Lin Stepp, author of nearly a dozen books based in the Great Smoky Mountains, will make her first ever visit to a Kingsport bookstore on Saturday, and all of her works will be available for purchase at the event.
Stepp and her husband, J.L., will meet readers and sign books this Saturday, Sept. 8, from 2-4 p.m. at I Love Books, located inside the Fort Henry Mall.
All 11 books in Stepp’s “Smoky Mountains” series will be in stock, in addition to two nature guidebooks, which she co-wrote with her husband.
The author’s story
Stepp is a native Tennessean. Aside from living in Arkansas for a brief time as a teenager, Stepp grew up in South Knoxville and has lived there all her life.
“This is my home and the place I love,” Stepp said. “In fact, all of my relatives trekked down the Appalachian Trail and sort of settled this area, so I feel like my roots go real deep in this East Tennessee area. It’s sort of what I know and what I love.”
Stepp was a professor at Tusculum College for many years and also worked several part-time jobs in business, marketing and sales. She started writing once she and her husband’s children were grown, at which time they developed a love for hiking.
“When we started hiking…I started looking for books set in the mountains,” Stepp said. “You know how when you go to the beach, you kind of want a good beach read, because you want the ambiance to go with it when you’re down there? Well I was sort of like that then.”
After discovering the lack of books set in the Smoky Mountains, Stepp decided to write her own. Thus, her “Smoky Mountains” series was born.
“Smoky Mountains” series
Stepp is best known for her “Smoky Mountains” series, which is comprised of 11 standalone novels based in different locations around the Smoky Mountains. The newest novel in the series, “Lost Inheritance,” was released in the spring.
“I wrote what I loved,” Stepp said. “I wanted a book that you could just get lost in, that you felt like you knew the characters and you were really in that place. So that’s what I wrote, and I’ve been very fortunate. I hit the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists and went international. I’ve had a good time.”
In addition to that series, Stepp and her husband have co-written two outdoor guidebooks, the first of which outlines 110 hiking trails in the Smokies. Their newest guide, “Discovering Tennessee State Parks,” contains photos and information on every state park in the state and was also released in the spring.
Stepp has a number of books currently in the works. The 12th and final installment of the “Smoky Mountains” series will be released in April, along with the first book in a new trilogy based on Edisto Island.
Stepp also plans to start a new series called the “Mountain Home” series, the first installment of which she has already written. In the meantime, she and her husband are preparing for a full slate of book signings and festival appearances later this year, including a stop at Kingsport’s Christmas Connection.
For more information, visit linstepp.com.