Let’s see . . . I have entries for Geri, Sam, Arrow3, Barbara, Tyler . . . . Do I have your entry for the Alaska Book Week puzzle contest?
Today, we’re going to have a flash chat with Debbie S. Miller. When I was just beginning my writing career I studied Debbie’s natural history picture books. I just happened to meet Debbie’s husband in Kantishna, on the west end of Denali National Park. Dennis, Debbie’s husband, is a pilot, and he was flying for the park service. Mike and I were caretaking at the Kantishna Roadhouse and keeping the air strip packed—just for fun; it wasn’t part of our job. Well, I probably gushed a little when I discovered Debbie was Dennis’s wife, and the next time Dennis flew in to Kantishna, he brought me one of Debbie’s books. It lives on my special shelf with other cherished books.Name: Debbie S. Miller
Location: You’ll find me exploring Alaska’s wild places like the Arctic Refuge or Prince William Sound. Alaska has been the inspiration for all my nature books for the past 25 years.
You’re making a float based on one of your books for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What do you do? I would create a float of Togo and the sled dog team from The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail. This book describes the incredible true story of how 20 sled dog teams worked to save the town of Nome from a possible diphtheria epidemic. Dog mushing is also Alaska’s state sport. 🙂 Maybe some real sled dogs could actually pull a floating sled….
Of course they could! I want this float made.
The main character for your next book is a dessert. Yes, the yummy after-dinner thing. What dessert is it? Blueberry crumb cake with lots of blueberries and lots of crumbs.
What’s an Alaska person or place or situation or theme you’d like to write and/or illustrate a book about? So many subjects to write about in Alaska! Never run out of ideas…. Prince William Sound has become a new favorite place to explore and I look forward to writing about the wonders of that magnificent area.
A celebrity falls in love with your book and sings its praises on a tv show, thus making you rich, famous, beautiful, smart, physically fit, etc. Who is this celebrity and what is the show? Fresh Air with Terry Gross—radio program. Always enjoy listening to her interesting guests and hearing about new books.
What Alaska wildflower represents your work in progress? The sweet-smelling bog orchids that grow in the peat meadows of the Chugach National Forest, near Prince William Sound. Soooooooo sweet!
I’ve collaborated with wildlife artist Jon Van Zyle on a dozen nonfiction books for children. He is an amazing painter. Our most recent book is A King Salmon Journey (UAF Press, 2014). This book describes the journey of a king salmon up the Yukon River—the longest documented salmon migration in the world—more than 2,000 miles upstream to the spawning grounds!
I’m currently working on an adult book about the extraordinary wilderness surrounding Prince William Sound, and I have a lullaby book for very young children in the works.
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