On May 22 from 1:00 – 4:00pm, nine renowned authors who have written about the Appalachian outdoors will gather at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to autograph books, give presentations and be available for one-on-one chats with fans. A range of books by each author will be available for sale at a table manned by event sponsor Fountainhead Bookstore of Hendersonville. Writers on the Rock is included with Park admission, which is $13 for adults, $6 for youth ages 5-15 and free for children ages 4 and under.
“Writers on the Rock give guests a unique opportunity to see their favorite authors in person and to meet new ones,” says Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “Our region offers some of the best outdoor opportunities in the world, from hikes up steep paths to see jaw-dropping views to meandering walks down footpaths that end at stunning waterfalls, challenging climbs on ancient rocks to observing the flora and fauna unique to Appalachia. This year’s authors have made their mark as outdoor experts, and we’re excited to be able to give folks the chance to meet some of the authors they’ve read and loved for years.”
Bibliophiles can view the soaring cliffs and stunning valleys of Chimney Rock and the surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge as they browse dozens of titles; they can also purchase books the authors have signed. Books include hiking guides, history of state and national parks, waterfall exploration and much more.
Fans are encouraged to come early, as authors will begin speaking shortly after 1pm.
Tim is a photographer based in Asheville, North Carolina. His career has spanned more than 30 years as a professional photographer and photography instructor, including eight years as Executive Director of the nationally recognized Appalachian Photographic Workshops.
His images have been widely published, appearing in dozens of magazines, including Time, Newsweek,Southern Accents, House Beautiful, American Craft, Outdoor Photographer, Sky and Telescope, Billboard,Travel South, American Style, Black & White Magazine, Aperture, Lenswork, and National Parks. He has been a principal or contributing photographer to dozens of books, and is the author of four of his own—Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas: A Comprehensive Identification Guide to What You See from the Many Overlooks, The Face of Appalachia: Portraits from the Mountain Far, On Earth’s Furrowed Brow: The Appalachian Farm in Photographs, and Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia.
Mr. Barnwell’s widely collected work has been included in many group and one-man shows in the U.S. and abroad. His prints are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Mint Museum, SOHO Photo Gallery, Newark Museum, and the Bank of America corporate collection.
Danny’s mission is to get people out of their cars and walking. She’s been a committed hiker for over forty years, completing the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), and many other hiking challenges.
Danny hikes and leads hikes for the Carolina Mountain Club, Friends of the Smokies, and other outdoor groups. She’s written two hiking guides, Hiking the Carolina Mountains and Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and a narrative on her MST hike, The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina. She blogs atwww.hikertohiker.com. In her previous life, she worked in computer science for thirty-five years, long before computing was cool, first as a software developer, then as a professor of computer science. Her motto is “no place is too far to walk if you have the time.” She plans to die with her boots on.
Karen Chávez has lived in the mountains of western North Carolina since 2000. She is an editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper, directing coverage of outdoor recreation and environmental issues. Karen also maintains the Girls-Gone-Outdoors blog, and has published many articles over the past decade on hiking, hiking with dogs, outdoor recreation, and outdoor sports. Karen lived with her beautiful black Lab and Best Hikes With Dogs co-author, Shelby, until she passed away in 2012.
Karen has a degree in environmental studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana. She is a former ranger with the National Park Service. Karen is a breast cancer survivor, and encourages women of all ages to do breast self-exams and learn about 3D mammography.
Steph is a naturalist at heart and a forest ecologist by training. She is currently a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2002. She also teaches a field course, Forest Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, at the Highlands Biological Station, as well as Dendrology and Plant Ecology at the NC Botanical Garden. In 2014 Steph co-authored a hiking guide, Exploring Southern Appalachian Forests, which shows hikers how to read and discover stories in the forested landscape. She loves blending her passions for ecology, conservation, running and writing by working on projects that combine these interests. Outdoors, she shares her love of the natural world with people of all ages and backgrounds—her two sons most especially.
Ryan Lubbers is co-author of A Hiker’s Guide to the Hickory Nut Gorge and The Adventure Map of the Hickory Nut Gorge. He is an Educator at Muddy Sneakers, an environmental education non-profit operating in North and South Carolina and a Naturalist with Chimney Rock Management, LLC, operators of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Ryan has spent many days exploring the Hickory Nut Gorge and has gone to great lengths to provide readers with the most current information available on hiking, biking, climbing and many other outdoor pursuits in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Ryan lives in the Hickory Nut Gorge with his wife Jane and one-year-old son, Kai.
Jim Proctor is a native of Lake Lure and a five-term mayor. He is a real estate broker and photographer who lives with his wife, Robin, at Pine Gables, the oldest home in Lake Lure. He enjoys history and has spent most of his life collecting photographs and tales from his community. Jim is the author of Lake Lure, which traces the history of the area with more than 200 vintage images culled from personal collections, postcards and the Town of Lake Lure.
Neil was born and raised in southeastern North Carolina and developed an early love for the mountains and waterfalls during childhood vacations. He further explored the region and its natural wonders as an adult. His interest in writing and photography started at a young age and developed over time, benefiting from insights and advice of gifted mentors, instructors, and a famous author or two. Neil is a graduate of East Carolina University (1986) and Touro University International, Summa Cum Laude, (2001). His first guidebook on North Carolina waterfalls, Spectacular Waterfalls of Western North Carolina (2008), established a new format for waterfall guidebooks by incorporating a large color photograph of every waterfall listed in the book. Great Waterfalls of North Carolina (2010) followed the same format including even more falls, photographs, and great locations to visit. Neil is currently writing his first fiction novel and doing research for a nonfiction novel to follow. There are several more fictional possibilities on the horizon as well as more outdoor projects yet to come.
As a career nurse practitioner in cardiology, family practice and emergency medicine, Marci spent weekends climbing mountains or piloting a small plane somewhere. When she retired, thirty years of independent nature study became more structured in earning her naturalist’s certificate through the Blue Ridge Naturalist’s Program (UNCA-NC Arboretum). She taught a class at the NC Arboretum on the Spruce-fir Forest Ecosystem and has completed the NC Environmental Educator Certification Program and the Southern Appalachian Naturalist’s program at the Great Smoky Mtn. Institute (UT-Knoxville). Marci volunteered for GSMNP and Appalachian Bear Rescue for a number of years. Now she offers educational sessions at special events with the release of ceremonial white doves and provides nature/environmental presentations for classrooms and community events.
Marci was born in Asheville, NC and attended Winston-Salem State University. After completing her Masters of Science degree at East-Tennessee State University, she worked as a nurse practitioner for McDowell Hospital Systems until retirement. She is the author of Clingmans Dome, Highest Mountain in the Great Smokies andPisgah National Forest: a History. She recently published a children’s book, Potluck, “Message Delivered: The Great Smoky Mountains are Saved!”
Tim is a plant ecologist, native plant gardener, hiker, and professor emeritus of botany at Clemson University where he taught field botany and plant ecology and did research on plant-pollinator interactions for more than 20 years. He is the author of two recent books: Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (2011) and Waterfalls and Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians: Thirty Great Hikes (2015), University of North Carolina Press. A popular speaker, Tim has shared his passion for native plants and natural habitats by giving more than 100 presentations over the last five years.