How did the idea for the book come about?

The idea for Blue came about one evening, sitting with dear friends on their patio in Palm Springs, California and reminiscing over our childhood years. My best friend of over 40 years shared that when she was a little girl, she would go outdoors after a storm and collect night crawlers for one dollar a pail. I found this so amazing, that it stayed in my mind and ultimately, became the theme in my book.

You usually write children’s picture books, so why did you decide to write a chapter book for BLUE-Night Crawlers?

Originally, it started as a children’s picture book. However, my details required using an abundance of rich language, along with having several ongoing conflicts within the story. I had no choice but to convert it into a chapter book. By doing so, the paper was endless, and the story had no limits.

At what point during the book project did you want to paint the book jackets yourself? Is this a first for you as the author, to design the art for the book?

I have always loved art. In elementary school, I wanted to become an art teacher. I used the name of my favorite art teacher in middle school, and brought him into my story. For the horse, Blue, I continuously researched horses at art museums, rodeos, even parades, taking as many photos as possible and returning home to draw the frame and physique of the horses. Several art pieces captivated me, and I thought by designing one and making it my own, I would be able to complete the cover art for BLUE-Night Crawlers. It took about 10 days to draw it out on canvas; 10 days to paint it with gouache paints. In the end, it turned out vibrant and I am pleased. It fits this historical fiction story.

Where did you come up with the fury of Mather Nature’s wrath in your historical fiction? Were any of these conflicts in the story experiences of your own?

Yes, a few of them I have lived through, like what happens in the story. I live in Florida, so we have hurricanes. Yes, I have endured a tornado, too. It ripped a path through the backyard, and carried the corrugated roof of the storage shed to the next property, five acres away. So, this part indeed, is replicated in my book. Regarding the “sludgy sinkhole,” this was actually “quicksand” in my life, when my middle sister sunk down into its depths and I had to run and get my father for help. He brought ropes and slid down the sloped bank and rescued my sister. So yes, this is a personal experience for my younger days.

What book project(s) are you currently working on? Are you writing any new books?

Currently, Illustrator, Matt Lumsden and I are finalizing our children’s picture book, JOSIE on Shadowridge Drive. It is the story of a young girl who visits her beloved Wheaton Terrier dog, Josie, on the west coast every summer for a month. Upon Lilly’s arrival to California, it seems that their time is endless. However, as the days slip away, and the end of the month nears, both have to face the separation of their loving hearts, until they meet again.

It’s a delightful story about the love between a girl and a dog. Josie on Shadowridge Drive is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2018.

Presently, Mr. Lumsden and I are already discussing our next project together, “Corky’s Travels,” which would be my first cat book. As we head into another book contract together, I continue to write while the illustrations are being designed and developed. I am working on a spider story, and I plan to write on another bird book, as well.

Where can the public contact you?

I can be reached from my website:, “Contact the Author” link. Additionally, my FACEBOOK page is: Deborah Burggraaf Books, and Instagram: Books4u2. My Publisher is Mr. Steve White, PROTECTIVE HANDS COMMUNICATIONS, Riviera Beach, Florida.