First Book

Then

Now

Born in New York City, I was not even old enough to digest an authentic Italian pizza before being transported to the South and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. No video games or computers, we played with tree branches and sticks, building forts or other sacred habitats. If someone trimmed trees or hedges, well then, we hit the mother lode. We built another world and became characters from our favorite books.

My love of stories started early on, but having thick glasses, braces, bad hair, and a anti-fashion wardrobe led me to the library for friendship and solace.

Changing elementary schools three times was not easy, but each school had a library—my sanctuary and safe haven. I found that I had the curiosity of Nancy Drew, distaste of social etiquette like Scout Finch, mischievousness of Ramona the pest, insecurities of Meg Murray, and Dennis the Menace for a brother.  I was ready to tackle the world…of books, that is.

As I grew older, lost the braces, and got contacts, I still migrated to books. Each story I read added to my life experience and knowledge of the world. I saw unique places, made new friends, and found heroes I still admire today.

All grown up with a degree in hand from Auburn University, I soon moved to Nashville, Tennessee to work for Vanderbilt University. While working at Vanderbilt, I spent eight years writing information about research studies: asthma, allergies, arthritis and cancer. This is where the Dr. Seuss philosophy of “the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads” became my mantra. Everything had to be clear, concise, and approved by an Institutional Review Board of about twenty doctors and professionals who had to critique what the writer submitted. Yes, twenty editors. You can’t pay for that kind of fun :).

I enjoyed working with the Board and am grateful for those years of experience, but am most thankful to now have the time to write more creatively.

When I am not writing, I grab my camera and head outdoors; attempt home improvement projects; teach dog training; and play with numbers (accounting). I am also the chair of the Executive Council of Elephant Aid International, A Carol Buckley Project, and have worked with other non-profit organizations to teach positive reinforcement dog training techniques to at-risk teens through Crossroads Campus and creature care skills to adolescents through Lovie’s Legacy.

I am a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), Nashville Chapter, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Midsouth Region.

Written on August 27th, 2011
Debbie Emory

Writing humorous fiction infused with death, dysfunction, and dads.