Contributors

Deborah Huso, chief contributor and troublemaker

Deborah Huso, chief contributor and troublemaker

Deborah Huso is a journalist, columnist, and professional manager of mayhem who also happens to be creative director for and founding partner of Write Well Media, LLC, a top-notch, niche-market communications agency. An award-winning writer, she is a regular contributor to HousingWire Magazine, The Progressive Farmer, California Real Estate, AAA Traveler, Progressive Railroading, USAA Magazine, and AAA World.  She is former celebrity columnist for Today’s Diet & Nutrition and contributing editor with The Progressive Farmer and Blue Ridge Country.  In addition, she has written  for all you, Women’s Health, USA Today, Disney’s FamilyFun,  Baltimore Magazine, AOL Health, Ladies’ Home Journal, and SUCCESS, among dozens of magazines and newspapers.

Her subjects of interest include anything someone is willing to pay her good money to write about (though this blog is a pro bono exception), whether that’s rendering plants (pass the gas mask, please!) or the latest round of regulations for global banks.  Some of her corporate clients have included GE, Norfolk Southern Corporation, McDonald’s, and The Appraisal Institute. She also takes on the occasional ghost writing gig with clients ranging from Brazilian executives to Civil War historians.

Her books include Moon Spotlight: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Avalon Travel, 2011)  and Moon Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains (Avalon Travel, 2010), which are available for purchase at bookstores nationwide as well as from your favorite online booksellers.

When she is not traveling the world on assignment in an attempt to make money while escaping reality, she maintains sometimes frighteningly late office hours trying to figure out how to get to the bottom of her inbox.  She is the mother of a precocious elementary school student, owner of a small farm within convenient walking distance of two wineries (can anyone say no designated driver needed?), and a junkie for home improvement projects that never seem to get entirely finished, a holdover from her upbringing as a builder’s daughter.  A lover of adventure, Deborah will try just about anything once, though her most recent wild hair to get SCUBA certified left her with a new appreciation for her own limits of confidence. Her favorite method of stress relief is laughter, though dance, yoga, and a glass of Riesling will all do in a pinch.

If you prefer not to be offended, amused, or provoked, you can visit her more conventional world online at www.writewellmediallc.com.

Claire Vath, contributor

Claire Vath, contributor

Claire Vath once appeared in a major national magazine alongside a handwritten note to her husband asking if they should wait to have kids another two years.

However, years later…they have two children, one in diapers, the other just barely out. In an effort to avoid housework, if not diaper changing, Claire serves as editorial director and partner for Write Well Media, LLC, in between nap times and trips to the zoo. Um, just kidding…maybe.

She writes and edits stories, articles, and press releases on everything from healthcare reform and estate taxes to agriculture, interior design, and home construction. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, People, Reader’s Digest, The Progressive Farmer, Farm Life, and CBS News. These days, however, her biggest area of expertise are in kissing stubbed toes and reciting storybooks from memory.

In addition, Claire has been researcher and contributor to three books, Other People’s Rejection Letters, Other People’s Love Letters, and Birmingham Landmarks: People and Places of the Magic City.

 

Susannah Herrada, contributor

Susannah Herrada is an aspiring “Lady who Lunches” who spends most days trying to figure out how to avoid the mundane inherent in her role as ‘homemaker’ by preparing for or unpacking from an adventure.  Spending about a quarter of her life on the road these past few years, she’s anything but a ‘stay at home mom.’  For summer 2013, she’s venturing off on her third extended summer trip, this time to Central America, two kids in tow.  

Check out her wanderings at “Not At Home Mom.” After each trip, she finds herself back in the Washington D.C. metro area with a new perspective on life, love, parenting, politics, and what really matters. During the nine months of the year she’s not traveling the globe, she serves as media writer for niche market communications firm Write Well Media, LLC, where she writes on topics ranging from how to turn a backyard twig into chic holiday decor to choosing the best FSC-certified hardwoods for your next deck project.

Fifteen years of wedded bliss have taught her the secret to the long haul:  expect little and focus on your partner’s strengths.  In fact, by living with these two simple rules, Susannah reports that she’s found herself giddy with delight at finding things like dirty socks actually landing inside the laundry basket or finding her random iPhone pics magically transferred to the computer and meticulously sorted into named files, courtesy of her devoted husband.

Mother to two great kids on the brink of their teen years, Dylan (11) and Abigail (9), it’s not uncommon for Susannah to admit she doesn’t know exactly how to navigate all the ins and outs of parenting.   She and her husband occasionally wonder if they shouldn’t start a “therapy fund” for the kids instead of putting all that money into college savings.

Before Susannah turned her sights to the open road, she taught eighth grade physical science in Arlington, Virginia.

 

Ben Weaver, Contributor

Ben Weaver, Contributor

Ben Weaver is not a writer, he says. He will cop to having been at various times a teacher, a therapist, a carpenter, an entrepreneur, a punk rock front man, a professional student, and even, for a short while, a skateboarding vagabond…but never a writer.

Recently, however, at the behest of friends, he began recording some of the events of his tumultuous adolescence on social media. These stories, known as “The Madison County Chronicles,” were met with sufficient enough attention and regard that he found himself honored with an invitation to contribute to “I Only Love You Because I Have To” in the interest of offering a male’s perspective on life, love, and parenting. Intrepid (and perhaps foolhardy) soul that he is, he accepted.

With five college majors under his belt, he currently spends his days building playgrounds for the enjoyment of children far and wide. He whiles away his evenings in the role of single dad to his tiny doppelganger, five-year-old Henry Wayne. After story time and tucking in, he spends the rest of the night filling his brain with esoteric trivia, undertaking the odd artistic pursuit, and eating all the cookies.

 

Amy Anderson, contributor

Amy Anderson, contributor

Amy Anderson is a writer. At various points in her career, she’s written for magazines, books, blogs, radio, billboards, websites, and the small screen. She is former Senior Editor of SUCCESS magazine, and prior to that, she served as Emmy-winning writer and producer for WFAA in Dallas. In her younger days, she also worked as a Christmas ornament engraver, a long distance operator, and a donut store clerk. (Yes, that’s how we spell “donut” in Texas, y’all.)

Today, Amy runs Anderson Content Consulting LLC, a content strategy and creation agency, whose clients include Dell, Good Think Inc, and Predictive ROI. And while she spends a lot of time at her laptop constructing word worlds for clients, she does some of her best creative work pacing in front of an old-school cork board while eating dark chocolate.

Of course, the two roles that take up most of her time are wife to a handsome hunk of a man and mother to a two-year-old bundle of bugs and sunshine. Amy loves to travel—there is currently a tie for her favorite destination between Oxford, England, and Paris, France (books versus food…tough call). She also loves tickle fights with her son and often uses them as an excuse to avoid doing dishes and various other mundane household tasks….

Mollie Cox Bryan, contributor

Mollie Cox Bryan, contributor

Mollie Cox Bryanis a journalist and cookbook author turned novelist. After 20 years of writing nonfiction for nonprofits, corporations, museums, magazines like Grit, Taste of the South, and NPR’s Kitchen Window, and cookbooks, she turned to mystery.  Scrapbook of Secrets: A Cumberland Creek Mystery (Kensington, 2012) was her first mystery novel and was an Agatha Award finalist for best first novel in 2012.  Her second in this five-book series, Scrapped (Kensington, 2013), is a finalist for the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Literary Award.

How did Mollie go from cookbooks to novel writing? Well, like many writers, she found her childhood aspirations leaning toward fiction and poetry writing, but life came along, and she had to earn a living. The best way to do that was as a nonfiction writer and editor. When she had the chance to finally publish a novel, she welcomed the crossover. “All of my writing,” Mollie says, “is about story, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.”

The mother of two active daughters, Mollie lives in Waynesboro, Va., where her traveling consists of carting the girls back and forth to music and dance classes, the library, and shopping malls. Visit Mollie online at www.molliecoxbryan.com.

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