After graduating in geology from Oxford University, Debbie Thomas trained as a BBC radio
journalist. She lived for two years in Bangladesh where she produced radio programmes for
UNICEF and wrote for international aid agencies including Oxfam, for whom she
investigated conditions in garment factories, and ActionAid, which sent her in the path of a
cyclone crossing the Bay of Bengal. (Despite rerouting, the storm instilled a never-forgotten
awe of nature’s power.) Living for eight years in South Africa, she wrote for radio on the
country’s early years of democracy.
She now lives near Dublin with her husband and three daughters and has written
five middle-grade books for children. She runs workshops all over Ireland in creative writing
and development education. She is the Writer in Residence at Crumlin Children’s Hospital
and a board member of the Irish branch of the International Board on Books for Young
People. Her work as a director of Nepal Leprosy Trust, a charity that supports people
affected by leprosy in Nepal, inspired her latest book, My Secret Dragon, which explores
stigma and reactions to difference.