Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Michelle Theriault Boots wrote for daily newspapers in California, Oregon and Washington before earning a very fun if not exactly marketable graduate degree in long-form journalism at the University of Oregon. During her time there, she immersed herself in the lives of residents of an urban slum in West Africa and followed a group of men through truck driving school, among other adventures. After a stint reporting for the Associated Press in Johannesburg, South Africa, she moved north. Way north. Her work has been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists and the Alaska Press Club. She had the good sense to marry a third-generation Alaskan and now makes a home in a Spenard log cabin with her husband, daughter and dog.