A third-generation Texan, Debra's prowess as a poet began early when her poem, "God is Everywhere," appeared in the monthly edition of Dallas' Temple Emanu-El newsletter. This was actually the instance of her first recorded publication, and at the time the third-grader was pretty sure based on this early success that she would grow up to be an award-winning author. Her writing career was sidetracked a bit when she attended her big brother's band concert where the first chair flute player won the most medals. Debra wanted medals! She took up the flute and decided to be an award-winning flute player, so countries would pay her to perform, and that's how she would sponsor her love for international travel.