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Shafer, Mary A. 1961-

Shafer, Mary A. 1961-

(Mary Alice Shafer)

PERSONAL:

Born June 16, 1961, in Lancaster, PA; daughter of Darrell (in real estate) and Nina W. Shafer; companion of Shelly Sickbert (a company director). Ethnicity: "White Euro-American." Education: Attended University of Wisconsin—Stout, 1980-81, and University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, 1981; Milwaukee Area Technical College, A.A.S., 1990. Politics: Independent liberal. Religion: "Undeclared." Hobbies and other interests: Painting, collecting stamps, genealogy, history.

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—Word Forge, P.O. Box 97, Ferndale, PA 18921; fax: 610-847-8220. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Creative Services, freelance graphic designer in Milwaukee, WI, and Doylestown, PA, 1994-99; Rhino Tactics (advertising agency), Lambertville, NJ, president, 1999-2001; Word Forge, Ferndale, PA, owner and copywriter, 2001—. Teacher of commercial art courses at Milwaukee Area Technical College; adult education teacher in Pennsylvania. Nockamixon Township Emergency Management Agency, volunteer communications coordinator; Gallows Run Watershed Association, Web master and newsletter editor. Member of National Museum of Women in the Arts, National Women's History Museum, Civil War Preservation Trust, and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Certified SkyWarn weather spotter.

MEMBER:

Authors Guild, Publishers Marketing Association, Small Publishers of North America, Civil War Preservation Association, Pennsylvania Historical Association, Pennsylvania Heritage Society, Bucks County Historical Society.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Award for best book in one or two colors, Mid America Publishers Association, 1995, for Rural America: A Pictorial Folk Memory; Notable Book of 2006, Writers Notes, 2006, for Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955.

WRITINGS:

Wisconsin, the Way We Were: A History of Statehood, 1845-1945, Heartland Press (Minocqua, WI), 1993.

Rural America: A Pictorial Folk Memory, Willow Creek Press (Minocqua, WI), 1995.

Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955, Word Forge Books (Ferndale, PA), 2005.

Unseen Wisdom: Lessons from a Small Gray Cat, Word Forge Books (Ferndale, PA), 2006.

Almost Perfect (anthology), Word Forge Books (Ferndale, PA), 2006.

Work represented in anthologies, including A Place to Which We Belong, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), 1998. Contributor to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Mary A. Shafer told CA: "I write to bring attention to important ideas and to give people hope in an often frightening and gloomy world. My influences are the world around me. For nonfiction I am especially interested in history and weather, animals and the environment, the connection between creativity and healing. For fiction I like to write about history—particularly the time periods of the North American fur trade, settlement, the Gold Rush era, the American Civil War, and World War II. I am particularly moved by stories of ordinary people behaving in extraordinarily brave or altruistic ways under the duress of extraordinary situations.

"I am inspired by things that amaze me, which I want to share; a particularly moving experience; lack of available information on a subject that interests me; other people's suggestions of topics; a sense that existing books on any given topic don't tell the whole story; and under-represented stories, such as those about women, animals, and certain social/cultural segments."

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