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  • Writer's pictureMicki Bare

Uwharrie Mountains Enchantment

The Birkhead Wilderness, which is part of the Uwharrie Mountains in central NC, was the inspiration and setting for my Zahra of the Uwharries middle-grade novel series. It's also one of my happy places. Hiking the trails and immersing myself in nature fills me with inspiration, hope, and happiness.

Micki Bare hiking with her dog in the Birkhead Wilderness
Hiking with my beagle, Lily.

Every time I write, revise, or read one of my books, I'm transported back to those trails. Over the past decade or so, the Uwharrie Mountains have become a part of me. So much so that I now mysteriously find myself teaching at a school named Uwharrie Ridge Six-Twelve. Coincidence? Or maybe enchantment?

The school is situated along the Uwharrie River. There is a beautiful view of the Uwharrie Mountains along the winding road on which the school sits. My daily commute to and from work is nearly as soul-enriching as a hike in Birkhead Wilderness.

It's important to mention that the school mascot is the Timberwolf. Meanwhile, I'm also in graduate school at NC State. Yes, I'm part of the Wolfpack.

If I'm reading the enchanting signs aligning my world, book four in the Zahra of the Uwharries series could be headed toward the introduction of a Timberwolf heart animal character.

Of course, I'll have to leave that up to the magic of my muse when I settle in to draft that manuscript in November and December. Like any fiction writer, I don't have the final say. That's left to Zahra and her family and friends—they are the driving force behind the stories.

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