Lost State Writers Guild

Present and past Lost State Writers Guild members (cont'd - pg 3).


Henry McCarthy was born in Johnson City, TN. His father was from Boston and his mother from the mountains of western North Carolina (Greasy Creek). He earned his bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University, master's from the University of Kentucky, and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Henry, a world traveler and the author of one book and numerous education articles, has been a professor and assistant dean at Appalachian State University for thirty years. He ahs twice received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for outstanding service to the state of North Carolina. His poems have appeared in the Journal of Expressive Arts and Clinch Mountain Review. He is a member of the Appalachian Center for Poets and Writers and the Winston-Salem Writers Association.


Although born in southwest Virginia in Dickenson County, Helen McCoy recently moved back to her roots after living twenty-two years in Kentucky. Besides raising three children there, she taught in the Laurel County Public School system, was an Adult Education teacher, and also taught English and writing at Somerset Community College. While working a short stint as a writer for The London-Laurel News, she received awards from the Kentucky Associated Press and the Kentucky Psychiatric Association for non-fiction articles. Since coming to Tennessee, she has worked as a free-lance writer and published various articles in The Bristol Herald Courier, The Johnson City Press, Her Magazine and in the Tri-Cities Business Journal.


Gretchen McCroskey was a popular Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, now retired, at Northeast State Community College for many years. Finishing Line Press has published a book of her original poems, Finding My Way Home, which includes nostalgic and touching poems in tribute to her parents and late husband.


Joe Richard Morgan left the western North Carolina mountains to serve in the United States Marine Corps during and after the Korean conflict. A teacher who has taught language, literature and writing for over forty years, Joe is the author of Potato Branch: Sketches of Mountain Memories, published by Bright Mountain Books of Asheville, NC in 1992. His second book is Into The Chilling Water, October 2007, published by Ridgetop Books, a subsidiary of Bright Mountain Books whose website is: http://www.brightmountainbooks.com. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from Stafford University in London, United Kingdom. Joe may be reached via email here or here.


Sylvia Nickels is a Georgia native transplanted to East Tennessee. Retired from the local telephone company, Sylvia is a co-leader of Lost State Writers Guild, and Board member of the Appalachian Authors Guild, a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Her fantasy and mystery stories have been published in Communities and Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazines and in online ezines such as Bewildering Stories. Links to some of those archived stories are on her websites.
Oconee Spirit Press published her novel, Requiem for a Party Girl, a Cameron Locke Mystery in 2015. She recently signed a contract with Oconeee and the second in the series, Delusion for a Lonely Girl will be published in 2016. She has published, through CreateSpace, one mystery novel, Disguise for Death, a Royce Thorne Mystery set in East TN, and is working on a sequel. She maintains her websites, ramblinscribe.com and sylvianickels.com, occasionally blogs, tries to keep up with markets and writing trends and in between, write. She keeps up with her friends on Facebook. Her weekly column Life Slices has been published in the Kingsport Daily News for four years.


Delilah O'Haynes is Professor of English at Concord University in Athens, WV, where she teaches Creative Writing. A coal miner's daughter from Clintwood, VA, Delilah's first book, The Character of Mountains, a collection of poetry and photography, was released in August 2006 and has been nominated for the Appalachian Book of the Year award. Her second book, Walk Free from Fear of Cancer, the book she had to write, was published in 2007.


Christine Osborne is a transplant to NE Tennessee from the Midwest. She has written numerous non-fiction articles for professional journals during her careers which have included funeral service and hospice, and presented at several national conferences. Now retired, she is focused on writing a novel. She enjoys taking a periodic hiatus to write personal essays about the 'special' people she has worked with in the past as well as those she meets in the hills and hollers of her adopted home. Two of these pieces have been published in Lost State Voices III, an anthology by members of the Lost State Writers Guild.


Jerry Paulsen's first book No Guarantees is an eclectic collection of fiction and memoirs that most Mid–Americans will identify with. The book is available from Amazon in print and ebook formats. As a controls engineer, now retired, Jerry wrote contracts, specifications, and operating manuals. He is retraining himself to write creatively. He is still searching for his ideal genre and audience. He moved to Johnson City five years ago and now lives in Jonesborough. His current interests are: writing, designing websites, woodworking, and photography. He has moved on from other interests: motorcycles, boats, old cars, and fixing up old houses. His personal website is: Jerry Paulsen


Eleanor H. Pendergraft is a native of Durham, NC. She received a BBA in Trust Management from Campbell University, NC in 1983. She has six children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Currently retired, she lives in Johnson City, TN and writes, paints and designs and builds furniture.


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The pictures which grace the covers of the three anthologies published by the Lost State Writers Guild have all been generously provided by David Ramsey, professional photographer extraordinaire. All three photos were taken by David in and near the Southern Appalachian Mountains. As a native of Unicoi County, TN David has spent his life exploring the wild and scenic treasures of these lands. His photographic efforts have provided a channel of personal expression of his passion and concern for them. Sale of his work has helped support The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, which has worked for over 25 years to preserve and protect the wild nature and special beauty of these ancient mountains.


Michelle A. Ratliff was always making up stories, sometimes illustrating them in homemade books. In high school she wrote for the school paper, a local teen magazine, and edited her yearbook. When she later had two boys she again wrote, making up fanciful stories for their amusement. Some of their favorite memories hark back to this happy creative collaboration. She only seriously began to write since moving to Virginia. She credits the classes of the COA, the Lost State Writers Guild, and Arts Depot Appalachian Writers and Poets for encouragement and wonderful friendships.


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Michael Samerdyke's essay Do People Change? won first place in the 2014 Wytheville Chautauqua Creative Writing Contest in the essay category. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he has lived in far southwest Virginia for thirteen years. His nonfiction has appeared in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Military History Magazine and Bristol Herald Courier. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writers Workshop. A member of the Leadership committee of Lost State Writers Guild, Michael chaired the Lost State Voices III book committee and was the moving force behind its publication. He has been very busy from mid-2013 to present publishing his ebooks. His most recent titles are Chagrin City Noir: Tales of the Kestrel #1, Summer Reruns: Tales of the Kestrel #2, The Dragon Lover and Other Fantasy Stories, Invasion of the President Snatchers: Science Fiction Stories and Cartoon Carnival: A Critical Guide to the Best Cartoons from Warner Brothers, MGM, Walter Lantz and DePatie Freleng, between 1933 and 1976. He also published Horror 213, Volumes I and 2, covering best horror movies and radio and TV episodes. Michael's original stories are also featured in his The Dream Cabinet of Dr. Kino, The Curse of Dr. Kino: A Phantasmagoria, Featured Creatures: A Phantasmagoria and Toys & Toons: Fantasy Stories.


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Tim Simpson has spent most of his life in upper East TN but he has traveled a large part of the United States and some in Canada. He grew up in a small hollow in Johnson City where his father worked for the city. His dad brought home a typewriter he had found in the trash and from that point on Tim began writing stories. His first book, published two years ago, is an autobiography titled A True Journey of Faith. Since that time he has written and published more than ten books, including his series titled simply M. And another series called Sons of Thunder. He is currently writing a column for the Daily News, a paper out of Kingsport Tennessee, which is where he now resides with his wife, Sarah, and son, Eli. Tim also is an advocate for the local arts such as the International Storytelling Center that Jonesborough hosts as well as local community theaters.


Tammy Robinson Smith published her first novel, Emmybeth Speaks (Mountain Girl Press) in 2005. The first chapter was awarded second place in the adult short story category of the 2003 Virginia Highlands Festival. After a number of years as a broadcast reporter and public relations professional, she founded Mountain Girl Press in 2005. In 2006, she wrote and published the lead story for Zinnia Tales, a collection of short stories about Appalachian women by thirteen Appalachian women writers. She lives with her family in Bristol, VA and belongs to the Lost State Writers Guild, the Appalachian Authors Guild and Associates and is a participating artisan of 'round the Mountain. Her contact address is publisher@mountaingirlpress.com.


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Anne Tipton was born in Tipton Hill, North Carolina. An educator and instructional materials designer, she acquired an MA degree in Early Childhood Education from East Tennessee State University. Later, she studied programmed instruction at New Mexico State University. She's designed language arts for the NEA's Project Life filmstrips and computer related instruction for beginning reading for Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Schools. She has also directed adult literacy in Abingdon, Virginia, through a Bell Atlantic-American Library Association grant.

van de merwe

Cobus Van der Merwe is married to Reta Rood. They have three sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren. He is a native of South Africa , a descendant of 1652 Dutch Settlers to the Cape Of Good Hope, and is an American citizen having immigrated to the USA in 1983. He is an electrical engineer, a viticulturalist, does jail ministering and is an inventor recognized by Who's Who of American Inventors and Who's Who World Wide.


Gary Varner was born in a coal camp at McRoberts, KY and raised in the small coal mining town of Pound, VA. After graduating from East Tennessee State College in 1962, he was drafted into the U. S. Army. He spent seven years in the Army, attending Officer Candidate School to become an officer, Flight Training School to become an Army aviator and then served as a reconnaissance and combat support pilot for one year in the Go Cong province of Vietnam. He worked in healthcare administration in Johnson City, TN for twenty-eight years and served as Executive Director of the Johnson City Area United Way for two years. He is now retired and plays gold, writes books, tells stories and enjoys his family. Gary's book, Let Me Tell You a Story is available in print and audio format.


Joel R. Waldron, Sr. is a graduate of Bristol University in Kingsport, Tennessee. He is a full time pastor and has been in the minstry for over forty years. He has pastored several churches, done evangelistic work, and is active in missionary work and radio. He has written poetry and has written for newspaper and magazines. He ahs been a contributor to a book. He has written several plays.


Running Through Sheets, Claudia Ware's most recent book, a memoir, includes several of her nonfiction stories of growing up in Long Island, NY. Clues: The Mystery at Ridge Manor, her first novel, was published in 2010 and is available through most major retailers. Her second novel, Monopolies, is also available from the same sources. She has published three children's books, The Day the Alphabet Rebelled, The Flat People and the Round People, and more recently, Butterscotch and Chocolate Fudge. Her interests besides writing are reading, music, and teaching. She has taught psychology courses at Walter's State Community, and Carson Newman colleges. Claudia is also actively involved in the Appalachian Authors Guild, now serving as its very able President. Click the link to learn more about Claudia on her website. Claudia believes she was born to write. Her first writing experience was a play performed by her Sunday School class. While a sophomore in high school, she won first place in an essay contest. Claudia moved to Florida in 1973, and began to write a weekly column for the local newspaper. She began to write in earnest after her English professor praised her writing ability.


Muriel Kagan Zager is the author of four novels: Bystander, based on a murder committed during a feud in Jerusalem; The Faithful, nominated for a National Book Award, exploring fundamentalist, extremist concepts; and Death of a Pilgrim dealing with the Bethlehem murder of a pilgrim. Her newest book, Murder on the Mount of Olives, was released in August 2006. Muriel Kagan Zager also writes a monthly column for Highlands Publications, Inc. about the Middle East.