I have been a writer all my life, but entered the profession for pay about 20 years ago. I have written extensively in the business and human resources field, but also enjoy writing on more general topics for magazines and other venues. About 25% of my business involves editing and critiquing work for others.
I have written a nonfiction book about the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, a federal institution that existed in South Dakota in the early 1900s. The book, VANISHED IN HIAWATHA: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, is available on Amazon.
Much of my research for the book has been at the National Archives in Washington, DC and the National Archives repository in Kansas City, Missouri. The Canton Asylum, insanity in general, and Native American history, are the topics of this website and blog.
I’m pleased to say that my blog about Canton Asylum (started in February 2010) is on its way to 4,500,000 hits.
I received my master’s degree in May, 2012 (History, with a concentration in U.S. history), and I have to say that it was wonderful to be a student again. I enjoyed the academic environment so much, and learned a great deal about the time period my book covers. I presented a paper at a regional Phi Alpha Theta conference and won a Certificate of Excellence for a top graduate paper. My thesis explored insanity in Appalachia between 1850 and 1900.
I find myself returning time and again to a period between the Civil War and the Depression for both fiction and nonfiction, and I hope to keep refining my knowledge of this particular era in U.S. history. I enjoy research and digging through facts, and love to bring stories to life for readers who may think history is dry and dull.
I have previously published books for younger readers. My biography, Civil War Doctor: The Story of Mary Walker (Morgan Reynolds; 2007) was unanimously chosen for the Amelia Bloomer Project, which is sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Roundtable of the American Library Association.
Earlier, my young adult historical novel, A Diamond in the Dust (Dial, 2001) was a 2002 Young Adult Library Services Association “Best Books for Young Adults” nominee.