Debbie was born in Nebraska, but moved to Washington State at the age of two, spending most of her childhood in Benton City, a small farming community in the southeastern corner of the state. While a sophomore in high school, she lived in Mexico for a year as an exchange student.
Wanting a new experience for college, Debbie traveled to southern California and attended Whittier College. During her junior year, she participated in two foreign exchange programs, living in Copenhagen, Denmark and Madrid, Spain. Debbie graduated from Whittier in 1991 with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. Upon graduating, she moved to Boston and left two years later with a Masters in Social Work from Boston College. She worked as a social worker for several years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Debbie joined SCBWI in 2010. For five years, she wrote and wrote, and revised and revised, but these efforts have now led to several awards for PAYMENT TO THE DESERT: Third Place in Willamette Writers’ 2015 Kay Snow YA and Middle Grade Fiction Competition – Roland Smith Award; Honorable Mention in the 2015 League of Utah Writers’ Creative Writing Contest, First Chapter—YA Category; Finalist in Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s 2015 Literary Contest, MG Category; and Honorable Mention (Novel) in RateYourStory’s 2015 Writing Contest.