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About Me

I grew up just outside a ghost town in rural Mississippi where storytelling is a favorite form of entertainment. I spent my childhood exploring the piney woods, inventing characters, and creating tiny worlds out of acorns, rocks, sticks and moss.

Now, I live with my husband, children, and Pupper, who just happens to closely resemble the character of Percy in the book, in Greenville, South Carolina, where I write next to a window overlooking the woods. I am also a lawyer with Wyche, PA., whose lawyers have worked to preserve over 100,000 acres of land for future generations. I graduated from Millsaps College and Yale Law School, and also founded outdoorosity.org, a resource celebrating the treasures and curiosities of nature with stories, know-how and inspiration to get readers outside. To build my skills in wilderness self-reliance, I studied with the generous and knowledgeable Alex Garcia of Earthskills, LLC.

My debut novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, published by Random House Children’s Books, is available everywhere books are sold!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it really true that you’ve twice been accidentally locked in a library?

Okay. Maybe the first time was on purpose. (I really wanted to finish that book and I was out of renewals.) But the second time was totally an accident—or almost one anyway.

What was the most fun thing you did while researching the book?

Taking classes in outdoor self-reliance. I learned how to make a weed salad, how to get water out of a birch tree, how to make honeysuckle rope, and at least three different ways to build a fire. You never know when you’ll need to build a fire from scratch.

What was the weirdest thing you found out while researching the book?

Definitely madstones. Madstones have been used to treat everything from insect stings and rabies to snakebites and are often passed down for generations. I’m sad to say, our family doesn’t have one. I’m still trying to get my hands on a good madstone.


To contact Jo, please email jo@johackl.com