Debra Russell lives in Queensland, Australia. She gained her Bachelor of Fine Art with honors at Griffith University in Brisbane and founded the Brisbane based arts organisation Impress Printmakers Studio Brisbane. Debra worked for many years as a professional artist and curated a number of high profile art exhibitions.
She has been writing poetry as a hobby for over 20 years but has only in the last 2 years started writing professionally. Her first book Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference has just been published in September 2017 and she now writes a regular blog at WordPress.
Debra plans to write fiction and a body of work on the origins of urban myths in the future
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing about twenty years ago when I wrote a significant amount of poetry. Unfortunately I didn't have much time to try my hand at writing a serious novel as my family and art career took a great deal of my energies
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the rural town of Nowra in New South Wales, Australia in the 1950's and 60's. Probably the biggest influences on me in growing up was the injustice of the racism displayed towards Aboriginal Australians and towards females. My best friends at high school were Aboriginal girls and I remember clearly not understanding why they were treated as though they were inferior by many people. This combined with the gender inequality towards women developed a strong sense of social justice in me that lives on to this day.
The norm for most young girls in those days was that there was no need for a good education because you would only get married and have a family and the money spent on the education would be wasted. That was certainly the case for me and I remember being devastated when my father told me I wouldn't be going on to finish high school. If there was a positive in this disappointment it was that it developed a life long quest in me to increase my knowledge and skills. After raising my own family I was nearly 50 before I finally achieved my life long dream of attending university.
I completed my degree in fine art with honours at Griffith University in Brisbane and was the founder of Impress Printmakers Studio Brisbane. I worked as an artist for many years and curated several high profile exhibitions. I have only recently started writing.