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Deborah Noyes

As a child

I was born in California, but we moved a lot when I was a kid. Changing neighborhoods and schools was a challenge, but a nomadic life suited me. The rangier education appealed to my curiosity and sense of adventure. While school knowledge often fit together like a puzzle of mismatched pieces, I learned to pursue my own interests, reading greedily on my own: historical fiction with its solid (exotic, to me!) sense of place and time; fairy and weird tales; folklore, myths, and legends; high fantasy; books about animals and animal behavior; ghost stories.

As an adult

I still read all that, along with histories of whatever odd subject has my fancy: silk, tulips, honey, death, royalty, feral children, the circus… but I live a more settled life in Massachusetts now with my own family. But I travel whenever I can, most recently to Namibia, and rarely write at home, roaming instead with my laptop from coffee shop to coffee shop.

As an artist

My restless early life set the stage for the kind of writer I am now. I’ve been lucky to publish a wide range of books — from picture books and creative nonfiction to YA and adult historical fiction — and to work as an editor/anthologist and photographer. Photography started as a hobby, but I have a habit of corralling my hobbies into my work so I have the excuse to play more. Animals are my favorite photographic subjects and turn up all the time in my writing too. In THE GHOSTS OF KERFOL, they even haunt a house....

Things you didn't know about Deborah Noyes

  1. Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey were my idols growing up
  2. I was a zookeeper for a year, caring for snow monkeys, an anaconda, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and many others. I’m the only person I know who’s been bitten by a dwarf lemur.
  3. I’ve also worked for the railroad, taught poetry to police officers, shined shoes in a tuxedo shop, and tended bar
  4. We have a Jack Russell terrier named Molly and a cranky marmalade cat named Moe (who avoid being in the same room)
  5. Olives are my favorite food
  6. I love old things: photographs, Harry Houdini posters, ballads
  7. Music is my joy. I especially love listening on long drives.
  8. My one regret is that I never learned an instrument as a child. So I’m teaching myself to play piano, though I can’t seem to keep the notes straight.
  9. I live in the city but in the suburban neighborhood nearby where I hike with my dog, I’ve seen coyotes, foxes, owls, deer, herons, and hawks. This makes me happier than anything.
  10. I hope to live in an apple orchard someday and raise bees

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