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Blog Debora Hellinga: MA Student & Published Author

31 August 2018
Debora Hellinga
Debora Hellinga

Do you have dreams? Cause I have a whole library full of dreams. Some are big and some are small; some are really old and some are as fresh as can be; some are known to everyone and some are safely kept secret for me alone. And sometimes, dreams develop over time because at first, I didn’t know how much a hobby was actually a dream. Writing professionally and becoming a published author was that kind of dream for me.

When I graduated high school at 17, I moved to Zwolle to study Social Work, mostly out of curiosity. Have you ever observed people? They are wildly fascinating. Every single individual has their own mind, their own hopes and fears. Every person has their own past and present and future, their own struggle with pain and different approaches towards healing . They have inside jokes with friends and family which you and I would never understand; they have people who they admire and people who they deeply dislike. There are things they wish for, clothes they love, films they identify with, and there’s that one dish that they really like.

People are intriguing; how they manoeuvre through life and how they deal with events, both the ones they like and the ones that are far outside of their comfort zone and they don’t want to be confronted with. In my third year of Social Work, I quit and took a gap year. In this year, I finally had time to return to my love of reading (which is basically being nosy about other people’s lives without being rude) and writing (discovering people’s journey on an intimate level). Reading and writing had been my main hobbies ever since high school.

During my gap year, I discovered how much I needed and loved words. Turning to the BA English Language & Culture, my love for words was fuelled with knowledge bestowed upon me by teachers and other authors. By studying literature, I began to dive deeper into the World of Books and its possibilities. In one of the first classes from my first year, Dr Janssen told us: “Keep writing. Whatever you do, keep writing. Who knows where it will bring you.” And now, starting with my MA English Literature & Culture, I still am.

The idea of becoming a published author and possibly even make a career out of it, slowly sprung up in my heart and mind. It’s scary to voice your dreams and chase them, but I did it. Outside of studying, I spent as much time as I could on writing, editing, and rewriting. After roughly 1.5 years, and a year of looking for a publisher, two more years passed on shaping and preparing my book. And now, here he is: Red Dawn Rising. About humans, failed dreams and promises, the consequences of choices, and the question whether your idea of ‘good’ really is good. Set in a dystopian future, the hopeful Zack tries to rebuild his life while the angry and scarred Morgan chases revenge. All the things which intrigue and fascinate me about people are building blocks for Red Dawn Rising.

And the best thing? It’s out now! So if you’re nosy, like me, you can follow these people in their lives and see how their choices affect their lives.

Red Dawn Rising is now available via,, and the bookstore Godert Walter in Groningen.

Last modified:21 May 2019 4.23 p.m.

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