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The Hood Magazine

Local Author Feature: Deb Watley

Apr 26, 2019 03:27PM ● By The Hood Magazine

Local author Deb Watley combined her interest in children’s literature, history, and archeology by writing a children’s novel set on a fictional South Dakota archeology dig.

In Summer Ruins (the first book in The Field Notes of Gwen Bell series), fashionista and dirt-averse eleven-year-old Gwen must sacrifice her summer to save her parents’ archeology dig.

Gwen braves dirt, various biting critters, the lack of cell phone service, and two motherless boys. But when she stumbles on an artifact, she decides to conduct her own secret dig, even if it wrecks her relationship with her mother.

“Although I’m not a historian nor an archeologist by trade, I love to research, ask questions, and create stories,” Watley said.  “And I love to talk with others about history, archeology, and stories.”

Watley is a member of the local chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society (SDAS) that meets at Augustana University. She also leads a local writers’ group that’s part of the international Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Summer Ruins will especially appeal to readers ages 8-12 and is available in Sioux Falls at Child’s Play Toys, Barnes & Noble, and Crossroads.


Crossroads (1220 W. 41st Street) will host Watley at a book signing for Summer Ruins from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1.


Find out more about Watley and Summer Ruins at, more about the SDAS at its Facebook page @OfficialSDAS, and SCBWI at


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