I write creative nonfiction, mostly. Curious about my Amish neighbors, I made friends in three Iowa Amish communities and wrote essays about my experiences for The Iowa Source, Plain magazine and The Plain Reader Anthology—which were later included in my creative nonfiction book, Visits with the Amish: Impressions of the Plain Life (University of Iowa Press, 2010).
My latest book, The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic (TarcherPerigee, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016) is co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, M.D. I co-authored three books on Ayurveda healthcare with her, including Super Healthy Kids: A Parent's Guide to Maharishi Ayurveda (Maharishi International University Press, 2010). I also like to write for kids—including poetry for Cricket and essays for Cobblestone magazine—and was the youth editor for Plain Magazine for three years.
I'm currently finishing a YA historical novel set in the Amish community of Kalona, Iowa, in 1944. An adjunct associate professor at Maharishi International University for 15 years, I taught creative nonfiction in the M.A. in Professional Writing program. I live in the peaceful town of Fairfield, Iowa, with my author/professor husband, Tom, and my passions are gardening, meditating (I'm a certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation), taking art lessons and playing Pickleball with friends.
Awards and Recognition
- SCBWI Mentorship Award