TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Carolyn Reeder

Carolyn Reeder

Carolyn Reeder says: "Until recently, my life was defined by roles and passages. First, the daughter growing up in Washington, D.C., next the student at American University, and then the longest-held roles of all: wife, mother, teacher. I'm still a wife, but I'm an out-of-work mother now that my children are grown, and I've recently left my job as a reading teacher so I'd have more time to write. Today, instead of roles, I have facets - hiker, history buff, book lover, friend, theater goer, writer....

Now, writing is an important part of my life- an end in itself - but my first writing was simply an outgrowth of our family's hiking experiences in Shenandoah National Park. It all began when my husband and I wrote a non-fiction adult book about the mountain people who were displaced when the park was established. We worked together on two more books about the park before I began to write fiction for children.

All of my children's books are historical novels set between 1863 and 1942, and they are read mostly by young people in grades 4-7. I'm often asked why I write historical fiction. Undoubtedly, all the times I read through the Little House books influenced me in that direction, but part of the reason is that I enjoy the research. Children stare at me in disbelief when they hear that, but the research is my excuse to talk to people I wouldn't otherwise meet, to take excursions to places that are off the beaten track, to read in depth on fascinating subjects - and to call it "work."