Sharyn McCrumb was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on February 26, 1948. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech. Her novels include the Elizabeth MacPherson series and the Ballad series. St. Dale won a 2006 Library of Virginia Award and the Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year Award. Ghost Riders won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature and the Audie Award for Best Recorded Book. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Award, the Perry F. Kendig Award for Achievement in Literary Arts, the Chaffin Award for Southern Literature, and the Plattner Award for Short Story. In 2014, she received the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina's Chowan University.