Bookpleasures.com today welcomes as our guest award-winning author, relationship expert, and Queen of Breakovers, Debra Rogers.
Debra offers her relationship expertise as a regular blogger on the Huffington Post and her book He Did You a Favor has been featured in Shape Magazine. He Did You a Favor is the winner of the 2014 Independent Publisher Award, the Next Generation Indie Award, and the Indie Reader Discovery Award.
Before writing He Did You a Favor, Debra worked as a script analyst and Development Associate for both film and television.
Debra also built a successful voice over career, voicing strong, powerful women in film and television, from Streetfighter to Xena: Warrior Princess. Through her experience, she discovered her own inner warrior and found that the strong heroines she’d been voicing were also within her.
Debra currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her amazing daughter and has finally found true love. She is currently writing the follow-up books in her Did You a Favor series.
Norm: Good day Debra and thanks for participating in our interview.
I notice you were a script analyst and Development Associate for both film and television. What exactly is a script analyst and a Development Associate? As a follow up, did the experiences help you in writing your Did You a Favor?
Debra: Thank you for inviting me. It’s great to be here!
As a script analyst and Development Associate, I did screenplay coverage and gave story notes. I’d analyze each script submission in terms of character, plot, structure, and marketability. I’ve also been personally coaching film and television writers for 10 years.
My experience in Development taught me the importance of fleshing out a story and of creating a solid outline. Many times writers get so passionate about what they’re working on, they just want to dive in and see what happens. That’s great, but if you don’t have some sort of road map, many times you stall out halfway through.
Also, I know the importance of having a strong character arc in a story and I was lucky that my personal story organically had that element in it. So that’s the way I structured the book: It takes you from your break up all the way through to dating again (and finding a better man). I found my guy and am now happily engaged.
Norm: what purpose do you believe Did You a Favor serves and what matters to you about the book?
Debra: He Did You a Favor empowers others to look at themselves and their lives in a new way by seeing their situation as a favor.
The truth is, bad things happen to everyone. But how you react that determines the outcome. What if he/she/they did you a favor?” What if this happened in order for you to learn and to move on to a happier, more fulfilling life? I believe that every experience is an opportunity for growth. They all did you a favor. You are who you are today because of everything you’ve learned so far.
I’ve heard many stories from people about how their emotional pain awoke an inner strength or helped them gain self-confidence and self-acceptance.
What matters most to me is seeing how the book is helping others succeed in creating a better relationship with themselves and attracting better relationships with others.
I believe our magnificence is already there. But sometimes life causes us to deny it, hide it, or give it away to others. Sometimes we need someone to shine a big spotlight on our greatness and remind us that it’s there. I’m here to shine that light.
Norm: What has been the best part about being published?
Debra: Writing is such an isolated profession. So having the ability to connect with and help others through my writing is such an incredible gift. And I’m a perfectionist; so to let my baby go out in the world is a great accomplishment for me. And the response to the book has been amazing. I am so very grateful.
Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer and writing He Did You a Favor?
Debra: The most difficult thing about writing He Did You a Favor was reliving the painful moments of my breakup. But I had to share my own truth in order to help others. I also had to be vulnerable enough to reveal my mistakes, weaknesses, and failures in order to show how I overcame them.
Additionally, it was challenging at times to get the right balance of humor in the book. I felt it was such an important element and I wanted to get it right. I believe that any painful experience can be healed easier through humor.
The most difficult thing about being is writer is falling into that dreaded procrastination trap. Suddenly answering the phone, going through the mail, walking the dog, doing laundry, or cleaning up the kitchen all seem way more important than sitting down in that chair and getting the work done. It’s a daily discipline I’ve struggled with all my writing life, but I’m getting so much better at it!
Norm: Could you tell our audience something about He Did You a Favor and what would you say is the best reason to recommend someone to read the book and it sequels?
Debra: He Did You a Favor empowers others to take any negative situation in their life and completely flip it around so that they are dealing with it in a more powerful way. The Did You a Favor book series shows how every event in your life, good or bad is a favor because it pushes you in a new direction. So use it as a catalyst to make a positive change.
Think about it: if someone told you that you would meet a better man, or get a better job, or a have better living situation a year from now, wouldn’t you feel empowered and actively take steps to get there? Or would you remain stuck obsessing about the past? That’s what the Did You a Favor series is about. See the favors everywhere. They’re there if you look.
Norm: Where did you get your information or ideas for your book?
Debra: He Did You a Favor came out of an incredibly painful experience. My husband left me at 8 months pregnant. At that time I had no job, no friends, and no life of my own. I was an emotional mess. I didn’t know how I was going to recover.
But when my daughter was born it changed the way I saw myself, the way I saw my life, and how I was going to live it from here on. And so I began a 5-year journey of healing and self-discovery. It became the most empowering, incredible journey of my life.
Later, I was talking to someone and I said, “You know, one day I think I’m going to wake up and say, ‘He did me a favor.’” That’s when I knew I had to write this book. He Did You a Favor is based on 5 years of journals as well as my own relationship experience. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
The book also incorporates other women’s heartbreaking and hilarious stories as well. These courageous, funny, smart women tell how their own break ups helped them to break free and to step into a better life. I will be forever grateful to them for allowing me to share their stories in order to help others.
Norm: Where can our audience find out more about you and your books?
Debra: You can find the book (and get free downloads) at MY WEBSITE
You can also get the book at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as BESTFAVORSHOP.MYSHOPIFY.COM (where you can also get question cards based on the book).
Connect with He Did You a Favor on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and with Debra Rogers on Digital Romance and The Huffington Post.
Norm: What is next for Debra Rogers?
Debra: I’m currently writing the next book in the series, She Did You a Favor. It’s been great to turn the tables and view breakups from the guy’s point of view.
The truth is breakups hit men harder than women. “Men’s Health” says that men experience more depression, distress, and anxiety after a relationship ends than women do. A man who’s been dumped doesn’t sit around eating gobs of ice cream, pouring his heart out to his buds. On the contrary, men are conditioned to suppress their feelings. But this can make them feel even more miserable after a break up. And how good is it for their health?
When I was writing He Did You A Favor, men shared their own breakup stories, asking for advice. Well here it is. She Did You a Favor tosses him a life ring and helps him step into the life he’s meant to live and find a better woman.
Debra: How have women’s lives been transformed by this book?
There are two stories in particular that I love to share. One is a woman who had a similar experience to mine where her husband had an affair and walked out on her and her daughter. She had no job and didn’t know how she was going to make it through her very difficult divorce. But by seeing her breakup as a favor, she was able to find an inner strength she never had before. She is now with an amazing man and is happier than she’s ever been in her life.
Another woman had been in a relationship for 6 years when one day her boyfriend told her he didn’t want to marry her and left. She was crushed. Three days later, she bought the book. She said after reading the book that she “never felt so empowered” in her life. She realized the mistakes she’d made in her past relationship and discovered she deserved better. I’m happy to say she’s now in a loving relationship with a guy who does want to get married!
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors
Debra: Thank you so much. I’m very excited to take this next journey in the series.