Debbie has lived in Alaska for nearly 40 years. Inspired by the beauty and magnificence of the wilderness, Debbie enjoys exploring wild places and studying the amazing diversity of wildlife that live in the Far North. Alaska’s world has been the foundation for her experiential writing for more than two decades. Journal writing and photography in the field is a major component in the creation of a picture book. Debbie has studied polar bears on the sea ice north of Barrow, caribou herds on the tundra of the Arctic Refuge, and golden plovers on their nesting grounds near Nome. She often partners with scientists during the research and fact-checking phase of the nonfiction book writing process.
The revision process is the most important phase of creating a picture book manuscript. For every one minute of writing a new sentence, Debbie spends about 10 minutes revising that sentence. Her books involve multiple drafts, multiple changes, and she values editorial feedback more than gold.
Debbie has collaborated with outstanding Alaska wildlife artist Jon Van Zyle on a dozen book projects. Their books include Survival at 40 Below (Walker, 2010) and Survival at 120 Above (Walker, 2012), companion books that describe the extreme environments of the Arctic and the desert world of Australia. Both of these books have been recognized as Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association, as well as Teacher’s Choice books by the International Reading Association. Debbie enjoys visiting schools as a guest author, inspiring young writers, and sharing the writing process and wonders of the natural world with students of all ages.
To learn more about Debbie’s books and programs, she invites you to visit www.debbiemilleralaska.com and her author Facebook page.