Originally from the lush, rolling hills of southeastern Ohio, Bess lives with her husband, an active duty member of the United States Navy, first in the Land of the Rising Sun and now in Pensacola, Florida.     
 
Bess Richards is a pen name inspired by my great-grandmother, a woman who was talented in many endeavors, master of others, but most of all, beloved by us. She dabbled in writing, and from what I can tell enjoyed it. The typewriter copy of an article she wrote for the 4-H column of our local newspaper is a prized possession of mine, and when I'm especially missing her, I pick it up and let the words work their soothing magic. You'd never know, but I've stolen a line or two from that article for each of my first two novels; I don't think she would mind.  
Calling yourself by another name is a strange adjustment, but the choice fits and will continue to be to me a compass of sorts, an ever-present true north that reminds me who I am and what's important.

The Bess Richards signature, which appears at the top of this page and on the spine of each of my novels, was crafted from my grandmother's handwriting taken from the back of family photographs.

I think she'd get a kick out of it.  
​A much younger me, with the original Bess
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