Helen Chappell has published more than forty books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her column, aOysterback,a appeared for many years in The Baltimore Sun. She has also written for the Washington Post, Tidewater Times, and several other regional magazines, and taught workshops and classes in journalism and fiction. She has written two produced plays, and been a commentator for Public Radio. Her work has been recognized with an A.E. Emart Excellence in Journalism Award, and grants from both the Sumner T. McKnight Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council. Chappell lives near Royal Oak, Maryland, where she tries to keep a low profile and stay out of the line of fire.