Kerry Madden is the author the Maggie Valley Trilogy published by Viking Children's Books. The books include Gentle’s Holler (2005), Louisiana Song (2007), and Jessie’s Mountain (2008) set in the heart of Appalachia in the Smokies. Her first novel, Offsides, was a New York Public Library Pick for the Teen Age in 1997. Her book, Writing Smarts, published by American Girl, is full of story sparks for young writers. Her newest book, Up Close Harper Lee (Viking) made Booklist's Ten Top Biographies of 2009 for Youth. She has published stories in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Five Points, Shenandoah, Salon, and the Washington Post. New to Alabama, she teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.