Irene Bennett Brown
Irene Bennett Brown was born in Topeka, Kansas but has lived in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley from the age of nine. As a young girl, she play-acted days away in grand adventures on the banks of Muddy Creek and in the nearby Cascade Foothills, galvanized by favorite books like On to Oregon. With help from Gene Autry and Roy Rogers movies. Interest in the West, particularly the Kansas heartland, grew with the years and is the setting for most of her books.
Considering her nine YA novels a warmup to writing adult fiction, Irene Bennett Brown is thrilled that they include four Young Adult Literary Guild selections, an International Reading Association Young Adult’s Choice nomination, a Western Writers of America Spur Award, and a nomination for the Mark Twain Award.
The significant role women and children played in developing the West against incredible hardship, intrigues Brown. Her historical novel, The Plainswoman, carries that theme and was a finalist for a Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Original Paperback. In the author’s critically acclaimed Women of Paragon Springs series, a group of women decide the way to survive, and make better lives on the raw Kansas frontier, is to build their own town. Following actual history, Long Road Turning, Blue Horizons, No Other Place, and Reap the South Wind takes the story from 1870’s sodhouse days to their part in the birth of aviation in Kansas forty years later.
In Miss Royal’s Mules, the adult sequel to Before the Lark, Book One in the author’s new Nickel Hill series, a young woman takes work with a mule drive to earn back her farm lost to the bank in 1900 Kansas. “A time and place rigorously evoked down to every minor character and filmic detail”. Miss Royal’s Mules is a Will Rogers Medallion Award Winner.
Irene Bennett Brown is a longtime member of Western Writers of America and is a founding member of Women Writing the West. When not writing, reading, or exploring historic places, she likes attending sports events and concerts with her growing family.
She enjoys small-town life in Oregon with her husband, Bob, a retired research chemist, and their rescue cat, Quigley—The King of Everything.