Deborah da Costa

Deborah's Bio

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Welcome to the website of Deborah da Costa (a pen name).  My real name is Deborah Paula Clayman.  I chose the name Deborah da Costa because it has family significance.  I use it only for writing children’s books.  My personal story follows below:

New Jersey


Once upon a time, I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.  I think it was before the Stone Age.  I grew up in Verona, New Jersey, a pretty little town with a great park.  I was the youngest in a large, extended family.  We had two houses joined by a big yard.  The resulting hubbub often led me to seek peace and quiet by curling up in a big, soft chair and reading.  I read a lot.  My aunt brought me loads of library books, and somehow, I learned to read fairly well before I started school.  My mother worried that I would get bad eyes from all that reading. I didn’t.  I am still an avid reader of books for children and teens. This helps with my writing.  I also read adult books, but mostly non-fiction.


     In Verona, in addition to assorted relatives, I grew up with many pets.  There were cats, dogs (beautiful Terhune collies from Sunnybank Farm), rabbits, chickens, ducks and a variety of injured wildlife.  Animals, tame and wild, usually show up in all of my stories.


     I started writing stories for assignments and for fun in third grade, but did not begin writing seriously until high school.  In high school I was the cartoon editor for our school newspaper and also wrote a gossip column (this was the first time I used a pen name).  In my senior year I won a national essay contest on world peace, wrote a short story, Blind Date, that was actually published for money, and wrote and directed the senior play for my graduating class with a part for every classmate.  That was harder than writing a book.

OSU


     After graduation I went to Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Anthropology.  I met my handsome and hilariously funny husband at Ohio State.  We were married, and then relocated to Colorado for graduate studies.  I also got my first teaching job in Adams City, Colorado--second grade.  The students were so cute I cried at the end of the school year when they graduated to grade three.

Teachers College


     Next, we moved to the East Coast for more graduate studies.  My husband went to N.Y.U. and I went to Columbia University’s Teachers College--a great place.  At Columbia I received a Master’s degree in Remedial Reading and a Doctorate in Developmental Psychology.  During this endless time in college I taught kindergarten and third grade in Montclair, New Jersey.  I cried at the end of each school year there, too.  While working on my dissertation (another endless project) we became the parents of two adorable children--a boy and a girl, Anthony and Danit (pronounced Daneet).  They are both grown up now. Anthony is a talented muralist ( see his website--Magictail.com), and Danit is an amazing teacher.  Best of all, they have added two sensational grandchildren to our family: Harry (via Anthony) and Owen (via Danit).

 

Maryland Flag

 Maryland's Flag


     Today I live in Maryland with my husband, Warren, and three formerly stray cats.  In Maryland I worked for myself as an Educational Consultant for many years while writing articles on children and education and ghost writing political speeches.  Then I went back to classroom teaching--this time high school World History and English.  I was also a class advisor and sponsor of an animal welfare club, wrote a Young Adult romance inspired by my students (a national RWA contest finalist, but still not published) and a picture book about peace in the Middle East (published in 2001).  I occasionally cried at graduations.


     These days I write for children and teens full-time at home. (I have several picture books, a couple of middle grade novels and a YA novel being revised  for potential sale.  A new picture book  is ready to hit the bookstores this year.)  I also teach writing classes at the local college and do author/educator presentations on a variety of topics locally and nationally when asked. Every year during National Library Week I enjoy returning to the high school where I taught to speak to students about writing and publishing books.

 


 

 

 

Copyright 2007 by Deborah P. Clayman and DeborahdaCosta.com                                    Website by Technology Concepts, Inc.