Winners Circle - Debra Manzella

November 19, 2016


Welcome to the Winner's Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we toast to Debra Manzella's two novels!

Congratulations on getting published! Tell us a bit about your road to publishing success.

I have published two children's first chapter books for ages 8 to 12. The first book, The Dwarf's Treasure, was published in 2011.  My second book, Dragon's Breath, was published in April of this year.  My books are available on

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for about 10 years.

How has your ICL course helped with your writing?

Taking the course at ICL gave me the confidence to step out and give writing a try.  I love my characters and it's great to see my grandchildren and their friends enjoy my stories.

What will you do with what you've written during the course?

I have written a variety of stories on different subjects during my course work.  I hope to interest some local magazines in my work. 

Where is your favorite place to write?

I write at my computer.  I find my most creative time to be early afternoon or late morning.  I do my most creative thinking when I am doing everyday tasks such as ironing my husband's shirts.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you'd like to share?

My writing tip would be to write about your passion.  I enjoy fantasy fiction for children.  Seeing their eyes light up is the greatest reward.

What's your favorite genre to write for?

Children's fiction

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell

I would go back to before publishing my first book.  I would tell myself to be patient, edit, edit, edit, and don't push the story but let it develop naturally.  I keep learning more with each book.

Please tell us what you enjoyed most about your ICL experience!

I started the course in 2007 and graduated in 2009.  My personal instructor was Rita Ritchie. I loved the fact that she was an accomplished author giving me constructive criticism.  She was generous with both advice and compliments. ICL went the extra mile to stay in contact and even after all these years, thanks for reaching out again.  I am proud to be a member of the ICL family.

Debra Manzella lives in Wisconsin where she is surrounded by the woods that inspire her. She is married to a wonderful man and we have 5 grandchildren. She is currently working on a third book.


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