Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh is an American author and mental health activist. Her Daddy used to give her $1 for each story she wrote, leading her to a lifetime of accepting pretty much anything to support her need to write everything down.
After many jobs and a succession of countries she settled down to family life in Fauquier County, Virginia where she became known for her "Soap Box" column in the Fauquier Times-Democrat.
The themes of her life and work are family, public service, and curiosity. All three have gotten her into messes she tries to turn into good observations. Recurrent sub-themes: African Americans, tap dance, snakes, home schooling, mental health, genealogy, genetics, and food.
Read about her published essays, articles, books, poetry, blogs, and general speechifying here, but the high points include founding an international parent organization called F.E.A.S.T., her first memoir "Eating With Your Anorexic," helping to found a UK genetics project called Charlotte's Helix, and raising two fantastic children.
She owes her freedom to write full-time to her Sugar Daddy, Mark, who believes in the arts so deeply that he has labored in the salt mines to financially and emotionally launch three artistic careers (literature, music, and design). Good thing his dog doesn't dance.