I love stories.
Storied objects fill my home and yard. Heirloom plants in the garden, handmade pottery in the kitchen, global knick-knacks in the living room, a Scottish claymore sword and pages from a 16th century choirbook in the dining room: all of these are layered with story, and continue to gather more layers with time.
Then there are the ink-and-paper stories, whose titles read like old friends. I love pulling a favorite book from the shelf and recalling our first meeting. James Riordan’s haunting Favorite Stories of the Ballet was my first introduction, at four years old, to stories such as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. I fell under The Hobbit‘s spell at seven years, The Chronicles of Narnia at eight, and The Lord of the Rings at nine. Robin McKinley’s fantasies continued to whet my appetite for the genre during high school, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter made the early adult years immensely more enjoyable. Most impactful of all has been the Bible’s gut-wrenchingly beautiful story of a King who gives up everything, even his own life, to crush the dragon’s head and win back the heart of his true bride.
I hold a B.A. in Music and Art, summa cum laude, from Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA), where I worked for three years at the campus Writing Center, helping students to improve their writing skills. My favorite undergraduate course was Cultural Heritage of the West: a three-semester-long class that studied the ways in which literature, philosophy, art, and music have interacted with one another to shape Western culture over the last two millennia. Fascinating!
I earned my M.A. in Art History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I won a travel grant and first place prize in humanities for my research on a lovely pair of 15th century marriage chests. I’ve also worked as a teacher at two classical schools, and taught private music lessons for a number of years. Now most of my time is spent raising my three young children and writing fantasy and historical fiction. My manuscript novel The Beast of Weissburg recently received the Warren S. Katz award for First Place in Juvenile Fiction from the Alabama Writers’ Conclave and an Honorable Mention for Children’s/Young Adult Fiction in the 86th annual Writers’ Digest Writing Competition.
When I’m not writing or reading, I like to travel the world (16 countries so far!), spend time with my husband and friends, work in the garden, play piano and violin, teach arts and humanities at a small local school, navigate the delightful, unpredictable worlds of my kids, and play with my border collie, Scotch (who despite being nearly 80 in dog-years is still a killer Frisbee-catcher). And no, I never do all those things in a single day!