Local author hits the big time with a Hallmark Channel series

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- A popular Port Orchard author has tasted plenty of success in her career, but this weekend she'll hit the big time when a series of her books is transformed into a prime time television series.

Debbie Macomber has an astounding 170 million books in print. She writes three new books each year and reads as many as 700 fan emails a day.

Despite that success, Macomber said every writer still dreams of seeing their stories turned into a television series, and on Saturday she gets to do just that.

Perched above her Port Orchard yarn shop, Macomber spins plenty of yarns.

"I Love to tell stories," she said.

Her career began modestly with a rented typewriter at the kitchen table, but she's since written 100 books that have been printed in 26 languages.

She said every book she's written since 1999 has landed on the New York Times best seller list, and that's despite the fact that she dealt with learning disabilities as a child.

"I didn't learn to read until I was 10," she said. "I'm terribly dyslexic."

As a young woman, Macomber didn't have the money or grades for college.

"So I did what girls did back then," she said. "I got married and we had the four babies in five years, but that dream just pulsed."

The dream to be a best selling author is just one of the many lofty goals on her list.

"The TV series was number five on the list," she said.

On Saturday, the Hallmark Channel will make that wish come true when it premiers its first original, scripted series based on Macomber's "Cedar Cove" book series.

"It's magical. It's very exciting," Macomber said.

She's had movies made out of her books before, but never a series. She said the Cedar Cove of her books is actually Port Orchard, but the series was filmed in Canada.

"Canada is now Hollywood north," she said. "They offered such tax incentives. I really tried to get it filmed here, I did my best."

Her list of farfetched dreams doesn't seem so outlandish now, so the question that must be asked is what's next?

"I'll leave that up to God. He always surprises me," Macomber said.

Macomber's son is in the pilot episode during a seagull calling contest scene, and her granddaughter plays a kid running in between the band.

The entire family has rented a restaurant in Port Orchard Saturday night to watch the premier on a big screen. The show will run at 8 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel.