I began my “commercial” work as a high school student when an essay and drawing were accepted and printed in national anthologies. As an adult, I freelanced, writing nature and human-interest stories for magazines such as Mother Earth News, Practical Horseman, American Country and Horseman. These stories included one called Cream of the Country for Mother Earth News detailing the reasons why several families chose to live in the remote mountains of Pennsylvania. Another describes the conversion of a cow barn built in 1812 to a featured horse facility. One of my favorites is a defense of snakes, creatures who have received a bad rap since the garden of Eden.
My first novel, Native, takes place in the back woods of Appalachia. It is the story of deep friendship between two women from diametrically opposed cultures. Amidst a world of contrast between the grinding poverty of the “Holler” and the nearby affluence of those with property they find love and betrayal, an acceptance of the fact that, “people don’t give up their hates easy,” and the importance of connection.
My Name Is Sloan, recently released by High Tide Publications, is a companion piece to Native. This is a story of how your address and social standing effect the way government agencies treat you. Eight-year-old Sloan is taken into foster care for all the wrong reasons. The novel describes not only what life is like in the custody of foster care parents, the Graftons, but the effect of bureaucratic corruption on the professionals as well as her family and friends. My short story, The Sound of Boots, has been published in the September edition of Writer’s Guild of Virginia Journal. It is the tale of audacious teenager, Savanah George, who runs away to New York City for adventure. Find it she does in the form of an international tennis star. With grit and sass, she travels the globe indulging herself in what she insists is only a fling.