She is the granddaughter of sharecroppers, born in the early 1950s and raised in a large extended family in a banjo and fiddle tradition, rich with storytelling and music. She came of age in Compton, California, where her childhood was divided between the city and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, pulling dinner from a lake. Of mixed descent, including Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca and German, her work is infused and shaped by her identity as a mixed-blood and her connection to the landscape. She lives with her family on the California coast, based between the ocean and redwoods, and calls the mountains home.
Photo by Chris Felver
Terra Trevor: About my life and work
Searching for a place to stand I discovered what I enjoy most about writing is storytelling, and collaborating with other writers. In addition to my solo work, I'm a contributor to fifteen books.
There have been years when I wrote within the nooks and crannies of my life with a baby on my lap, dogs sleeping at my feet, while the cat walked across my keyboard. Along the way I've also worked as a director with American Indian Health. With a pediatric brain tumor organization, as a director of volunteers with hospice. At an animal shelter, in South Korea with a family exchange program. At a youth crisis shelter for homeless teens. As a volunteer with CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for at-risk and foster youth in transition. In schools, and with writers and storytellers workshops and mentoring cores.
For every success we have I believe it's important to remember how we got there. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that I have without the steadfast guidance from good people who gave their time to me, mentoring, shepherding and guiding me along. I owe much gratitude to my literary elders who showed me the way and taught me to hold the door open, give back and help others where I can.
When I'm not writing, I'm wandering hills and valleys with grandkids and dogs, and I give readings, sit on panels, and visit book clubs to talk about my books with the people who read them.