Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

What’s your genre?
Historical non-fiction

Are you published?
Traditional publisher

What inspired you to become a writer?
I fell in love with writing history while I was in college. The stories I read in people’s diaries and letters fascinated me, and I wanted to bring those stories to readers. From the very beginning, I’ve been committed to writing for a broad audience. I don’t want my work to be accessible only to other historians. I want the public to be able to read my work as well.

What author do you admire and how have they inspired your writing?
I love Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She is able to take complicated material and present it in an understandable way. She also knows when to say “we just don’t know, and we may never know.” It’s a brave historian who says that.

Name three of your favorite books and their authors
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale
John Ise, Sod and Stubble
Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

What’s one thing readers should know about you?
I’m passionate about what I do! I love history, I love to write, and I love to help students develop their writing.

What one piece of advice would you give a budding writer?
Read, read, read, and write, write, write. If you want to be a good writer, you need to read widely. You also need to keep at the writing constantly, and be willing to do lots of editing.

Author Bio
Pamela Riney-Kehrberg moved to Ames in 2000, when she joined the History Department at Iowa State University. Today, she is a Distinguished Professor of History, and the author or editor of a number of books, including Rooted in Dust: Surviving Drought and Depression in Southwestern Kansas, Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play and Coming of Age in the Midwest, and The Nature of Childhood: An Environmental History of Growing Up in America, 1865-Present. She is the author of a historical book for children, Always Plenty To Do: Growing Up on the Farm in the Long Ago. Her most recent work is When a Dream Dies: Agriculture, Iowa, and the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, to be published in 2022. Visit her at here.

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