I grew up in a small town in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. Like so many others in the region, my families had been in the mountains for generations, with ancestors hailing from the British Isles, for the most part.

Despite my deep roots, I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get away and left home as soon as I graduated high school, working whatever retail jobs I could get. I got married. I got divorced. I repeated that process. In my early 20s I decided to go to college and get serious about my education. I happened to be living near Virginia Tech and applied for admission. I was accepted and eventually finished a masters in English. I took a break, got married again (and later divorced), and at the age of 30 I went back to campus and earned a PhD in Human Development.

Throughout my educational experience I kept coming back to Appalachia.  I couldn’t not write about the place I hated so much as a child. I felt compelled to explore the ideas of home, place, family, and love. Today I write creatively and professionally about intimacy, aging, and coalfield Appalachia.

I currently live in southern Vermont with my kids, dogs, and husband.