Debbie Ann is a picture book author and magazine writer. She holds degrees from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University and Ohio Dominican College. She works at the University of Michigan and has had stories published in children's literary magazines including Spider, Cricket, Pockets and New Moon Magazine. Taylor is committed to a number of national, regional and local literacy projects. Taylor and her husband live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Questions and Answers:
What are your hobbies?
I like to read and visit museums and botanical gardens.
Do you play an instrument?
No, but my oldest daughter plays the clarinet and my youngest daughter plays the violin.
What were your favorite books as a child?
My favorite books included Green Eggs and Ham, Go Dog,Go!, Understood Betsy, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Across Five Aprils. I also read Marvel comic books! My new favorites include Snowflake Bentley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Raising Dragons and Meet Danitra Brown.
What are you working on now?
I am always working on a new project. I am revising a book about Idlewild, Michigan, a vacation spot that was popular 50 years ago. My husband and I recently completed a book about a neighborhood basketball team.
Do you play basketball?
No, but my mother played basketball for her high school team, the East High Tigers; my stepfather played for the Harlem Globetrotters for a while and my daughter played in a "Gus Macker" basketball tournament.
What are your favorite foods? I love oatmeal, corn, collard greens, onions and coconut cream pie.
What are your favorite movies? Happy Feet,The Secret Garden, Captain America:The Winter Soldier, The Wizard of Oz…and so many more
Do you have a family? Yes, I have a husband, two brilliant, grown-up daughters, four terrific sisters and two cool brothers, fine grandchildren, great-nieces and great-nephews!
Do you play any sports? Does flying kites count?
A Mother Passes and A Legend is Born
Our mother, Rosetta Harris passed away on December 14, 2012 at the age of 80. My mother was the most important influence on my writing. She taught me to read at age 4 and encouraged me to read books of all kinds. The books she brought home from the local thrift store opened up worlds far beyond Columbus, Ohio. She helped me master cursive writing in one night while she ironed clothes. I recall the time she stared down menacing neighborhood dogs and would-be trick-or-treat bag snatchers. One spring she sacrificed her gorgeous formal gown to craft a splendid clown costume for my class play. Each of my sisters and brothers and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have similar stories about her compassion, wit, wisdom and generosity. She is at the heart of every story I have written and every poem I have penned. Every positive character resonates with her warmth; every colorful phrase echoes her voice and every happy ending reflects her preference.
Heaven now has another angel, and earth a legend.