Furbee, Mary Rodd 1954-
FURBEE, Mary Rodd 1954-
(Mary R. Furbee)
PERSONAL: Born November 1, 1954, in Hammond, IN; daughter of William Herron II and Elizabeth (Cartwright) Rodd; married Paul Michael Furbee, August 8, 1981; children: Jenny Louise. Education: West Virginia University, B.A. (liberal arts), 1984, M. Sc. (journalism), 1991. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, walking, swimming.
CAREER: Writer, editor, and television producer. University of West Virginia, adjunct journalism instructor, 1994—.
MEMBER: Authors Guild, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, West Virginia Writers, Inc.
AWARDS, HONORS: Two West Virginia Writers, Inc. annual contest awards; second-place award, Wachtman Barbe essay-writing contest; Outstanding Service Learning Course award, West Virginia University, 2002.
(As Mary R. Furbee) The Complete Guide to West Virginia Inns, South Wind Publishing, 1992.
(With husband Mike Furbee) The Importance of Mohandas Gandhi, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2000.
Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2001.
Outrageous Women of Colonial America, J. Wiley (New York, NY), 2001.
Outrageous Women of the American Frontier, J. Wiley (New York, NY), 2002.
Wild Rose: Nancy Ward and the Cherokee Nation, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2002.
Anne Bailey: Frontier Scout, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Washington Post, Stars & Stripes, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Charleston Gazette, American Visions, Progressive, Goldenseal, and Now and Then.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Outrageous Women of the Civil War Times, for J. Wiley.
SIDELIGHTS: Mary Ross Furbee once told CA: "I live in West Virginia—in Morgantown, which is a great place to live and work as an author.
"When I'm writing in my study—which overlooks my big, tree-filled backyard—I can look outside and see bluejays, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds. I've even seen wild turkeys, raccoons, and a very lost, young bear. If I need companionship or conversation, I can pop outside to visit with my neighbors as they work in their gardens. Or I can walk down the block to visit my mother. Her apartment is Grand Central Station for a clan that includes my six brothers and sisters and dozens of nieces and nephews, all of whom also live in West Virginia. I feel incredibly lucky to have work I enjoy and family, friends, and natural beauty all around me.
"People often ask me how I got started writing books for children. Well, a couple of things led me down this path, I think. Like most writers, I read a lot as a child. Also, I ask lots of questions and am not satisfied until I have answers. In fact, I began writing biographies of women in American history to answer a simple question.
"A few years back, I was writing for a newspaper and looking for a fresh idea for a Fourth of July feature article. That same week, my daughter brought home a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Together those things suddenly made me ask myself: 'I wonder what the colonial women were up to?'
"I had only ever heard of Betsy Ross and Molly Pitcher, but I knew they couldn't be the only interesting women of their time. So I went to the library and checked out some history books. In those books, I discovered there were dozens of fascinating women scouts, spies, soldiers, chiefs, planters, midwives and more. I also discovered that very few children's books tell their stories. So, I asked some publishers if they would be interested in such books. And, lucky for me, they said yes!
"Of course, when I was your age, I never dreamed I would someday write children's books. Not in a million years. That was the kind of thing I thought the smartest, coolest, most talented kids might someday do for a living—not ordinary, average old me. I was wrong, though, which proves something I believe with all my heart: Anything is possible if you work hard, have faith in yourself, and follow your heart.
"Take care and happy reading!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2001, Anne O'Malley, review of Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles, p. 1747; May 15, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Outrageous Women of Colonial America, p. 1747; December 1, 2001, Roger Leslie, review of Anne Bailey: Frontier Scout, p. 637.
School Library Journal, September, 1999, Debbie >Feulner, review of Women of the American Revolution, p. 232; June, 2001, Linda Greengrass, review of Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles, p. 168; September 2001, Donna J. Helmet, review of Wild Rose: Nancy Ward and the Cherokee Nation, p. 242.
Mary Rodd Furbee Web site,http://web.mountain.net/~swpub./bio.