My first book for young adults, Claiming Georgia Tate, was published by Candlewick Press in 2005 and selected as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. I’m also the author of A Certain Strain of Peculiar, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year and Chancey of the Maury River, a William Allen White Masters list title. Come August, Come Freedom, my first work of historical fiction, won the Library of Virginia’s People Choice Award for fiction, and was chosen by Bank Street College as a Best Children’s Book of the Year and by the Virginia Library Association as a Jefferson Cup Honor book. In 2012, I received a Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond Magazine.
I was born northeastern Mississippi and grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in urban studies and planning from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and have worked in the health and human services sector for going on thirty years. I’m currently enrolled in the Masters of Science in Gerontology at VCU.
After a low back injury (involving a horse named Achy Breaky), I took up yoga in 2000, and guess what? Yoga makes me happy! I completed my RYT 200 yoga teacher certification in 2016 and enjoy yoga and writing as complementary practices. I live with my family in the amazing and evolving city of Richmond, VA. I love reading about the Early Republic era in American history, riding horses in the mountains, gardening with native plants, birding, and watching VCU basketball (#letsgovcu).