I’m a native California historian, novelist, and archivist.

I’ve been publishing articles and books about the history of the West since 1985, and my work has appeared in California History, True West, Costume, Sportswear International, The Journal of Arizona History, and the blog We’re History.

American Dude Ranch: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West is my latest work of history. Being a “dudine” myself, I’ve been intrigued by the dude ranch for years, and found a fascinating cultural story I needed to tell.

My debut novel, Dudes Rush In, won the Will Rogers Medallion Award and the Arizona Historical Fiction prize from the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. The sequel, Dude or Die, came out in 2023.

I was the company historian and archivist for Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco for twenty-five years, and had many wonderful adventures: from exploring historic cemeteries to find the graves of men who wore the old jeans, to an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I also wrote an award-winning biography of the man himself, titled Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World. I am now an independent archival/historical consultant. I work with museums, businesses, and non-profits to create archives, curate exhibits, write books, and plan anniversaries.

I’m a member of Western Writers of America, the Society of California Archivists, and I am the past president of Women Writing the West. I’m also on the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Marin County Civic Center Conservancy, the Dude Ranch Foundation, the Tomales Regional History Center, The Friends of California Archives, and I’m co-chair of Advocates for the Sonoma County Archives.