(Left Image: I’m on the left, that’s my dad and my big sister is on the right.
Right Image, one of my little brothers, my big sister and then ME!)
I have been a professional writer for almost 20 years, but I was not a writer from a young age. I did, however, read. My third-grade report card says, “Debbie (I don’t spell my name like that anymore) is very well behaved. She loves to read. Unfortunately she often rushes through her work in order to get back to her book.”
My journey to being a writer was long and tortuous. I might write about it eventually but for now, what you need to know about me is that I like telling true stories of people (or in this case animals) who have done interesting and unusual things. I also like to tell stories of females who excel in predominantly male fields. This certainly describes Rachel Alexandra, right?
Moving from the East Coast to St. Louis in my late 20s, gave me the space and time to look hard at my life and figure out what I wanted to do. It was in St. Louis that I finally realized that I didn’t have to be a novelist or a philosopher to be a writer. There are other kinds of writing I could do and would enjoy doing. I took a basic journalism course at the community college and then the public relations office of Washington University in St. Louis hired me. There, with the help of some surprisingly patient colleagues, all of whom were journalism majors, I began to learn to write press releases and profile pieces.
When we moved to Urbana, IL, in 1996, I hung out my shingle and began writing as a freelance. Since then I have interviewed a ton of people, including a theoretical physicist, an astronaut, a male midwife, novelists, Pulitzer Prize winners and more. I love learning about and writing about each person’s story. By doing that now in book form I hope my love of story can entertain and entrance young readers.