A born storyteller, Deborah Cunningham Burst, is a New Orleans native who enjoys writing outdoors at her home in Mandeville. An award winning writer and photographer, she left a corporate career with IBM and returned to Tulane University graduating cum laude in 2003 with a BFA in Media Arts.
In her 12-year career as a freelance writer she has published more than 1,000 articles and twice as many photographs on a local, regional and national level.
With a passion for travel, history and architecture she traveled throughout the south and east coast earning columns on travel and historic churches. Her commitment to detail, and driven by the artistry of photography, she began working with national magazines featuring historic homes and hotels. Recognized for mastering a vivid sense of place and stunning composition in photography, she earned a national cover photograph and feature.
In 2012 Deborah won a publishing contract for a historic church book titled, Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. The book shares more than ten years of work in researching and photographing churches along with interviews from passionate parishioners. The book was released in August 2013 with a foreword written by Anne Rice. It received rave reviews resulting in dozens of speaking events and book signings held across the state of Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.
Her continued wanderlust in scripting and photographing historic landscapes brought her a new fascination with funerary architecture and tales of mystery looming amid the shadows of cemeteries. Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo is the first in a series in a captivating trail of history, mystery and the blurred lines between sacred and profane. Deborah took control of the entire project publishing the 152 page book with 57 full color photos in October 2014.
In November 2015 Deborah has combined some of her most prolific work and talents of southern storytelling in her third book, Southern Fried and Sanctified: Tales from the Back Deck. Like life itself, each page brings tears, laughter, and the kind of adventure only the south can bring.
The book features 85 stellar photos inside 160 pages in a convenient 6x9 format that fits perfectly on a coffee table or inside the car’s glove compartment.
The co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society, Deborah has served on writing panels for both the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Words & Music Festival and the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. She has appeared on multiple television and radio shows including both the New Orleans and Mississippi NPR station and is the recipient of 20 writing and photography awards.
She continues her freelance business with a monthly travel column with Louisiana Road Trips magazine. And in addition to her writing, she is an avid speaker and available for speaking events featuring a colorful and animated presentation with a collage of photographs for each of her books.