I grew up on a farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern Tennessee. I received a Bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University in 1985 with a major in Biology and a minor in Art. From there, I went to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana, Lafayette), where I pursued a Master’s degree in Behavioral Ecology, working on the territorial behavior of female salamanders and graduating in 1987.
I came to Kansas State University in 1991, where I did research on the food caching behavior of woodrats and completed my Ph.D. in 1996. Currently, I am at K-State working as a Teaching Professor and Assistant Director of Konza Prairie Biological Station.
I started designing my own cross-stitch patterns in the mid 90s and started selling them in the early 2000s. Many of my designs involve dragons, but I am a scientist and can't help but add tidbits of science to the descriptions of my subjects.
I have three rat terrors (terriers to other people), Raven (left below), who is 1 year old and very much still imbued with puppy energy; Umber (middle), who is 5 years old, very smart and easily bored (a difficult combination) and; Havoc (right), who is 10 years old and doesn't even have to try in order to live up to his name, he just is.