Debbie Rigaud was born in Manhattan to a Haitian immigrant family. The third of four daughters, she’s certain her first greeting into this world was, “A girl…encore?” At the time of her birth, her family lived in Brooklyn. But before Debbie could say “Theodore Aloysius Huxtable,” the Rigaud ’rents packed up the fam and headed to East Orange, NJ to break from city living. (Ha!)
Debbie began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines, including Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, and social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. Her first work of Young Adult fiction, the novella “Double Act,” was featured in HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru. Soon thereafter, romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse became her first standalone book. Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her humorous short story “Voila!” is included in the critically-acclaimed book OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press. Look out for her upcoming rom-com TRULY MADLY ROYALLY (Scholastic/Point) releasing July 30th! And HOPE: PROJECT MIDDLE SCHOOL (Scholastic), her Middle Grade debut co-written with activist Alyssa Milano, became a New York Times Bestseller in its first week out (Oct. 15, 2019). Book 2 in the HOPE series is coming April 2020.
Beyond bylines, Debbie has edited Middle Grade and Children’s stories for publisher Just Us Books, and has been a finalist in Bermuda Music & Dramatic Society’s annual playwright contest. For tween girl retail giant Justice, she currently scriptwrites a tween variety show webseries and a magical folktale series. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie and her husband live in the Columbus, Ohio area with their preschooler daughter and toddler son in a vibrant home brimming with child safety locks and baby gates. (They have lots & lots of cabinets!)