Deb Gardner Allard's first love was writing, but her first career was Registered Nursing. She gained vast experience based on her instructors' advice to diversify in many fields to become a valuable asset.
So Deb worked for years in Cardiology, Med-Surg, Post-surgery, Labor & Delivery, Newborn, Post Partum, hospice, and immunology. Plus she did time as an Assistant Director of Nursing.
But, while those jobs paid the bills, writing books was Deb's life long passion, ever since she entertained her grade school classmates with vivid stories, and they pleaded for more. That sparked a love in Deb for storytelling.
Throughout her life, Deb filled notebooks with new tales. Along her writing journey, high school teachers as well as college professors, urged her to write for a living. Once Deb retired, she took her passion seriously and began studying the writing craft with The Institute of Children's Literature.
Today, Deb is a Christian wife, mother, and grandmother to eight bubbly grandchildren. She enjoys writing books for all ages, but she gravitates toward stories for children.
Although Deb Gardner Allard includes a little humor in her books, she does write more serious fiction under her pen name, Taylor Jaxon.
Deb loves to write, probably because reading has been her life. She enjoyed books so much as a child, her mother often found her acting out stories while sleepwalking. She remembers one time waking up to find herself scrubbing the bathroom sink. It was right after reading about a girl in an orphanage. Deb laughs about that being one way her mother got her to do chores--she gave Deb the right book to read a few hours before her head hit the pillow.
After reading most of the fiction books in her school library, her mother enrolled her in a monthly book club. She also drove Deb to the Bainbridge Naval Base library on Saturday mornings.
Since both her father and husband were career Navy men, Deb traveled the USA for 42 years and experienced countless unique individuals. Her brain houses a Rolodex of interesting characters and real-life experiences.
So how did she obtain higher education while galavanting all over the continental USA? During two different three-year stints at Navy bases, she earned college degrees. A Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. The files in her brain overflow with anecdotes from those years.
After retiring from nursing, Deb studied with The Institute of Children's Literature which she highly recommends to aspiring writers.
But what most readers want to know is what makes her qualified to write for children?
Answer: Eight bubbly, bouncy, and extra spunky grandchildren ages 3 to 16. Their zany antics and love for reading keep her pecking at the keyboard into the wee hours of the night.
When she's not at the keyboard or reading, she enjoys spending time in the quaint little town of Grand Haven where Lake Michigan summers are beachy adventures.
Three little-known facts about Deb:
1. She spent a couple years in the Navy as a Hospital Corpswave. (See Photos)
2. While in boot camp, she won the American Spirit of Honor Medal "for high example to comrades in arms." She still cherishes the medal. (See Photos)
3. And lastly, her favorite treat in the world is mocha-curry coconut milk ice cream, handmade by Love's Ice Cream in Grand Rapids, MI (She's allergic to gluten, citrus, and dairy).
Deb enjoys writing with humor, but she has to delete quite a bit when she's finished with a project because she gets too carried away. After chopping sections, her stories are left with a mere handful of smile worthy moments. Her husband enjoys the unchopped versions, but some of Deb's older friends remind her to pull back the reins.
For years Deb enjoyed reading Erma Bombeck, Mark Twain, and Dave Barry, but more recently she enjoys Eddie Jones, Jerry Spinelli, and Jeff Kinney just to name a few humorists who have influenced her. And she also enjoyed watching comedians--Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett and Dean Martin years ago, but more recently, she enjoys Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Tim Hawkins.
Turning to comedians gave Deb something to laugh about while growing up with serious parents and serious situations. Maybe comedy served as an escape. But it's a much healthier escape than drugs and other vices. Deb wonders if some day she might have to stand before an HA (Humorist Annonymous) meeting and confess, "I've been a humor addict for going on forty years. It all started after reading "Puddin' Head Wilson" by Mark Twain."
INSIGHT, INSPIRATION, AND HUMOR ABOUT KIDS AND OTHER WORTHY TOPICS