Hi! I’ve been  writing since the sixth grade when I fell in love with newspapers.  In fact my first real job was as a reporter.  Since then I’ve followed life’s trail  as a teacher, university professor, and all round hack in public education.  Writing got me through all of it.  Now I’ve turned to writing about travel, archaeology, and the ancient past in a variety of genres.

My newest book is a travel guide called From the Frio to Del Rio: Travel Guide to the Western Hill Country and the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, published by Texas A&M Press.  Watch for it in Spring 2017!  It will tell you what to see, and do, where to stay, eat, and most importantly, get gas as you travel through Southwest Texas.

My next book is non-fiction about a particular place in Central Texas that first welcomed human beings as much as 14,000 years ago or more.  The stories of how the place was  occupied so long ago, and how it was discovered and then excavated by archaeologists and others in the more recent past will be an interesting study, at least for me, of one place over time.  What changes and what stays the same?  Why do the people come and go?  What brings them to the place anyhow?  I’m shooting for a 2018 publication date, but I have a long way to go first.

My novel Peyote Fire Shaman of the Canyons is about people who lived about 4,000 years ago in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.   They left multi-colored paintings of their gods on the canyon walls as well as  many cast-away or forgotten things like baskets and stone tools in the rockshelters,  for us to wonder about. What was their world like?  How did they live? What did they believe? What did they love? Read the book and find out.

If you want to see the original rock art in Peyote Fire yourself, go to Seminole Canyon State Park or contact the Rock Art Foundation for a guided tour.  And of course, buy my travel guide.


17 thoughts on “About

  1. I read your blog about your hike in the Pecos area. Very impressive for not only your writing ability but your ability to take such a hike in such rough country. I will look forward to your first book. I know it will be good.
    Linda Martin

  2. I will stay tuned because your travels are taking me to places I haven’t thought of going to. I look forward to your book because I know it will be great!


  3. I Love that part of the state as well as the Big Bend. We are planning another trip out that way in Early spring. Looking forward to the novel.

  4. Hello Mary, Nice to meet you and to thank you for reading about Peking Man. I too love cave art but alas have never had the opportunity to see any for real Good luck with your book !sounds great.

    • Many thanks, Nino! This week I have been on the Texas-Mexican border cooking for a crew of 14 who spend the day on an archaeological project in the nearby canyon. It’s a lot of cooking for me, but I’m sure it would be a snap for you! Cheers, Mary Black

  5. 12/20/14–I lived at Devils River State Natural Area for 12 years and gave pictograph tours there. My husband worked for TPWD and took me to the White Shaman before the Rock Art Foundation took it over. We climbed down to see it on ropes and Solveig Turpin and Jim Zintgraff took us. If you’d like to correspond about the Pecos people, I’d be glad to talk with you. I’ve thought of writing a time travel about the pictographs, but haven’t come up with a plot yet.
    Thanks so much for your time and attention. I like your subject matter.

    • HI PAULA,
      Thanks for writing in. Do you mind if I contact you by email sometime? I’ve got questions I’m sure you could help me with.
      Cheers, Mary Black

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