Deb Baker

Late Bloomer and Author of the Gretchen Birch Dolls Series

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Deb Baker
Deb Baker was born on a cold and snowy March day in Escanaba, Michigan, close to the fictitious setting for her Gertie Johnson mystery series. Growing up with the Swedes and Finns who settled in the area gave her a unique perspective on their strange and mysterious ways.

She attended the University of Wisconsin working toward a degree, one of her lifetime and seemingly unreachable goals. She didn’t manage to attain that degree until shortly after her forty-fifth birthday.

Why so long? Because she changed majors as many times as she celebrated birthdays. Math, engineering, architecture, education. Nothing felt right. But in the end, she stumbled into the English department and into the creative writing program. She’d found her home.

Deb has always been a very late bloomer.

Late bloomer is loosely defined as someone who eventually attains full maturity and competence. In other words, she finally became good at things that other people had already become good at long before she figured it out.

True to her late bloomer way of life, she married in her thirties and had her last child at thirty-eight. Looking back, she wouldn’t change a thing.

Life is best savored while surrounded by family, friends, felines, and canines. An avid animal lover, she once had twelve sled dogs living in her back yard and raced a team of six enthusiastic Alaskan Huskies through a circuit of sprint races that spanned northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Gertie’s wild ride in her Yooper mystery, Murder Passes the Buck, is tame compared to some of Deb’s early experiences. In fact, the first year she lost her team at every single race. Somewhere in all this trying to catch up to everyone else, she spent fourteen glorious months in Scottsdale, Arizona, soaking up the sun, eating green chile stew, sipping Margaritas, and climbing Camelback Mountain. Hence, the setting for her Gretchen Birch Dolls To Die For mystery series.

She admits it was a long winding road to publication, but the journey has been well worth it. After several of her short stories appeared in literary magazines, she made the jump to longer fiction. Although Murder Passes the Buck was her first full-length novel, the manuscript spent years and years in rewrites before it was ready for full-frontal viewing.

Like anything else worth doing, it took practice and perseverance.

Her break came when she entered the manuscript in The Authorlink International First Novelist Contest and it won, not only the mystery category, but also Best of Show! That led to her wonderful agent and an offer from Berkley to write the doll series.

Deb is a member of Sisters In Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

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For lots more information, please visit Deb Baker at