Three Times a Charm: An Author Interview 

Here is my author Interview from Three Times a Charm

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing.

 Today we welcome middle grade author, Deborah Baldwin. Deborah, we’d love for you to tell us a little about you.

I am an award winning drama teacher and director, professional actress and youth theatre administrator. I graduated from Stephens College with a BFA in theatre performance and a MED from Lesley College certified to teach drama, speech and English/language arts in Colorado and Missouri. I  created seven youth theatre programs and have served as a consultant to several theatre companies in the mid-west.

Many years ago I co-developed a national playwriting contest for youth theatre plays which is still in existence today. I have directed over 250 full length productions, plays and musicals alike and have inspired many of my students to become professional actors, dancers, directors, playwrights and teachers. My husband and I recently retired from our teaching positions and reside in Kansas to be nearer to our family. I have two daughters who are the best of friends, a wonderful step son and two quirky cats, Spats and Lala.

Let’s hear more about Bumbling Bea.  

Purple Dragonfly Award Winner for Excellence in Writing and Publishing:

Beatrice thinks she has no acting talent but that doesn’t stop her from auditioning for the annual middle school play. Easy! Except Michiko, a new girl from Japan, shows up and ruins everything. So begins Beatrice’s diabolical plan to scare away Michiko. But Michiko has goals of her own with no plans to leave soon. And then there’s that “other” girl—what a blabbermouth. What’s a girl to do? Plenty.

“Hilarious! Entertaining! Extremely true! A great read for anyone who enjoys theater!” RM Amazon reviewer

“In addition to being a fun read, this book does what so much fine literature does— helps us to see we are not alone.” MM Amazon reviewer

“Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin cannot fail to become a favorite with pre-teen readers, and very likely teenagers too, because the mixture of pathos and humor is so realistic.” SS Readers Favorite reviewer

I recommend my book to readers who like:

5,6,7, Nate by Tim Federle

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Now let’s move on to the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.

· Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them.  

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee I have beloved this book for many years as have many other readers. The plot is terrific and I enjoy that the story is told from a girl’s point of view.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman I picked up Backman’s book earlier this year and appreciated every part of it. If you haven’t read any of Backman’s books, I’d suggest you do so. I enjoy stories that are heavy on characterization, because my background is in theatre and when I direct plays, I help actors create characters all the time.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Hmmm. I’m seeing a trend here—I’ve chosen all books about girls told from their point of view. Ha! This book writing is poetic and it’s a wonderful story. It’s an interesting perspective to read a story about the average German citizen living through WWII.

· Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.  

I think indie publishing is a fabulous tool for any writer and it suits me perfectly. It isn’t necessary to have a publisher in order to be successful in this business. One can publish her book herself! I’ve always been a trail blazer—the kind of person that takes matters in her own hands when she sees a need or problem.

I noticed that we have a dearth of books on whatever subject is popular the time, but stories about the arts (especially theatre) are very few in number. When I share my story’s plot with readers of various ages, they were so appreciative. “Oh good. Not another book about Zombies or wizards. Bumbling Bea is something unique!” they say.

There are countless sources writers can utilize to attract readers. I particularly like which is a student book review website. They give student readers an opportunity to learn how to review under the tutelage of an adult. And the books are free to any student who would like to learn to review. What a deal! is an excellent, and very useful website for indie publishers. They have a monthly newsletter with many helpful articles concerning self publishing, lists of book reviewers who are seeking books to peruse, etc. If you complete your personal page and profile with Bookworks, you have the opportunity to be featured by them which is great exposure for you and your book.

·Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

My aunts, mother and sister were teachers so becoming a teacher was a natural choice for me as well. It’s one of my greatest gifts. Kids energize me and fulfill my need to share my knowledge of the dramatic arts. Even after thirty-eight years of teaching, my students continue to teach me something about myself that I didn’t know. It’s very humbling.
Early on in my life, I wanted to become a professional actress. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time. When I graduated from college in the seventies, there weren’t as many opportunities for young actors to be employed as there are now. My choices were pretty much limited to moving to New York or Los Angeles. I wasn’t ready for that jump. Over time, I found that I wasn’t willing to struggle as much as the occupation required. I was just as happy acting or directing in community theatre, occasionally working as a voice over actress, etc.

I’m a doer—I like to “do” and not sit around waiting for life to happen to me. Because of this particular gift, I have had opportunities to create many projects I don’t think I would have been able to otherwise. I’ve formed youth theatre programs, co-developed a national playwriting contest, presided over the construction of a theater, written winning grants, introduced companies to radio theatre, directed just about any play or musical I wanted and guided two programs concerning diversity for Martin Luther King celebrations. And, I’m not even finished yet!

I was created to be a theatre artist, period. I knew it as a young girl when I’d play dress up on our east front porch of our home. It took about ten years for me to admit my interest to my parents. My father understood immediately. Although he chose to be a physician, he acted in plays in college and loved it. I think my mother and siblings thought I was crazy or at least “unusual”, but they tried their best to understand or merely tolerated me. However, my immediate family is heavily involved in the arts and appreciate my creativity.

 Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.   

“People of integrity expect to be believed. When they are not, time proves them right.” –Unknown

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ― Winston Churchill

“Eighty percent of all choices are based on fear. Most people don’t choose what they want; they choose what they think is safe.” –Phil McGraw

Wow – that last one! Finally, please share with us where our tech savvy readers can find out more about you and your book.  and/or Deborah@DeborahHBaldwin

Thanks for joining us today, Deborah. It was great to get to know more about you and Bumbling Bea.
Contact me at  or

Contact me at or

I’d love to help and hear from you!

Get to Know Indie Author Deborah Baldwin

Get to Know Indie Author Deborah Baldwin

Get to Know Indie Author Deborah Baldwin is today’s post.

Find my award winning book at:

Get to Know Indie Author Deborah Baldwin
















Are you interested in my post, Get to Know Indie Author Deborah Baldwin?Hello!
Who is this Dramamomma?

I live in Kansas in the vibrant university town of Lawrence. I am a happily married wife of thirty-four years and a mother to our two grown daughters and wonderful step son.
We moved to Kansas last summer to be near our family and our new grandchild. I was born and raised in Kansas, although I have never lived in the state as an adult until now. In some respects, I feel very at home here but that’s the midwest for you. 😊











I’m an award winning veteran drama teacher and very experienced and successful youth theatre and community theatre director doing both for over thirty-five years.
Dramamommaspeaks is about teaching drama at all levels, directing, the arts and drawing wisdom from my experiences. Every so often I will blog about other subjects such as parenting, my life, etc.















I am an indie author of Bumbling Bea, an award winning middle grade book concerning an unusual friendship between two girls. Lastly, I am a featured writer for an international award winning website for student book reviewers, parents and librarians. Check out my articles here the Facebook page for

Get to KNow Indie Author Deborah Baldwin









One of my firsts– a “fan” of Bumbling Bea–she made TWO book reports on it!

Please take your time and peruse the blog and follow me!  It would mean a great deal to me to know  you read my posts.
This blog, like teaching, performing and directing, makes me feel connected to the world. In these times, don’t we all need that?

Talk with you soon.

Having fun in Colorado, one of my favorite places!

One of my better outfits, I must say…










Our first grandchild loves books, too!

Contact me at or check out my website at You can follow me on Facebook at BumblingBea. Or follow me on Twitter at

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Bumbling Bea: The First Chapter

BB chapter 16

There has been a lot of traffic on the blog lately and I can’t help but wonder if folks are wondering about my book, Bumbling Bea. So, here is chapter one:

Chapter One

It was Peter’s fault.

“P!” I yelled to get his attention, “do I look like old Macdonald on the farm to you?”

I was splattered all over with the gross stuff. I swear it was already curdling and the entire cafeteria of students could see it. I smelled putrid–like yucky old, blackened, moldy cheese long forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. It made me wretch a little but I still managed to get in his face.

“Why don’t you drink juice or water? Now I smell like I’ve been working in a cheese factory. You’re such a dweeb, P.”

When I was mad at Peter, I called him “P.” He’d been P. ever since we were in kindergarten when he stuck a couple of peas up his nose and had to go to the hospital to get them out. And like those peas, the name stuck. And he was clumsy, BUT only with me. He defended himself like he always did which irritated me.

“Jeez, sorry Beatrice. I didn’t mean to nearly flip over your backpack and spill two miniscule drops of lactose on your precious jacket. It was blocking the aisle between the tables like always. You are so mean these days.” Peter huffed, stomping away from the lunch room.

It wasn’t me speaking to Peter. It was Bumbling Bea. I’ve discovered I have an alter ego who I call Bumbling Bea. Strange and mean thoughts come flying out of my mouth. They didn’t even sound like something I’d think or say! Bumbling Bea hadn’t been around for long, but when she did rear her scary head, it was at the worst times.

One of the most memorable of times Bumbling Bea showed up was when we gave our choir director a tennis racket as a going away present. He was getting married and leaving our school. He was obsessed with tennis and was a pretty decent player. I thought it was neat, even though he had knobby knees and skinny, hairy, Minnie Mouse legs which looked kinda’ weird in his way too short tennis shorts.

I thought of the present when I saw him hitting tennis balls on the tennis court after school one day. He was mumbling something and from seeing his temper in class, I figured it was about his students.

            It was the first time Bumbling Bea arrived. I was class secretary for him (which made me feel super important even though he had a class secretary for every other class, too.) I thought I had power and the other kids listened to me. Bumbling Bea liked that a lot! At lunch one day I was sitting by myself, as usual. I turned to the table with the popular kids sitting behind me. “I think we should buy our music teacher a going away present since he’s getting married and leaving us. How about we give him a tennis racket since he loves the game so much?”

Everyone agreed with me (which was a first) and those who didn’t, gave me a dollar per student donation anyway. If giving money for a teacher’s going away present kept you in or near the popular kids, you gave it. And they did!

I was so excited. I checked out tennis racket prices on the internet, Dave’s Discount and the hardware supply store. Dave’s had the best price. Most everything was less expensive at Dave’s Discount. My Dad told me it was because Dave bought up all the things other businesses couldn’t sell. Dad thought Dave’s had good deals even though sometimes their stuff fell apart after one use. Their price for the tennis racket was awesome and one my class could afford.

Since I found the tennis racket right away, I had a little bit of time left over before Dad picked me up so I looked around at the girls’ clothes. Normally, I didn’t look at your typical girls’ clothes because they were always way too pink and way too fluffy. Not at Dave’s, though! I found a black and white polka dotted bikini swimming suit, matching flip flops and a package of panties—things were so cheap.

“You want me to put them in a Dave’s Discount box, honey?” wondered the clerk lady who smelled like cigarettes and chewing gum.

I heard about the Dave’s Discount boxes before. People used them to store about anything in them after they got them home: extra cat litter, broken toys, a bed for a puppy and so forth. They were sturdy, kind of a brownish tan color with black stripes printed on one side of them and the words “Dave’s Discount” plastered over the stripes.

Being so proud of myself for a. finding the tennis racket and b. buying the bikini, flip flops and panties all by myself, I accepted two boxes instead of one. I mean, they were free, you know? Dad said not to turn away free stuff if anyone at a store ever offered you anything free. I thought Dave’s Discount box was one of those free things he was talking about.

“Mom, we got a deal. The racket only cost thirty-six dollars.” I announced as I arrived home.

“Don’t forget to take off the price tag before you wrap it, Beatrice,” my mom reminded me as she whisked off to teach her art classes.

Mom! Sheesh. Sometimes she thinks I’m a baby…

My brother, Edmund, helped me wrap the box rolling it two or three times in wrapping paper and tying it with gobs of ribbons and a bunch of bows on it. We put the box in another box which went in another box. We thought it was so fun to unwrap when you received one of those sort of presents. Edmund laughed and laughed each time we played the trick on him.

This is so awesome. I said to myself. And when I tell him I chose the present, he will think I’m one of his coolest students for doing this for him.

That was Bumbling Bea talking. You see? Why would it matter whether my teacher thought I was the coolest student he had ever taught during his teaching career? He had thousands of kids he’d taught already and I was a lousy singer.

It was finally time to give the present. On the last day of classes before summer vacation, we usually sang through the year’s music one more time. The whole choir was singing happily, but they kept turning and looking at me. I was singing loud the way I never do because I was so excited about our present. Well, Bumbling Bea was singing exceedingly loud because she thought I was a better singer since I thought up the present.

It was the second time Bumbling Bea appeared.

Finally, the end of the hour came and it was time for the present. I stood lifting my head proudly, “We are sad you are leaving Oak Grove Middle School. We wanted to give you something to remember us when you are off in your new life.” I gave him the big box saying, “So, here is a little something to use to take out your frustrations on your new wife.”

Huh? What was that I said?

I was kinda’ nervous which was unusual for me and it freaked me out. So I tried again. “I meant, here’s a little something to use to take out your frustrations in your new life.”

Oh man. That wasn’t right either.

I tried one more time, “Oh, you know when you have a bad day at your new school and want to strangle your students, you can use this instead.” I cringed.

My teacher stared at me. “I don’t know what you are talking about, Beatrice. I’m never frustrated with my students.” He smiled at the rest of the class and ignored me.

I felt different on the inside of myself. Kinda’ smart aleck-y, but I didn’t know why. Maybe I was way too excited or nervous or awkward? When I am, I do dumb things to cover. It was how I felt that day. I wanted to sound grown up and cool and in charge, but I said three super dumb things to my teacher.

But I did more than say three dumb things.

Way more.

When Edmund and I were wrapping the tennis racket, Edmund’s pet ferret, Bernie, got loose from Edmund’s clutches and darted around my room. We were so busy screaming at Bernie that while trying to catch him, I guess my big fat foot accidentally pushed the box with the tennis racket under my bed. I picked up the other identical box with my new swimming suit, matching flip flops and the package of new panties and wrapped it instead.

Yes, you read it right: it was the box containing my new bikini swimming suit, matching flip flops and the new panties.


But see, I didn’t know it was the wrong box because I wasn’t looking at my teacher when he finally opened the last box. I was busy picking up the left over wrapping paper.

Somebody whispered, “Beatrice, you left the price tag on the box.”

“Embarrassing,” another snickered.


I looked up and before I knew it, Bumbling Bea quipped, “There’s the price tag. It shows you how much we like you and I wanted you to know all us chipped in for it.”

Again with the dumb statements!

My teacher opened the box and there was no tennis racket.

BUT, there they were: the panties. Oh, the swimming suit and flip flops were there too, but all I saw were the PANTIES. It was as if they grew from a regular size to the size of a goal post on a football field. HUGE.

I stammered, “What? How did those get in there?”

My confused teacher said something to me, but the whole class was laughing so loudly I couldn’t hear him. I grabbed back the box and ran out of class and hid in the girls’ bathroom.

People called me “Panties” for days afterward until my mother heard them one too many times and threatened to call their parents.

Later I got the right present to my teacher but by then every kind of damage had already been done and I still forgot to take the price tag off the stupid present. I gave up.

Peter said later in the summer he saw my teacher hitting balls with our present tennis racket out on the court. He was back in town visiting his mother or something. I guess he hit one ball a little too hard, because the tennis racket’s webbing unraveled and when it fell to the ground, the handle fell apart, too.

Yup. Bumbling Bea steps into my skin right at the wrong time. Lately, there are more times she appears than I have until a crazy girl who wore cat ears visited from Japan. She made me see what I was doing by taking on my bumble-bea-ness herself. It’s all a little scary when you think about it.


Notable quote from Bumbling Bea




Popular kids have a special talent that nobody else noticed but me. They are fortune tellers.  They can see the future for all of us.

“So-and-So is on her way to Broadway!” and “Hollywood, here comes So-and-So!” the popular kids say after the school play is over.  Sometimes at football or basketball games or maybe even at a pep rally one of them will yell, “Number fifty-two (or whatever number the star player wore), to the NFL for you!” or I’d hear one of the girls say, “That Tiffany girl (or whatever cutsey name the star cheerleader was named) should be in ‘Pump it Up.” She’s as good a cheerleader as the (insert name of hot teen actress of the week) in that movie.”

Popular kids kept close to talented kids in case some of the talent might

rub off on them.

No one stayed close to me. That’s for sure.

Notable quote from Bumbling Bea



Ms. Phillips sighed loudly and said, “Since this rehearsal is a bust, I think it would be best if we just played some drama games for the rest of the time.  Michiko and Beatrice, I want you to go out in the hallway and practice Michiko’s part together.”

Bumbling Bea appeared out of nowhere.  I hadn’t figured on my alter ego showing up right at that moment but as I have mentioned before, I can’t control her. “I can’t, Ms. Phillips,” I stammered. “I have to go home early today.  My dad is coming over today.”

There was no way I would help Michiko with her part!  Well, Bumbling Bea wasn’t going to help Michiko.  We were in to the lie too far to back out now.  Michiko drove me crazy!  I was sick of her attitude and bizarre costuming idea.  I couldn’t take another minute of it!  I guess Michiko knew this about me, because before I could say anything else she had grabbed up her violin and backpack and sprinted for the door.

Except she dropped something.

A note.



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Notable quote from Bumbling Bea


As I took Peter’s place on stage, there was another rustling and gasp from the cast and Ms. Phillips.  Michiko had whisked off the scarf on her head and stood smiling happily.  There on top of her usually pretty blue black hair was a thin plastic cap.  I think it’s used by hairstylists to hi-light hair.  My mom’s had her hair done that way before.  The cap thing was jammed all the way down on to her forehead.  A few wisps of her hair had slipped out and around the cap.  She looked like a sear urchin, an anemone to be exact.

“You know, Pocahontas was bald when she met John Smith.  The children’s heads were shaved because of lice! Well, what do you think?” Michiko asked proudly.

“Bald and naked! How absolutely embarrassing.” I said.

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Notable quote from Bumbling Bea




Peter drifted up on the stage near me, scratching his arm so hard welts appeared making faint pink stripes right down to his wrist.  Then I noticed little raised bumps, like drips of honey, creeping toward his neck.  At one point, they stopped and leapt toward the opening of his tee shirt which Peter kept pulling away from his neck at the same time he was striping his arm with his scratching.  He was very busy.  I’m no expert, but  I think that’s an allergic reaction to something…Like an allergic reaction to poison ivy?  But Peter said his grandpa told him he probably wasn’t allergic to it! Probably


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Notable Quote from Bumbling Bea



“Yeah, a lot of life isn’t fair,” my dippy brother mimicked.” I didn’t get too upset when Bernie got run over by that car on the same day my camping game website crashed. Remember?”

Edmund had built a camping game website and was so obsessed with it that he didn’t notice “Bernie’s Prison Break” as we now called it.

I corrected him, “Well, life’s fair for you, bro’. Mom got you a new Bernie.  Besides, it’s your fault Bernie #1 escaped  from his cage.”

….Then I chewed and chewed the spongey tofu in the casserole. Horrible.

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Notable Quote From Bumbling Bea


I never know what to do when I am waiting for a friend using the bathroom, do you? Do you wait outside the bathroom or stand inside by the sinks and observe the cleaning procedures of other people washing their hands?  You feel like the Hand Washing Police. Ugh.

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Purchase my award winning book,  Bumbling Bea at: