As an 8th generation descendent of the earliest Washington County and Abingdon, Virginia settlers, I developed an avid interest in local history in my childhood that continued into adulthood. However, knowing that not everyone enjoyed reading history books, I began compiling and publishing a visual format of history with the national publisher, Arcadia Publishing, and I've collected stories and legends to draw in readers of all ages and backgrounds. With a goal to make history come alive, I've had 12 books published, including historic image collections of the Abingdon, Virginia and Boone, North Carolina areas, as well as oral histories, and legends and ghost stories with Arcadia Publishing, High Country Publishing, and other smaller presses.
My works have received excellent reviews from well-known authors, Lee Smith and Sharyn McCrumb and have been recognized by other Appalachian authors, as well. As an award-winning writer, I've received awards and recognition from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the North Carolina Society of Historians, Now & Then, and the Virginia Festival of the Book. My short stories and non-fiction have been published in Appalachian Heritage, Smoky Mountain Living, High Country Magazine, High Country News, and Branches. I've written humorous essays on mountain life that have been featured on WNCW in Spindale, North Carolina. With a teacher’s heart and soul, I enjoy providing writing workshops and programs for elementary and secondary school students, teacher training programs for the Appalachian Writing Project, and presentations for other civic and community groups.
My educational background includes a B.A. in anthropology at James Madison University, a Masters in Planning and Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia, and 18 hours towards an MA in English at Appalachian State University. My various jobs have included archeologist, museum educator, urban planner, environmental and cultural resource planner for the US Air Force at the Pentagon, adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University, freelance writer and editor, real estate broker, community college instructor, and mother. Living just an hour from my hometown of Abingdon, Virginia, I reside in the NC mountains on the cusp of the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Blowing Rock, North Carolina.