Discover the World of Keowee Valley

Katherine Scott Crawford is the award-winning author of Keowee Valley, an historical adventure set in the Revolutionary-era Carolinas and the Cherokee country. A recovering academic and former adjunct professor, she serves as a guest lecturer and workshop leader at conferences, writers retreats, literary festivals, libraries, and more. As a newspaper columnist, her popular column appeared weekly across the country and abroad, in U.S.A. Today, The Detroit Free Press, and many others. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Founder and Director of MountainTop Writers Retreats, she lives in Western North Carolina with her husband, daughters, and their trail dog. Her second historical novel, THE MINIATURIST’S ASSISTANT, is forthcoming from Regal House Publishing in Spring 2025.

“A glorious debut from a gifted author.”
-Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Big Stone Gap and The Shoemaker’s Wife

Keowee Valley is a terrific first novel by Katherine Scott Crawford–a name that should be remembered.”
-Pat Conroy, bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

“Katherine Scott Crawford is a fresh and valuable new voice in Southern Literature.” -Ron Rash, bestselling author of Serena and Saints at the River

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Enjoy the Keowee Valley Trailer

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I Take Heart: The June 2024 issue

Happy June, friends!

The June issue of my author newsletter, I Take Heart, is up and ready to read. I usually post on the first Friday of the month, but tomorrow my youngest child graduates from elementary school (sniff, sniff), and it’ll be nuts.

If you’ve not subscribed, you can do so by clicking on the Newsletter tab above. Or, you can email me at thewritingscott at gmail dot com, and I’ll add you directly.

This issue is full of my updates, books and movies my husband and I have been enjoying, and more. Sure hope y’all enjoy it!

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Historical Fiction Book Club – June pick

One of the best parts of this year for me has been leading the Historical Fiction Book Club at Highland Books in Brevard, North Carolina. We meet at the bookstore the second Wednesday of each month.

In June, we’ll discuss Kate Morton’s Homecoming.

“From the bestselling author of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, a sweeping novel that begins with a shocking crime, the effects of which echo across continents and generations. An epic story that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, how we protect the lies we tell, and what it means to come home. Above all, it is an intricate and spellbinding novel from one of the finest writers working today.”

Get your copies for book club from Highland Books at 20% off, and join us on June 12th at 6:00 PM. All are welcome!

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J. Drew Lanham: Poet-Conservationist

These photos don’t do justice to the warmth, heart, and wonder poet-conservationist, ornithologist and teacher J. Drew Lanham brought to his recent event at the Porter Center @brevardcollege .

He is a remarkable speaker, fully engaged, fully illuminated. I’d not expected to need a tissue for the event—maybe I should’ve!—but I found myself wiping my eyes several times. Drew sees the natural world, and sees us “ground-bound beings,” as he calls us, with a genius curiosity.

I took up way too much of his time in the book-signing line—my sincere apologies to the readers coming after me—but I couldn’t help myself. He was utterly gracious, a kindred spirit. His South Carolina accent felt like home.

Days later, I’m still thinking about thoughts and poems he shared, about what home is. “Home is someone to scratch that particular itch on your back,” he said. “Home isn’t a destination at all, it’s the mobile home carried within.” And gosh—so much more.

Thanks to Brevard College and the Transylvania County Library Foundation for continuing to bring voices like Drew’s to our community.

J. Drew Lanham’s books can be found anywhere books are sold, but shop at your favorite indie. (I recommend beginning with his memoir, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.)

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Two literary events in Brevard, NC

It’s weeks like this I feel so very lucky to live where I do—in a town which values books, the natural world, and important voices.

Tonight: Historical Fiction Book Club at Highland Books in downtown Brevard, North Carolina — Kristin Hannah’s The Women (plus yummy treats at Smokey Sunrise, next door!)

Thursday at 7:00 pm: MacArthur Fellow J. Drew Lanham at Brevard College’s Porter Center, as the Spring 2024 J.R. McDowell speaker. Lanham is a professor, wildlife biologist, and poet, too, but I first fell in love with his work through The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.

Both events are FREE! Buy your discounted books from Highland Books, and get your ticket for tomorrow at the Transylvania County Public Library.

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The April issue of I Take Heart is up!

Hey, y’all.

The April issue of my author newsletter, I Take Heart, is up and ready to read!

This one’s full of my family’s recent travel, vacation books I loved, several podcasts pinging at my current stage of life, new music from friends, and an update on THE MINIATURIST’S ASSISTANT, my new historical novel (coming May 13, 2025 from Regal House Publishing).

I know newsletters in your inbox can become overwhelming, so I’d be especially delighted if you subscribe to mine. They’re short, I only publish once per month, and I’ll never sell your email address to anyone.

To subscribe, click the Newsletter tab, above.

Or, reach out privately via Instagram or email (thewritingscott at gmail dot com) and I’ll add you myself.

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The Fabled Earth – a new historical novel by Kimberly Brock

I was so very lucky to read an early version of my dear friend and utterly magical storyteller Kimberly Brock‘s new novel, The Fabled Earth.

A dual-timeline historical set on fabled Cumberland Island, Georgia, in 1932 and 1959, featuring a ghost, a reclusive artist, a devastating fire, and the last vestiges of a grand Gilded age mansion, fans of Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton will swoon over Kim’s gorgeous sense of place and propulsive storytelling.

The Fabled Earth releases from Harper Muse Books on October 1, 2024, but you can preorder now at your favorite independent bookstore!

(Which really, really helps authors and indies both, btw.)

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Kristin Hannah’s The Women + Historical Fiction Book Club tonight

Hi, folks! Don’t forget that tonight, March 13, 2024, is Historical Fiction Book Club at Highland Books in Brevard, NC! We’re chatting about the utterly riveting, Maine-set novel by Ariel Lawhon: The Frozen River. (Psst: It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.) While I have a work commitment, bookseller extraordinaire Leslie Logemann will lead the discussion.

On to The Women:

Got my lucky hands on an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of Kristin Hannah‘s The Women. It’s stirring, heavy, rich with intense and visceral detail, and does a masterful job of layering history into its most personal scenes. Every time I looked up, I would almost have to shake my head to clear it. It felt like I was in Vietnam, that I needed to duck for cover.

I feel so much more informed about the war in Vietnam now, and about the remarkable women veterans who served there. Hannah’s dedication page is particularly moving.

The Women is our April read at Highland Book’s Historical Fiction Book Club! Pick up your copy—book clubbers get 20% off!—and join us Wednesday, APRIL 10th at 6 pm for a chat about The Women.


From the publisher, @stmartinspress :

“‘Women can be heroes, too.’

When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances ‘Frankie’ McGrath hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on the story of all women who put themselves in harm’s way to help others. Women whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has all too often been forgotten. A novel of searing insight and lyric beauty, The Women is a profoundly emotional, richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose extraordinary idealism encourage under fire define a generation.”

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My teen’s book review of Fault Lines by Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Book review from my 14 year-old, an avid reader:

“I loved Fault Lines!” she says. “It had a really good, structured storyline. I loved that the characters stayed true to their ideas throughout the novel. It had romance, but it didn’t take the really important goal and toss it aside just so two characters could kiss. It had a great setting for people who like romance set in the modern world. It incorporates a lot of modern troubles. West Virginia really came to life: it felt like I was actually in the book.”

I read Fault Lines, and loved it, too–but as a teen, my daughter’s assessment matters most when it comes to Young Adult or teen fiction.

More about the book from the publisher, Hachette:

“Riveting, powerful, and a little big magical, Fault Lines offers readers a slow-burning romance alongside an unflinching examination of socio-economics, gender expectations, and environmental ethics.

Ever since her aunt died four months ago, Vivian (Viv) Spry is aching to figure out where she belongs. Her father has become emotionally distant and even her best friend has found a new sense of identity in her theater group. Unfortunately, no one in her rural West Virginia town has time for an assertive, angry girl, especially a girl dubbed ‘Ice Queen’ for refusing to sleep with her popular boyfriend. On top of everything, she discovers a strange ability to sense energy that really freaks her out. The only place Viv feels it’s safe to be her true self is the tree stand where her aunt taught her to hunt. It’s the one place she still feels connected to the person who knew her best. So when fracking destroys the stand and almost kills her, she vows to find a way to take the gas company down.

When Dex Mathews comes to town–a new kid whose mom lands a job laying pipeline–his and Viv’s worlds collide and a friendship (and maybe more?) slowly blossoms. But Viv’s plan to sabotage the pipeline company could result in Dex’s mom losing her job, putting them on the streets. No Viv and Dex have to decide what’s worth fighting for–their families, their principles, or each other.”

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Registration still open for Writers Retreat, March 15 – 17, 2024

The countdown is on for our upcoming Writers Retreat at gorgeous Earthshine Lodge in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, March 15 – 17, 2024. Registration is still open!

Note: We’re offering optional one-on-one sessions with me instead of “breakouts” or group workshops. We can talk books, inspiration, brainstorm ideas, discuss the publishing industry, your work, the writing life, and more—either porch or fireside, or on a hike around the property.

Every interaction is optional. This is YOUR time.

Also, Chef Coe makes every meal delicious!

For more information, click here.

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Book Rave: The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

Oh, my. This book.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

I loved it. Read like the pages were on fire. Was sunk so deep in frozen 1789 Maine, in Martha Ballard’s fierce, sharp, astounding mind, I didn’t want to leave.

I’ve never read a work of historical fiction like this. At first, I considered craft: Was it the first person, present-tense point of view? The rapid-fire dialogue, the seamless segue between interiority, action, and description?

No. It was Martha. She is a fully-realized, bracingly authentic, epic character. Her story, her people, her world, are rich and vibrant–beautiful and awful. True.

The Frozen River is wonderful. I didn’t want to give it up. More Martha, please, Ms. Lawhon. (More Ephraim, too.)

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