kids are funny, smart, cheeky and their imaginations are so vast…they make me laugh a lot.  

A: When a character makes me laugh or cry. It always catches me unawares and I love the power of words, even words I’ve written, to move people.  

A: For me, creativity is sparked by being out in the world in places I’ve never seen, speaking to people, sharing stories, hiking through nature or climbing the mountain for a view that makes all the pain of the climb worth it. That for me is where the gem of creativity lies.