BACKYARD BEAUTIES

When I wrote my YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, I knew it would take place in Memphis and in St. Louis -- two areas where I spent part of my childhood. Each city would leave a huge thumbprint on my life, particularly as I grew older and moved with my family to West Virginia, where the story concludes -- or perhaps, to some degree, begins. The main character in the novel is Lucy. Her sisters Caroline and Grace play significant roles in young Lucy's life, as she makes her way through the tumultuous period of change throughout the south in the 1960s. This photo was taken during that period in the backyard of Aunt Dodo's and Uncle Herman's house in St. Louis -- I'm the one on the right. And th

WRITERS & AUTHORS

For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer -- short stories, journal/diary entries, poetry, essays, and most recently, novels for young adults and middle-grade readers. I've either had a pen in my hand or my nose in a book. And sometimes, both at the same time! The written word and its creation are as integral to my daily schedule as rising & showering & eating. And the creation of each genre gifts as much from its fruition as from its first word. It's a magical adventure. Reading the short stories of Raymond Carver, the poetry of Billy Collins and Mary Oliver, and the deeply-affecting essays of Joan Didion laid a foundation for my own work. And the works of myriad Southern writ

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