Hi! I’m Deb.
I love fantasy of all flavors, from Celtic mythology to Native American legends. Dragons are my favorite fantasy creatures, but I also love faeries, water horses, sasquatch, and thunderbirds.
Of course, I like normal critters too. My dog is my favorite. She’s a Dutch shepherd and has beautiful dark brown and gold brindle fur. Oh, and you might like to know that I’m a mother of twins…boy-girl twins. Just like Justin and Janine in Thunderbird!
De Kenyon recently interviewed me on her website, and I thought you might enjoy getting to know me a little better. 😀
1. You’re a mother of twins, just like Justin and Janine in Thunderbird. How strange is it to have twins? What is the weirdest twin-thing they’ve ever done? Like, did you ever confuse them when they were babies–that kind of thing?
Uhm…nope. Never confused them. Boys and girls are pretty easy to tell apart, even when they’re twins *lol* Boy-girl twins, like Justin and Janine in Thunderbird, or like my own kids, are just a normal brother and sister who happened to be born at the same time. No bizarre psychic bonds or anything! Though once, when my twins had been away from each other for a while, my son greeted his twin sister by saying, “Hi! You remember me. We were womb-mates.” Silly boy!
When the twins were toddlers, it could be tough keeping track of them as they zoomed off in opposite directions! My husband used to tease about hiring them out to folks who had little kids coming to visit and wondered if their houses were baby-proof. We figured what the twins couldn’t find in 10 minutes, a single kid wouldn’t get into in an entire visit *lol*
2. What made you write about a story about characters with Native American background? Where does the story of the thunderbird come from?
I grew up in Oklahoma surrounded by the history and legends of many Native American peoples. Their culture always fascinated me. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve explored the legends of the tribes who were native to that area. Thunderbird is actually a mish-mash of legends of the Crow (Montana) and the Lakota (Colorado and the Dakotas). When I write the next book, some of the background mythology may stray even further afield, but it’ll still be Native American.
I chose the thunderbird because of my other love: European mythology. My favorite mythological creature is a dragon. Lots of my stories center on dragons, and for Native American legends, the thunderbird is as close to a dragon as I could get!
Since Justin and Janine’s dad is a paleontologist, I based my thunderbird on an actual dinosaur fossil–a pterosaur called Quetzalcoatlus. A cool egg to be found near a dinosaur dig, don’t you think? And to mix the mythology and the science up really well, I placed my dinosaur dig in Montana’s Absaroka Mountains. The Absarokas (or ‘Sorkees’ as Montanans say) are named for a Crow tribe, and the name means “children of the large-beaked bird.” Doesn’t that sound like a thunderbird/pterosaur to you?
3. What is the worst mischief you ever got into, as a kid, that you weren’t caught at…and don’t mind telling us about? (I’d hate to get you in trouble, even at such a late date.) I see you have five older brothers and that your mom thought she had kids all figured out before she had you…if you got caught at everything (eventually), what’s the thing that you did that most surprised her?
Yep. I’m the youngest of 6 and the only girl! Everyone automatically assumes I was spoiled rotten as a kid, but actually, the opposite was true! I heard a lot of, “We have enough boys in this family! Act like a girl!” *sigh*
My mom was an accomplished parent by the time I came along, but I was also a very easy kid. (My dad used to say I was “perfect,” but that was probably just in comparison to all those boys!) I didn’t actually get into much trouble. BUT I’m making up for it now by imagining all sorts of mischief for my characters to get into. *lol*
4. When you were a kid playing pretend, what was your favorite kind of pretend? What kind of person did you pretend to be most often, and what kind of stories did you tell? Do you have any pretend characters now that you keep for yourself and don’t put into stories?
Well, remember that I’m a mom of twins? I think I jinxed myself! When I was little, I was kind of lonely. My brothers ranged from 9 to 18 when I was born, so I was really an only child…with five brothers! Anyway, like a lot of lonely kids, I had an imaginary friend, a TWIN sister. Pretty strange that when I grew up, my first baby was twins, don’t you think?
Now days, all the imaginary friends that pop into my head eventually end up in stories. Some stories are short. Some are long. Some are written as an adult, but my favorites are written by the kid who still lives inside me! After all, as my husband will tell you, I still sleep with a teddy bear! I may look like a grown-up, but my inner child is alive and well. *g*
5. When you write stories for kids, do you find yourself writing the stories that you would most want to read as a kid or stories for other kids in your life? Is there a kid you wish you could write a story for (for them to read), but you think that probably they’d never read it if you did? If so, why?
Honestly? I’m not thinking about who will read my stories when I write them. Most often, I’ve got this really insistent character inside my head saying, “Tell my story! Write it down now. It all started when…”
That’s how I write. I have an idea, sit down at the computer, and discover the story as I type. That’s really my favorite part…finding out what happens next!
I do hope that someday my grandkids will enjoy meeting Justin and Janine, but it’s enough that I have enjoyed meeting them…and telling their story!
6. What is the most magical, weirdest, or adventurous thing that’s ever happened to you?
My most magical moment came during a car trip to California. My husband and I drove from Washington state, though Oregon, and along the coast of northern California. We stopped to visit a grove of Coastal Redwoods, and I was entranced. The huge trees were alive, and connected, and almost speaking to me. I could imagine dryads and faeries living in their branches and dancing through the wood sorrel that grew around their roots. I loved that place.
A few days later, we visited a Giant Sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park. Wow! What a difference. That place was also magical, but it was a sad magic. A dying magic, and I wanted to escape. It was as if these ancient giants were crying. Too much pavement. Too much car exhaust. Too many people. They were like caged lions. Magnificent beasts who deserved better…who deserved to be free.
I don’t want to insult Yosemite, but I felt so sorry for those Sequoias, especially when I remembered the joy and laughter of the Coastal Redwoods.
Because of that experience, a Sidhe Draoi (faery druid) has taken up residence in my brain. One of these days, Nimue’s story will bubble out through my fingertips. I can’t wait to find out what she has to say…