A native Oklahoman, Debrah Morris was born near Will Rogers's birthplace. She grew up in Claremore, Oklahoma. She comes to storytelling naturally. As a child, she was a wide-eyed and appreciative audience when her grandparents told colorful tales of their Cherokee and Irish ancestors in the old Indian Territory. Her love of the past was sparked by accounts of the Trail of Tears, outlaws and lawmen, cowboys and cattle, and the Oklahoma Land Run. A member of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma today, she is still learning about tribal history and culture.
Debrah has always been a reader. In fact, she can't recall ever learning how. The summer she was 12, she vowed to read every book in the local library. Starting with the A's, she plowed through the shelves, reading such varied volumes as Alcott's Little Women, Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Le May's The Searchers, and Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. It was a small library, yet it took her years to make it all the way to Frank Yerby. That early alphabetical exploration cemented her eclectic reading habits.
Debrah began writing fiction in third grade. Once she cracked the penmanship code, she discovered she could actually put all those words on her spelling list to good use by stringing them together to express her own ideas. She wrote new chapters for all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series of books and strong-armed her two younger sisters into acting out her stories. She's been writing, and some say strong-arming, ever since. Growing up in a rural farming community gives her the background she needs to write effectively about hometown America. Her country school was small — 12 of the 17 graduates in her class began first grade together — but it gave her a strong academic education and instilled a lifelong love of learning that prompted her to eventually earn a graduate degree.
After earned a bachelor's degree in communications, Debrah got married, and had three children in five years. While taking an adult writing class, she collaborated with Pat Shaver and they sold their first novel to Silhouette Romance in 1983. This collaboration produced more than twenty contemporary and historical romances under four pseudonyms: Dianne Thomas, Joanna Jordan, Pepper Adams, and JoAnn Stacey. Careerwise, she has reinvented herself several times over the years, working at a variety of jobs ranging from bookkeeper to teacher to clinical therapist. But she's never found anything she likes to do more than write down daydreams for other people to read.
Before staring her solo writing career, Debrah earned a post-graduate degree in speech language pathology and worked in an adult neurological rehabilitation center. Her novels have been nominated for Booksellers Best, National Readers' Choice Awards, and Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Silhouette Romance 2002. Now, she signed her novels as Debrah Williamson. She also speaks at writing workshops and teaches writing in a university program at University of Oklahoma and to adults.
Debrah lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband. She has three children, two married stepdaughters, and four stepgrandchildren. Her pets include three cats, one dog, and five fat lily-pond goldfish. She doesn't have much spare time, but when she isn't working or writing, she enjoys gardening, counted cross-stitch, reading, and learning new things. It's ironic that she doesn't like to swim, because her favorite vacations are cruises and white-water rafting trips.