Biographical Sketch


Debbie Richard is a native of West Virginia. Born in Parkersburg, she spent her early childhood in the rural community of Munday in Wirt County, and lived near Walton in Roane County during her high school years. Debbie studied Secretarial Science at West Virginia Career College in Charleston where she completed her courses in 1987 with honors.


She moved to South Carolina as an adult, following her love of the ocean. After twelve years as a Report Analyst for a healthcare organization, she resigned in March 2009 to become full-time caregiver for her mother, Naomi Karen (Maze) Richard, who grew up near Big Bend in Calhoun County, West Virginia. Debbie’s mother passed away in March 2011. 


Debbie moved back to her native Wirt County, West Virginia in August 2015. She is married to Attorney Berkeley L. Simmons of Newark (near Elizabeth, WV) where they reside and have their Law Office.


Debbie is listed in the Directory of Poets & Writers as both a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She is the recipient of an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Joyful! Poetry Contest, and her poems have appeared in The Shine Journal, WestWard Quarterly, The Storyteller, Halcyon, Torrid Literature Journal, and others. A chapbook of poetry entitled “Resiliency,” was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press. “Hills of Home,” a memoir about growing up in Appalachia, in the hills of West Virginia, was released in 2014 by eLectio Publishing. Debbie is a member of West Virginia Writers, Inc. and South Carolina Writers Workshop (SCWW).