Debra West Smith’s earliest memories involve a fascination with both horses and books. She spent the first part of her life with her grandparents in Natchitoches, Louisiana. There, she enjoyed a quiet, serene childhood, where she spent most of her time developing a love for reading. After moving to South Louisiana, Smith graduated from Central High in Baton Rouge. She studied journalism at Louisiana State University and later worked with a printing company.
Smith’s first attempt at writing came in the third grade, when her teacher challenged her class to write original short stories. Smith took to the craft and has been passionate about writing ever since, even working to develop her skills by taking courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her first publication was in Adventure, a children’s magazine for the Baptist Sunday School Board. Smith finds inspiration for her books from stories her grandfather used to relate about his younger days in East Texas and from her Louisiana past.
She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Smith has been named to the Louisiana Artist Roster for her excellence in presentations regarding local and state history on the school and library levels. Smith resides in Bradyville, Tennessee, with her high school sweetheart.
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