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Ex-Ripon High teacher appearing at Bookfest
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Paula Treick DeBoard knows writing.

Before her first novel, “The Mourning Hours”, was released by Harlequin Mira earlier this year she cut her teeth as an English teacher at Ripon High School for nearly a decade. She nurtured young writers and turned students onto great works of literature.

And, as a result, her own passion for writing was naturally stoked.

So when she takes the stage to speak at the 2013 Great Valley Bookfest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, speaking about her process and her characters and doing what it is that she loves will be something that DeBoard – who is already working on her second book per her contract with her publisher – will not take lightly.

Helping, she says, those that share the same passion is something she’s happy to do.

“This is my first time being involved with it and I’m honored to be included,” said DeBoard, who now teaches at Delta College. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to network with other, local writers. Writing is such a voluntary thing, and it’s great to be an environment where you can get feedback and encouragement from people that share the same passion you do.

“It’s not like you’re in a world full of competition at an event like that – I believe that there’s a reader for every book – so it’ll be neat to be able to interact and share the stage with other accomplished, local authors.”

The Mourning Hours, which portrays Wisconsin family straining under the weight of suspicion after a local teenage girl disappears, is only DeBoard’s first work of fiction.

She finished the manuscript three years ago and submitted it to publishing companies for review and consideration. She got word 18 months ago that it would be released back in July under the Harlequin Mira label as part of a multi-book deal that she signed with the established book house.

While navigating the waters can be challenging, DeBoard said that she has come to fully respect the people that handle the publishing end of the industry. And while hearing critiques can be difficult at first, it eventually makes a better finished product.

 “I love coming up with ideas – coming up with something that never existed before,” she said. “It’s a discipline, and you have to work quite hard at it. So in that sense it’s a blessing as well as a curse. But it’s something that I love doing.”

A synopsis of The Mourning Hours can be read at, and copies of her book can be found by searching for The Mourning Hours at