I am an award-winning Southern writer. I am probably best known for my
Appalachian "Ballad" novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains. These books include New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket, which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness, and The Ballad of Frankie Silver, the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina; The Songcatcher, a genealogy in music; and Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians.
My newest novel St. Dale, the Canterbury Tales set in NASCAR, was published by Kensington Books of New York in 2005, and is currently a nominee for the Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction and a finalist for its People's Choice Award.
Honors include: the 2003 Award for Literature given by the
East Tennessee Historical Society; AWA Outstanding Contribution to
Appalachian Literature Award; Chaffin Award for Achievement in Southern
Literature; Plattner Award for Short Story; and AWA's Best Appalachian
I was the first writer-in-residence at King College in Tennessee. In 2001 I
served as fiction writer-in-residence at the WICE Conference in Paris, and
in 2005 I was honored as the writer of the year at the annual literary
celebration at Emory and Henry College. (And I was the first Southern writer to take along a NASCAR driver to that literary seminar. Thank you, Ward Burton!)