Meet Debbie Dadey. She’s the other founding member of the Tennessee critique group. She’s written and published over 170 books. Correction: Debbie said it’s actually 166, but that’s almost 170. I had 30 of them in my classroom collection. I couldn’t believe I met her at the 2016 Midsouth SCBWI conference. That was amazing, but it got even better! She invited me to visit her writing group and eventually to join them. I was on Cloud 9. Truly!
As a prepublished writer, it’s incredible to have someone with Debbie’s experience looking at my work! Rick’s the catcher, and Debbie’s the slasher. Really! She sees words, sentences, paragraphs, even chapters, that can be cut. In stories every word counts. Debbie has a great sense of what needs to be on the page, and what should be deleted.
I found all these pictures on Debbie’s website. It’s a fantastic resource for parents, teachers, and kids. Click on over! The link: https://www.debbiedadey.com/
This is Debbie’s childhood room. There are 2 things to notice. First it’s blue. That’s Debbie’s favorite color. Mine too! Second she’s standing by shelves full of books. Debbie ‘s always been a book lover. Me too!
In this picture Debbie’s a little older, and she’s got a job. Do you recognize the uniform? Here’s a clue…lots of people get their first job at this fast food restaurant. This is what they wore in the 70’s and 80’s.
Did you guess McDonalds? Back in the day if you worked at McDonalds, you’d look just like Debbie.
Debbie is talented! And not just at writing. This is her, standing on someone’s shoulders, water skiing. Evidently back in the day, she did shows every summer. Wow! Is there anything she can’t do?
If you’ve ever met Debbie in person, you know she’s a lot of fun. She’ll try anything! Take a look at the first picture. That’s Debbie in action during a school visit. She is a lot of fun.
Debbie started writing because she wanted to make reading fun for kids who struggle. She’d do anything to help them, including appearing in mermaid gear, 2nd picture. Debbie’s newest series is Mermaid Tales. She’s on book #18. I wonder if this series will do as well as The Bailey School. There are more than 80 books in the series.
One of the best things about being a writer is meeting other writers. Debbie is in both pictures, and she’s meeting 2 famous writers. Do you recognize either of them? The first is Bernard Waber. I had all of his Lyle Lyle Crocodile books in my classroom collection. My 2nd graders loved them! The author in the 2nd picture is R.L. Stein. I didn’t buy many of his books, but my own 2 boys loved him. They were too scary for me, and too scary for 2nd graders, but I’d love to meet anyone who can get boys into reading!
Can you guess what Debbie’s doing in the 1st picture? She’s jumping out of a plane. Really! She screamed all the way down…till her parachute opened. Wow! Debbie takes fun seriously!
This picture is from Debbie’s cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Nothing scary here! The bear is wooden. I picked this picture because Debbie and her husband want to retire here, after a lifetime of moving…Kentucky to Illinois to Colorado to Pennsylvania. Now home is Sevierville, Tennessee. I hope this is their last move.
North, south, east, west, home’s always best! Debbie moved a lot but took home with her. She brought her family quilts. The first picture is one that’s been so well loved its edges are wearing away, kind of like Velveteen Rabbit.
The 2nd quilt Debbie cross stitched herself. When you cross stitch, you make a design using hundreds of x’s. No o’s!
Debbie didn’t do the actual quilting. That’s’the lines of stitches that run diagonally across the bedspread. She took a class and quit. Quilting can be as scary as skydiving. It’s hard, complicated work so Debbie found a professional to do the work. Sometimes it’s wise to let someone else do the job.
Here are some great links Debbie made. They were probaby easier than quilting. I hope you’ll check them out!
Kids talk to Debbie: https://www.debbiedadey.com/KidsTalk/index.php
Debbie talks back: https://www.debbiedadey.com/DebbieTalks/index.php
Writing Tips: https://www.debbiedadey.com/Writing/Writing.php
Kids’ Clubs: https://www.debbiedadey.com/Swamp/index.php
Book report cheat sheet: https://www.debbiedadey.com/Swamp/BookReport.php
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!