Linda with horseLinda Whittington Hurst is an award-winning author and illustrator who was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, where her father was a Realtor and her mother a seamstress and housewife. She had one brother, Jim, who was her friend and protector when she was growing up. She met and married her husband of 47 years, Don, at college. They have two children, Chris and Geoff. Currently, Linda and Don are retired and live in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Although Linda dreamed of becoming a writer when she was a child, her dreams did not come true until she was an adult. Linda began writing while living in Dallas, Texas and homeschooling her two sons. Her first venture into writing was to develop a home school curriculum for elementary age children. After her sons graduated high school and went on to college and the military, Linda returned to teaching. As a college professor, she was friends with Bill Martin, Jr. and her academic mentor, Michael Sampson, both picture book authors. They encouraged her to pursue a writing career.

In 2011, Linda won the Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Teaching while serving as a professor at McNeese State University. That award allowed her to publish her first picture book, The Adventures of Red Feather: Wild Horse of Corolla, which went on to win the Writer’s Digest Honor Book Award. Later that same year, a novel she co-wrote with her best friend in Dallas, Linda Lee, won the Bloom Honor Book Award for a middle grade mystery. Since that time, Linda has written over sixteen children’s books. Her latest, Skinny Bill: The Story of Bill Martin, Jr., debuted at her alma mater, Texas A&M University-Commerce, in May at the Bill Martin Symposium, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

In addition to writing children’s books and educational books for elementary teachers, Linda enjoys editing for other writers and teaching courses on how to write children’s books. In her spare time, Linda loves to garden, paint, play the piano and, of course, read. A horse lover from her childhood, Linda is always on the lookout for interesting stories about horses that she can include in her books.