Debbie Macomber, the author of Hannah’s List, 1022 Evergreen Place, Summer on Blossom Street, 92 Pacific Boulevard, and Twenty Wishes, is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Three of her novels have scored the #1 slot on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle was Hallmark Channel’s top-watched movie for 2009. This prolific author has more than 140 million copies of her books in print worldwide.
RH Library: What is your first memory of being in a library?
Debbie Macomber: I was about four or five years old when my mother took me to the library for the first time. This was in Yakima, Washington, one of the old Carnegie libraries built in stone. I remember that it resembled a castle to me. Even then I had a creative imagination, because I thought of myself as a Princess, visiting royalty, when I went to the library.
I didn’t have books, other than the Golden Books my mother purchased for me. She said that when the librarian handed me my first hardcover, I took hold of it with both hands and placed it next to my heart. From that time forward I refused to go to bed or take a nap without a book in my hand. The amazing part of that story is the librarian who handed me my first book was Beverly Cleary. It was her first year as a librarian.
RH Library: Do you have a favorite librarian?
Debbie Macomber: Seeing that Beverly Cleary is the one who introduced me to the wonder of books, it would be easy to say it was Beverly. However, there was a young librarian I got to know while in high school, again in Yakima, Washington. Unfortunately, I don’t remember her name. What I do recall was how much she loved stories and how she would steer me toward certain books. After I read them we would talk about the story. She introduced me to Edna Ferber, Willa Cather, Booth Tarkington and so many others. It is because of her that I read these books and came to love the stories. Talking about the richness of story in these books made me dream of writing my own one day. I consider these authors my mentors and, in fact, have collected their signatures—along with a couple of dozen more—and have them on the staircase wall leading up to my writing room. Each day they remind me of the importance of story and encourage me to grow and learn as an author.
RH Library: Why are libraries important?
Debbie Macomber: Libraries bring a community together. The libraries I know are centers for education, fun and social activities. They partner with schools and social services, provide entertainment and education. They offer movie nights, author events, gardening and animal exhibits, and just plain fun. And then, of course, there are the books . . . which says it all.
RH Library: What was the best book you remember checking out of the library and loving?
Debbie Macomber: It was a collection of short stories written by Lillian Hellman called Pentimento. She tells one of the stories by blending the past and the present in such a reflective and philosophical way that even now, after all these years, I can still recite the first few lines. “The letter said, says now, in Gothic Script, ‘Bethe will be sailing’ . . . .” There was such meatiness in her descriptions that I read and reread the story countless times and with each visit came away with new insight.
RH Library: Is there anything you’d like to share with librarians about your current book?
Debbie Macomber: The Inn at Rose Harbor, which will be published by Ballantine Books August 14, is the first book in my new series, which takes place in Cedar Cove. The Inn is actually a B & B and is owned by a recent widow who lost her husband in Afghanistan. The first night she’s at the Inn her husband comes to her in a dream, and she knows buying the inn was the right decision for her. Later she realizes that she will heal at Rose Harbor Inn and that all who come to stay will also heal. And as a note of interest, one of the first people she meets in town is the local librarian, Grace Harding.
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