Though I've been writing since I was nine years old, I didn't publish beyond my high school literary journal until I was a new mother. My first published essay was in Iowa Woman; subsequently, I published short stories in dozens of literary magazines—learning, always, what worked or what didn't by reading far more than I wrote. My first book, A SLANT OF SUN, a memoir, was a National Book Award finalist. My second, INTO THE TANGLE OF FRIENDSHIP, was supported by an NEA grant. These gifts give a writer momentum, and hope. To date I've published five memoirs, an autobiography of a river called FLOW: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PHILADELPHIA'S SCHUYLKILL RIVER, and the first of what will be four young adult novels for HarperTeen. UNDERCOVER has been named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Amazon, School Library Journal, Not Your Mother's Bookclub, and others. Most recently I've published a corporate fable called ZENOBIA. A picture book is in the works, as is a novel for adults.Most of the time, I run a boutique marketing communications firm called Fusion. When I'm not doing that, I'm taking photographs, ballroom dancing, cooking, gardening, and, of course, reading. I frequently review for the Chicago Tribune. I reflect on the writing and photographing life with daily blog postings at www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com/ I hope you'll visit me there.