About Nell

Happy Friday! (Perhaps it is Friday as you read this, but don’t those two words just lift your heart a little, even if it’s not? As a lover of fiction, I hereby declare it always Friday here.)

When I’m loving a book or story I usually flip to the end to learn about who created what I’m enjoying. If you like my creatures, big or small, and want to know more in a similar vein – you’re in luck! To satisfy that craving here’s a little bit of who I am and things that make me happy:

I’m the first child of three, born in the mountains of western North Carolina, but growing up we also lived in a tiny mill town in eastern Massachusetts and the largest town in western New York State. I graduated with honors in Art from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (a liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Virginia which has since admitted men and changed its name), and earned a master’s in Architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  I had the immense pleasure to live among the ridges and valleys of East Tennessee for 18 years. That was so long that it will always feel like home. Now I rest my head among sycamores and burr oaks in horse country – Lexington, Kentucky.

After practicing architecture for a decade or so, my heart started itching for a different kind of creative thinking. Something I’d done before, but put aside when I was concentrating on architecture. And so I began drafting a fictional home with words instead of wood and steel. This story-house is one that welcomes children of all ages. If you’re nine or ninety I hope you’ll find something comfortable on the porch, something fun in the backyard, perhaps something exciting in the kitchen, and maybe even something a little creepy in the attic.

Stuff I keep close: Pita chips with hummus and blueberries, chocolate truffles, and Irish Breakfast Tea, music, trees, rain, moss, dogs, and mountains where black bears roam.

A sampling of favorite writers across genres: Ray Bradbury, Jacqueline Carey, e.e. cummings, Evie Dunmore, Charlaine Harris, Seamus Heaney, Silas House, Madeleine L’Engle,  Ursula Le Guin, C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey, Thomas Merton, Karen M. Moning, Naomi Novik, Mary Oliver, Mary Renault, Maria V. Snyder, Maggie Stiefvater, Sabaa Tahir, Laini Taylor, Crystal Wilkinson, and Jeff Zentner.

Inspiring places I love to be: the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Acadia National Park, Oban and the Western Hebrides of Scotland, Freiburg im Breisgau – Germany, Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo – Italy, and Monemvasia – Greece.