Woman with blue eyes and shoulder-length blonde hair

Mallory Benson was born in Oxford to George and Cecilia Benson on May 13, 1987. She was a happy, bright kid, who devoted herself to making everyone happy and keeping the peace among her three siblings: Martin, Matthew, and Michael.

Teachers called her a natural at creative writing, and everyone predicted big things in her future as an author. Still, her shyness and self-doubt led her to write only technical manuals, business letters, and business newsletters for many years. The happiest day of her life was when she finally took a chance and submitted her novel, Tender Dreams, to a small regional publishing house and was published. From there, she also published a volume of short stories, The House of Secrets, and two subsequent novels, Essence of Life and The M Brothers.

Though her novels and short stories were lauded by critics, the sales have not been what she and her publishing house had hoped. She continues to do technical writing to pay the bills, while still making a modest income as a novelist. Mallory enjoys a loyal readership but has yet to attain the status of best-selling author, though friends, family, and associates assure her it is just beyond the horizon.

She met Zoe Chase soon after Zoe arrived in Oxford when they had a little fender-bender in the parking lot at James Foods. They exchanged numbers, and when they got to talking, they discovered they had the common bond of writing. As one of the founding members of the Oxford Writers Circle, Mallory invited Zoe to join the group.

The other members accepted Zoe right away because of their affection and respect for Mallory, though some of them felt Zoe was a bit brash. Mallory admired Zoe's forthright manner and her panache. On the topic of writing, they had many things in common and seemed to have an understanding that Mallory had not found with other members of the group. She was one of Zoe's strongest champions in the group.

Those who know Mallory consider her a good friend and neighbor and describe her as good-hearted, understanding, and empathetic. She is a tireless volunteer at the local Rape Crisis Center, a group she became involved in when a childhood friend was raped and brutalized. For recreation, she putters in her herb garden and prepares gourmet meals for friends at small dinner parties.

 

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