Chalkboard Left

Debbie Dadey John Gurney and Marcia Jones
Debbie Dadey, John Steven Gurney (illustrator)
and Marcia Thornton Jones with scared Bailey School Kids faces.
This is the first timethe three had all been together at the same time. 

How we started writing children's books...

Debbie and Marcia used to be teachers at the same elementary school in Lexington, Ky.
On one fateful day... it happened.

Horns shooting from our heads... Fangs as long as swords... No kid would dare misbehave if only we had horns and fangs! At least that’s what we thought...

It started as a bad day. The kind of day when no one listens to you. Marcia was the third grade teacher and Debbie was the librarian and it was a day when the kids did not want to behave at all! (Hard to believe, huh? :) We figured if we sprouted horns two feet long, fangs the size of swords, and blew smoke out our ears the kids would finally behave and pay attention to us. (Are you paying attention? We hope so. It is very hard to sprout horns and fangs!)

Well, that’s how we came up with the idea for Mrs. Jeepers in our first book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots. She is make-believe, but we have to warn you to watch out for teachers wearing polka-dots... you never know, they just might be vampires! And let's hope they're not having a bad day, too! Sometimes Eddie (the mischievous 3rd-grader in our books) forgets about that. And then there’s trouble, with a capital "T"!

Having been kids and teachers ourselves, we understand both Eddie and Mrs. Jeepers. Not that we ever caused trouble...well, maybe just a little! :) And we’re definitely not vampires. (At least we’re pretty sure about each other. We’re not so sure about John Steven Gurney and Nathan Hale, though. The pictures they draw of our "creatures" for our books are very good. Do you ever wonder how they know to make them to look so real???)

Of course, it has been a while since we’ve seen each other and it is hard to tell about a person over the phone. (Oh no, maybe Debbie really is a werewolf and Marcia is an alien!) You see, Marcia lives in Kentucky; Debbie moved to Illinois, then Colorado, and now lives in Pennsylvania. We used to sit down and write our stories together. (Many of them were written during lunch in our school cafeteria. Did you notice the mustard stains on Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp?). These days we write and communicate with each other and our publishers on the Internet, using our computers and e-mail. Cool stuff!

Really, though, we're pretty normal ladies. Marcia is a beauty queen and Debbie just swam the English Channel. Just kidding! Marcia and Debbie both write full time.  They also visit schools together and separately.  When they get together, things can get pretty silly.

We didn't know each other very well before we started writing, but we are good friends now. The neatest thing is that we can make anything happen in our stories and it can be a lot of fun! We laugh a lot when we’re planning our stories together. Every once in a while we still have a bad day, but now we know exactly how to handle them.
(Huff... and puff... and... start WRITING!!!)

Debbie Dadey Logo