Susan is a native of Asheville and a graduate of Duke University. She loves searching in the woods for wild plants, studying family history, and writing, now that she has retired from her practice of psychotherapy. Research in Wales, where she found the Rhys/Reece/Rice family castle ruins and manor house, was a delight. She also traveled the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to Bethania, North Carolina. Unlike the sisters in the book (her many-times great aunts), she had bridges to cross all those rivers.
Susan and Bill Together
Susan and Bill have been married for 47 years (and counting). They have maintained a home in Cashiers, NC since 1985, including 10 years as full-time residents. They now spend the summers in Cashiers and the balance of the year at their home in Asheville, in each case with their dog and two cats. Their daughter, Laurie, is a pediatric hospitalist in Indianapolis, and an unrepentant dog lover.
Although their writing interests are very different, each understands and appreciates the skill and effort devoted by the other, and for each the other’s support and encouragement has been important. They have each learned from the other’s research, and have enjoyed sharing both waterfall expeditions (as long as Susan gets to stop and study the flowers), and those historical research trips to Wales, Philadelphia and along the Great Wagon Road.
Bill Jacobs in front of Whiteside Mountain’s steep upper cliffs
Bill is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Duke Law School. After retiring from 38 years as a lawyer (mostly in Atlanta), he pursued his curiosity about the extraordinary landscape of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, which had been his vacation or full-time home since 1985. Failing to find concise answers, his inquiries led him through a wide array of on-line and in-person courses, and of academic, professional and popular books and papers. While these were informative and stimulating, the most rewarding (and fun) part of the journey has been feet-on-the-ground field work, at times in challenging terrain It was the field work that enabled him to identify previously unmapped relationships among the Plateau’s various rocks, and to use those relationships to better explain how geology has determined the nature and location of many of the Plateau’s Special Places.
When Bill is not writing, studying or doing geology, he is likely to be found roaming about on a bicycle, up and down the mountainous landscape of his Western North Carolina home.
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