Some more details:
Peggy has always lived in the mountains. This gives her a unique perspective to portray her heritage.
She grew up in a remote mountain hollow in Ashe County, North Carolina. Her dad grew beans and raised
livestock. Her mother worked at a local factory to supplement the farming income. Relatives, extended family, and church provided
a unique atmosphere for living and learning the old mountain traditions. She married at 17, finished high school, and started
She furthered her education at Appalachian State, but the responsibilities of six children (her husband
wanted an even dozen) quickly made formal study impossible. She did manage to write a few manuscripts on an old portable typewriter.
Her stories were good, but her husband laughed at her spelling and sentence structure. Becoming reticent and disillusioned
with writing, she turned to crafts to assist in the struggle for survival. Her crafts were marketed through Blue Ridge Hearthside
Crafts Cooperative and she became a board member of the organization.
Moving to her own farm at Foscoe-Grandfather community in Watauga
County, she continued to raise her own food, adding a milk cow and other livestock.
Tobacco was raised as the main cash crop. Christmas trees were planted to assist the children through college. Being active
in agriculture, Peggy became a board member of Farm Bureau Insurance, the local Christmas Tree Association, NC Agricultural
Extension Advisory Council and a board member at NC State University. Through these positions she was able to get out and
see some of the world beyond the mountains.
For more than thirty years, Peggy assisted her husband, a land surveyor, with the field and office
work. Through contacts made with a developer client, she started selling her Christmas trees on a lot in Naples, Florida,
becoming known there as the “The Christmas Tree Lady”. The survey business gave Peggy additional insight on the
impacts, good and adverse, to the community as the mountains became a tourist and second home destination.
Peggy has an affinity for growing things and raising animals. After phasing out tobacco, she converted
the barn to a kennel and began raising small breed dogs. As the children grew up, went to college, married and had families
of their own, there became time for writing. Wanting to know if she was good enough to write seriously, she attended many
classes and joined the local High Country Writers group. Terry Kay did one the group’s presentations and told her “All
words are the same, it's how you put them to that makes the difference”. He also advised her to write something that
wasn’t personal that she would be comfortable with being critiqued. Her first novel, Heaven-High and Hell-deep, resonates with the cadence of Peggy’s strong mountain voice and storytelling
Always resourceful, Peggy decided she would not only write books, but she'd make and market them herself
too. Consequently, every book is uniquely hers: she writes the stories, paints the cover picture, and prints and binds each
one at her farm. Currently she has produced a fair-sized "heirloom collection" of twelve novels steeped with Appalachian mountain
characters and settings in addition to two non-fiction works on planting in harmony with the moon and on mountain speech.
Peggy prints and binds free introductory excerpts of Heaven-high
and Hell-deep – providing just enough intrigue to send readers to the library or bookstore to find out what happens
next. Newland, NC news-paper, The Avery Post uses the novel as a serial – keeping readers anxious for the next issue. Peggy also likes
to do "story chuckings" – get-togethers to enjoy exchanging tales with readers.
For more information on Peggy and her books, call 828-963-5331 or e-mail her at the link below.