Mary Lou Cheatham (Mary Cooke) began her life on a Mississippi farm north of Hot Coffee and south of Taylorsville.
Her family spent their winter evenings playing games, reading, and conversing by the fireplace. Mary’s parents, two of the world’s greatest storytellers, bequeathed a legacy of yarn spinning to their children and grandchildren.
When she was ten years old, she decided she wanted to be an author. Life took her down other paths. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, she taught English in Greenville, Mississippi, and Ruston, Louisiana. Later she attended Louisiana Tech University and became a registered nurse.
When her only child, Christie, was young, Mary worked part-time. Now Christie and her husband live in west Texas, where she advises dairy farmers and he advises crop farmers.
Mary spent forty years with her first husband Robert Cheatham, a phenomenal trumpeter who taught at Louisiana Tech, where he inspired generations of great musicians before he died of a variant of a rare neuromuscular disease, Guillain Barré Syndrome.
She later married John Cooke, who is a retired petroleum landman, history scholar with a degree from Emory, bird watcher, excellent cook, newshound and faithful follower of Christ. John has four grandchildren and four children with mates.
Mary writes. She goes to bed with a notebook and pen by her bed. The highlight of her day is the scheduled time she spends writing. Whenever she can spare thirty more minutes, she turns on her computer and spends three hours.
Her personal space is cluttered with books about writing. Her thirst for knowledge of ways to improve her craft sends hers to workshops and meetings with fellow writers. She reads.