Debra Doyle earned a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in Old English poetry. While studying in Philadelphia, she met and married James D. Macdonald, who was then serving in the US Navy, and subsequently traveled with him to Virginia, California, the Republic of Panamá, and far northern New England.
James D. Macdonald, after his stint in the Navy, turned with Doyle to writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror for adults and children. Together and separately they have published over sixty novels and short stories. Doyle and Macdonald are instructors at the Viable Paradise workshop.