Get to Know… Debbi Michiko Florence!

My name is… Debbi Michiko Florence. Michiko is my middle name, and I was named after the then Princess Michiko (now the Empress) of Japan. I actually met Princess Michiko when I was a toddler.

I am… an animal lover. I have my degree in Zoology and I used to rescue and rehabilitate raptors (owls, hawks, eagles, etc.). I’ve scooped a lot of poop working at pet stores, the humane society, and zoos — and now I scoop poop at home for my two ducks, a bunny, and a rescue dog.

As a kid, I was… kind of, sort of bossy to my little sister, but I loved making up stories and adventures for us to play out with our stuffed animals.

Writing is… hard work but so much fun. I love to lose myself in my characters’ lives.

Reading is… my favorite escape.

Books are… my obsession. I can’t go into a bookstore (and I visit every independent bookstore I can) without buying at least one. I have huge piles of books to read, and I keep adding to the piles. Books make me happy!

Did you know… I have a tattoo of jasmine flowers in honor of my Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series.

You can find me… on Twitter at @DebbiMichiko, on Instagram at @jasminetoguchi, and at my website:

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If you visit Debbi’s site (which I highly suggest), make sure to sign yourself up for her newsletter. It’s fantastic! You can do so by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen and entering your email address in the box that looks like this:

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And if you’re not already familiar with Debbi’s books, here’s a look at their covers (shout-out to Elizabet Vukovic for her Jasmine Toguchi art, and to Monika Roe for her work on the Dorothy and Toto series!):

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