Mary Ann Claud grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Converse College. Although The Dancin’ Man is her first novel, she has been a published writer for thirty years.
She began writing in the 70’s after moving to Tryon (N.C.) with her banker husband,
Joe Claud, and their two young children. In 1976, after several years of free-
Over the course of her career, Claud published everything from travel pieces to personal profiles, to real estate ads. She taught adult education courses in creative writing, Southern literature, Henry James, and William Faulkner, and she joined writers’ groups in Tryon and Asheville. It was in one of these groups that the main characters of The Dancin’ Man first emerged. In light of pressing family responsibilities, Claud set the project aside, packed the manuscript into a canvas boat bag, and stored it in a closet. The novel remained there for over twenty years.
In 2009, Claud—recently widowed—was re-
At the suggestion of her husband, Claud read Textile Town, edited by Hub City Executive Director, Betsy Teeter. Textile Town chronicles the rise and decline of the textile industry in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, a story echoed throughout the South. Immediately, Claud realized the drama of that real life story provided the missing backdrop and unifying element for the personal journey of Ted Brunson, her dancin’ man.
For the next year and a half, Mary Ann Claud traveled the textile region of North
and South Carolina, attending literary festivals, library-