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Deborah Chester

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Deborah Chester

Professor, John Crain Presidential Professor


Office: 3534 Gaylord Hall


  • University of Oklahoma (BA with Honors, MA)


The internationally published author of 41 novels and one nonfiction book, Deborah Chester has written in numerous genres, including fantasy, science fiction, historical romance, regency romance, and young adult.  Several of her books have been published in British, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Czech editions.  Professor Chester's latest work is Fantasy Formula Fiction, published by Manchester University Press in 2016. Her national bestsellers include The Alien Chronicles, a science fiction trilogy published by Lucas Film Publishing Ltd., and a fantasy trilogy for Ace called The Sword, The Ring, and The Chalice.  The Chalice reached #8 on the Walden books bestseller list in January 2001.  Her historical young adult novel, The Sign of the Owl, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list in 1981, and in 1983 it was named to the Mark Twain Award master list in Missouri public school libraries.  In 1998, her science fiction novel, The Golden One, made VOYA’s Best Books for Young Adults list.

Under the pseudonym Sean Dalton, she wrote thirteen science fiction novels for Ace Books – including the Operation Star Hawks series and the Time Trap series, plus a tie-in novel for the Earth 2 television show produced by Steven Spielberg.  Under the Jay D. Blakeney pseudonym she wrote four additional science fiction novels.

Reviewers have praised her fantasy books as “masterful,” “entertaining,” “enchanting,” and “epic fantasy at its romantic best.”

Born in Illinois and reared in northeastern Arkansas – where she competed in horse shows with her Missouri Foxtrotter – she attended the University of Oklahoma for its professional writing program and won the Dwight V. Swain Award in 1978 for outstanding graduating senior.  Both novels written for senior class assignments, plus her master’s thesis, were published.  In 1985, she was named Oklahoma Writer of the Year.  In 1994, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame.  In 2002, she received the JayMac Distinguished Teaching Award and a faculty research award in 2003 from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  In 2004, she was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America.  She became an OU John Crain Presidential Professor in 2006.

She has taught professional writing at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication since 1985.  She is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Her most recent publications include The King Imperiled, The Queen’s Knight, and The Pearls.  The Crown will be published in November 2008.