Debbie Singleton           Children's Author

About Me

Photo of Debbie Singleton aged 2This is me, aged 2. I don't know why I'm standing on a chair. I grew up in Middlesbrough in the north east of England and I enjoyed writing as a child. But did I always want to be a professional writer?

No, not really. The only thing I knew as I grew up was that I didn't want to be a scientist or an engineer. Not because I hated maths and science - I loved them - but because everyone always said that I would be the one in our family to follow my dad into industry. Which is enough to put any child off.

So I went through school and thought about studying something like law and when it finally came to choosing a subject at university I opted for...
    ... chemical engineering. And following my dad into industry. Well, you can't always fight the inevitable.


Debbie Singleton working on a North Sea oil rig So, I'm an engineer - how boring is that?

Not at all, I promise you. I worked in the oil industry for about 9 years and loved (almost) every minute of it.

I got to do things like work on a North Sea oil rig and wear particularly fetching orange overalls and climb to the top of the flare stack to inspect it (when it wasn't burning, I hasten to add).



Later, I was posted briefly to Houston, Texas, which was very hot.

And then Anchorage, Alaska, which was very cold and stunningly beautiful and full of incredible things to do. Like...


Debbie Singleton's adventures in Alaska


Of course, I did do some work while I was there, too.


I gave up my full-time job when my first daughter was born, but my husband is still in the oil industry and through his job we moved...
... to Trinidad in the beautiful Caribbean...   ... and then Perth, Western Australia.
Images from Trinidad and Tobago

Images of Perth and Western Australia

Perth's sunshine has won me over and we are now settled here for good. At least for now. (Who knows what the future may bring?)

So, when did the engineer turn into a writer? During my time in Trinidad.

I had spent several years looking after my two young daughters but by then they were both at nursery/school so I had a little time to myself. And when they were back at home, we often sat with a picture book or six and read together. I felt the urge to have a go at writing picture books myself - wouldn't it be amazing to be even a small part of inspiring other children with a love of books?

I wish I could just say, "and that was that". But, of course, writing is the easy part; writing something good enough to be noticed and published isn't easy at all!

I was very encouraged in the first year of my writing 'career' to be shortlisted for the Little Tiger Press 'Search for a Story' competition for new authors. Nevertheless, it took a few more years of writing, learning, reading, and ignoring rejection letters (lots of them!) before I finally signed my first contract.

My aim now? To write books that children and parents love to read over and over and over again!



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Author
Joyce Dunbar

in
'Love a Picture Book'
by booktrust

'If you want to laugh with a child, have fun with them, have intimate, witty exchanges... curl up with a picture book.'

'If you want to enrich a child's vocabulary and help them to enjoy the sheer pleasure of language... read a picture book.'

'If you want to have amazing conversations with a child, take incredible flights of fancy, invent weird and wonderful concepts... open a picture book.'











































































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Debbie Singleton 2013