Picture book author Debbie Wilburn holds her debut book, My Lucy, in a series of three photos. She wears a blue blouse and sits on a dark grey couch.

Debbie Wilburn’s dog, Lucy, was more than a pet. She was family. To honor her memory, Debbie created My Lucy, a touching book that any animal lover will appreciate. Get to know Debbie below.

First off, tell us about yourself. Who is Debbie Wilburn? 

I live in a small town in the beautiful state of Tennessee. I am currently a real estate agent, but my passion is writing. From pen to paper or fingers dancing on the keyboard, in my spare time, I like to write. Being a mom and grandmother, I do not really have much spare time after work, but I manage to make time for my writing.

My Lucy is such a sweet book. Tell us a bit about it—what is the book about and what inspired you to write it? 

It is about a dog named Lucy that my family had. She lived in our house with us all of her fourteen years and was just like a member of the family—especially to my daughter. My daughter, Paizley, played with her all the time.

Lucy was so smart that somehow she knew what time the school bus would drop Paizley off in the afternoons. She would walk to the window in the front of the house and sit there about the time the bus arrived and watch for her get off. We never figured out how she knew the time for this.

Paizley’s favorite pastime was dressing Lucy up. When Paizley was 9 years old, we submitted a picture of her holding Lucy in a cutest pets contest. This picture got published in Discovery Girls magazine. Lucy had her nails painted and was wearing a hat and pearl necklace. There are so many fun adventures we had with Lucy, which I was inspired to write about. I have a whole series in mind that I hope to write about Lucy in the future.

How did you find Argyle Fox Publishing, and what made you think we would be a good fit?

A person I had met, Rob Corley, actually recommended Argyle Fox Publishing to me. I approached Rob about illustrating My Lucy and asked his advice about how to get it published. He highly recommended Daniel Brantley of Argyle Fox Publishing.

I contacted Argyle and was immediately impressed with Daniel and his company. Daniel was so helpful during the entire process. He explained anything I asked him, and his enthusiasm and encouragement made the process amazing. 

Now that My Lucy is published, how will you measure whether your book is a success? What is your goal for the book?

I will measure the success of My Lucy on how children react to it. I have been sent pictures of children holding it, with their parents saying how much they like it. So, to me it’s already a success because a few children have loved it. Also, I consider it a success just to actually be published now. 

My goal is for children to love the cuteness and entertainment of Lucy and her adventures so much that they are eager to read. After all, reading is a gift we can give ourselves and those around us every day. I hope children are captivated by this sweet, adorable dog and love to pick up this book, growing their love for reading. I hope parents or those reading to children like it too. I hope they smile when the child picks this book to be read to them. 

What are you doing to market your book and let folks know it is available?

I have been posting about it on social media (Facebook and Instagram). I am in the process of establishing a website for it. I also am scheduling a few book signings with bookstores and libraries. 

What feedback have you received so far on your book? 

I have received positive feedback so far. Parents have told me their children love it. I had one lady buy it for a dog named Lucy that her friend owns. (She got me to sign it to Lucy the dog!) My niece, Grace, told me her daughter, Rowan, picked out My Lucy every night for a whole week to be read at bedtime. 

You had a unique situation in which two artists (Maria Octavia Russo and Carolina Bognar) worked together to create your illustrations. How does their work compare to your vision for My Lucy?

The illustrations turned out perfect—exactly what I had in mind. Thankfully, Daniel and Argyle Fox Publishing allow the author to have input on everything. He let me look at each page of illustration as we went and request any changes I wanted to make. Doing this helped make it as perfect as what I had in mind.

I also sent in pictures of the real Lucy for the artists to use. They did such an amazing job copying the photos and added such great detail. 

What would you say to other authors with sweet stories who aren’t sure if they should publish?

I would advise them to just do it! You won’t regret it. 

Do you have another book in process? If so, do you mind telling us a bit about it?

Yes, I have a few more books about Lucy in process. One is solely about her dressing up. One is a counting book. One is about something that makes her sad, but that is all I am going to say about that one right now. You’ll have to wait for that one to be published!

Where can readers find you online?

I have not gotten my website going yet, but please find me on social media. I’m on Facebook and Instagram

Is there anything else the world should know about you or your writing?

Being a pre-K teacher for several years and being a mom, I developed a love for children’s books. I always said I was going to write one someday. Thanks to the encouragement of my sister, Dawn, I finally made “someday” happen. Dawn passed away before I finished and published, but I dedicated it to her memory. I love having her name inside each book.

Thanks so much for sharing. Here’s to success!