Free to Be Fabulous by Debbie Hardy

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 | 1 comment

Free to Be Fabulous by Debbie Hardy

I first met Debbie Hardy at a writer’s conference after her first book came out. Now on her third book with plans for more, I know you will enjoy meeting this fabulous lady and hearing about her latest book, Free to Be Fabulous: 100 Ways to Look and Feel Younger at 40, 50 and BEYOND. Leave a comment at the end for a chance to win one print copy. Sign in on the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win!


Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Debbie, the Queen of Resilience! Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.
When husband Bryan was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, I looked for a book that would tell me what to expect and how to handle everything that came along. There was none, so, after Bryan died, I wrote Stepping THRU Cancer, a resource for those on a cancer journey. The American Cancer Society teamed up with me to distribute that book to cancer patients and caregivers. Another book is How to Write a Book AND Get it Published, which I sell when I teach at writers’ conferences. My latest is Free to Be Fabulous: 100 Ways to Look and Feel Younger at 40, 50 and BEYOND.

Introduce us to your family and tell us a little about what you do when you’re not writing.
I’m a mother of two grown sons, stepmother of two adult children, and grandmother of seven. I’m also an accomplished pianist, and I accompany my church’s choir and play for their elaborate Christmas musical. I teach at writers’ conferences and mentor several members of my writers’ group. I also attend a Bible study, go to Colorado Rockies baseball games with several friends, and love to travel. And reading has become a fun hobby.
You have more than one book on the market and all are on very different topics. Is it difficult keeping up with so many different subjects?

I never planned to be a writer, so it was a surprise when God threw it in my lap. It’s not hard to keep them separate, since the topics are so different.Free to be Fabulous
My first book came as a result of walking with my husband on his cancer journey. I recognized the need for a reference book for caregivers, and it took only 3 months to write. After several years of being “the cancer lady,” I wanted a new focus. Since I had been invited to speak to women’s groups, I decided to write a book to help them be the best they can be. And a handout from one of my writers’ conference workshops grew into a book on writing and publishing. My next book, second in the series, will be Free to Be Fabulous as a Senior: 100 Ways to Live Your Best Life Yet!

What inspired Free to Be Fabulous?

When I became a widow, several ladies from my church befriended me, including me in their get-togethers and inviting me to join their Bible study. I noticed that many of them, single through divorce or loss, had given up on their looks, their bodies, and their attitudes. As a Christian, I strongly believe that we should be something that attracts others to Christ, and not just let ourselves go. Many folks have asked how I stay so young, so I decided to share all my secrets, which aren’t really too secret! It’s mostly common sense, but it starts in your mind.

Why did you choose the particular theme for Free to Be Fabulous? How do you hope to inspire your readers?
Too many “church ladies” are like the parody from Saturday Night Live, in appearance, speech, and attitude. They look in the mirror, see their mothers, and give up on being anything else. I want them to take a suggestion, try it out, and see how much better they look and feel. I’ve already had feedback from several readers who did just that – made changes they hadn’t thought of before, and felt so much better about themselves.
One thing I decided was to include quotes from famous people to reinforce what I was saying. That has appealed to many readers, seeing that folks from Henry Ford to Norman Vincent Peale to Jennifer Aniston agree with me. It’s more that I agree with what they already said, but at least we’re on the same page. And those quips make it easier to remember the suggestions.

You are such a people person, what is the most exciting part of being able to interact with your readers?
My absolute favorite response from a reader is that my writing in some way changed her life. I’ve heard that about my books, devotions, and stories I’ve shared on radio interviews. Cancer caregivers have thanked me for “holding their hands” through a difficult time. Some women aspiring to Fabulous have told me they were surprised that taking my suggestion actually made them feel that way. I’m always in awe that I can have a positive impact on others.

Has there been a moment when something one of your readers said or wrote gave you pause, inspired you to think about your work a different way?
When I started speaking to cancer groups, one feedback was that my audience wanted to learn more about me. So now I try to share a part of myself and write like I talk. My second-favorite response to my writing is when my reader felt like I was sitting on the couch just talking with her. I’ve had people come up to me at writers’ conferences or retreats and act like we’ve been friends for years, when we just met, but she had read one of my books and felt like she knew me. That’s instant connection, and it thrills me every time.

What was your greatest roadblock in writing Free to Be Fabulous, and how did you overcome it?
Busyness! As I got more into writing, I’ve ended up editing, mentoring, writing devotions and teaching at conferences, so I have less time to work on my own books. I tend to focus on commitments I’ve made to others before doing my own writing. So I have to reserve time every few days just to write. And having my writers’ critique group meet once a week makes me accountable to get something done to take with me.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now and how have you woven a spiritual theme into your book?
“If God still gives you breath, that means he still has something for you to do.”

He doesn’t want you to just lay down and wait to die. Many of my former co-workers have retired, only to sit in front of the TV and get old. I refuse to do that. I didn’t retire from work; I retired to a new career, something productive. And since God gave me the talent and I’m making a change in my readers, one life at a time, I need to keep writing, mentoring, and teaching. And I love it!

Since you are a lady who always has a plan, what is down the road for you?
I’m glad you think I always have a plan! I learned that it’s easy for a writer to become a hermit. I retired in October 2009, so the first few months without going to a job were in the winter, when it was cozy to stay inside. One morning, I realized that I hadn’t changed out of my pajamas for 3 days! So now I try to schedule at least one thing every day to get me out and around people, even if it’s just going to the grocery store.

I have planned a series of Fabulous books: Free to Be Fabulous After Divorce; Free to Be Fabulous as a Single Mom; Free to Be Fabulous as a Widow; Free to Be Fabulous as a Working Mom; Free to Be Fabulous on the Job, all of which I’ve experienced. I started Free to Be Fabulous at Christmas: 100 Ways to Celebrate Without a Credit Card, but that would be more of a craft book, so I’m not sure I’ll finish it. So far, it’s a pretty good, but it would include more photography, and I’d need to convince my photographer, my son Brian, to work with me. We’ll see…

Book Blurb:

When you look in your mirror, is your mother looking back at you . . . or your father? Is age showing in your face, your body, and your brain? IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR THINKING!

Debbie Hardy isn’t as old as she used to be and is thrilled with she must show her ID to get a senior discount. In Free to Be Fabulous, she shares secrets so you can be fabulous too. She will show you, step-by-step, how to be the fabulous person you want to be.

Choose one step, try it until it becomes a habit, and then move on to another. In this way, you could make 17 changes in a year and BECOME A NEW PERSON BY YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY.

Transform from the outside in – don’t just LOOK fabulous, BE fabulous!

Debbie HardyAbout the author:
Debbie Hardy, the Queen of Resilience, is the author of Free to Be Fabulous: 100 Ways to Look and Feel Younger at 40, 50 and BEYONDHow to Write a Book AND Get it Published, and Stepping THRU Cancer. A Colorado resident, widow, grandmother, and accomplished pianist, Debbie is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, National Speakers Association of Colorado, and several writers groups, where she mentors aspiring authors. She contributes to anthologies, writes devotions, speaks, and teaches at retreats, seminars, and writers’ conferences. Debbie’s positive outlook and joy in Christ have helped her transition from corporate America to writing, speaking, and encouraging others. Check out her website at

Connect with Debbie:

My website:
My books on Amazon:
My books on Barnes and Noble:

Stepping through Cancer

How to Write a Book


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One Comment

  1. I LOVED this article! So inspiring and encouraging- especially the line ” If God still gives you breath that means that he still has something for you to do.” I would love to win the book because I want to learn how to be “Free to be Fabulous!” (at sixty!) I am also feeling like God is calling me to write.

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