Deborah, tell us about yourself.
I believe in using the wits and gifts that God gave me to be of service to others professionally and personally. Building on my beginnings as the oldest child of a determined single parent and raised in the home of my wise grandparents, I’m a sought after speaker on leadership, motivation, diversity and careers. I took those attributes to positions in the army and corporate sector, then started my own company, The DPJ Training Group. Pulling all of these experiences from my message together in print, I have now published four books which have been well-received by readers of many backgrounds.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Prayer and long walks. I get quiet and centered through reflection moments just before I rise in the morning.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite book?
I have varied genres I enjoy. In nonfiction, Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a mainstay for life insight. Respect to Teri McMillan for her drive into the publishing arena for African Americans and I’ve read all of her books. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck has heightened by interest in African literature. And I like spy thrillers, reading Robert Ludlum
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I first stated my authorship intent to family and friends about 20 years ago. Then I started writing—capturing life’s glories and challenges as I saw them, building on family lessons that honored my late grandparents. I found an agent but the timing wasn’t right. Now I know that God had a few more things he wanted me to go through before I birthed the book. I continued to write articles on community, business, culture and leadership for local publications. In 2010 my mother passed and grieving her became the catalyst to revisit my writing, which eventually led to penning my motivational autobiography published in July 2011, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey. The creative energy was amazing and I know God planted the book in my spirit and my mother is my spiritual co-author. With this momentum, I’ve published 3 other books since then.
My latest publication, Hardcore Leadership: 11 Master Lessons from My Airborne Ranger Uncle’s “Final Jump” chronicles the life and leadership of my late favorite uncle, Harris L. Parker, a retired Command Sergeant Major, Vietnam Vet, Ranger Hall of Fame inductee and former Honorable Chief Magistrate and Chair of the Sussex County Board of Supervisors. His vision and abilities are vetted in quotes I received from generals, community leaders and others who’ve served with him. I also add in my experiences from my client work in leadership development and the military.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
My uncle and I had discussed writing a book on his life, then he became ill, so I decided to ‘press on’ in his honor. Plus I’d wanted to write on leadership as well and his life became a great foundation to do so. His nickname was Hardcore!
What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
This book has applicability to readers life and leadership, in all of the roles that we have. Lead on! As my uncle would say.
Our personal history can be a great teacher with its hardknocks and triumphs.
Knowing your core and your calling(s) can enhance your success.
Fight on! If God got us through our last battle, he can surely get us through the next one!
What’s next for you?
I will go back and review the first book I started in 1993 with a potential publication date in August 2013
Please tell us where we can connect with you online.