Liz Newall grew up in Starr, South Carolina, a town rich in history and stories, characters and contradictions, much like her fictional Varennes.

She earned degrees from Anderson and Clemson universities. Her greatest education, though, came from teaching high school and raising children.

After an early career in teaching, she worked as a freelance writer along with picking peaches in the family orchard — a sweet, itchy, iffy enterprise.

During this time, she wrote her first novel, Why Sarah Ran Away with the Veterinarian. She soon discovered that freelance is a little too free. She found a writing position at Clemson University and became managing editor of Clemson World magazine. There she stayed until retirement.

She then began searching for the stories of characters who’d lived in her mind for much too long. She found them in old newspapers, a diary, Bible entries, antique jewelry, and family stories. The result is You Don’t Have to Tell Everything You Know.

Liz lives on a farm in Pendleton with her husband, Billy, where she no longer picks peaches.