Jean Neff GuthrieABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jean Neff Guthrie earned a B.S. degree in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech and a M.S. degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. The author’s education gave her the unique capacity to converse effectively with huge herds of cows.
Seriously, the path from student to published author of Mystical Aria: Seeking the Gallion Queen provides an entertaining tale unto itself.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Guthrie worked for eight years in public relations and association management in Richmond, Virginia. She lobbied for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Industry Association. Guthrie testified at hearings, wrote legislative white papers, composed grassroots newsletters, and spoke to political leaders on agriculture and tourism topics.
Then Guthrie left politics and moved to Asheville, NC where she started her freelance communications and marketing company, Words of Wisdom. Her interviews with Whitley Strieber (Communion, Transformation, Breakthrough, and The Secret School), John Anthony West (Serpent in the Sky—The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt), and Al Bielek, survivor of the Philadelphia Experiment, were published in trade show magazines and regional papers.
Field of Information Technology
The author moved her business to Atlanta, Georgia where the field of Information Technology opened greater career opportunities. Guthrie combined her communications background, keen sense of organization, and management expertise to climb the IT consulting ladder from technical writer to program manager of multi-million dollar initiatives. Her clients included State of Georgia, Delta Technology, AT&T Mobility, Macy’s Systems & Technology, Cox Communications, AutoTrader, The Home Depot, and Genuine Parts Company.
A member of Project Management Institute, Guthrie has earned her Project Management Professional and ScrumMaster certifications. In 2014, she was awarded “Most Influential Champion” by the Technology Association of Georgia.
While living in Atlanta, Guthrie worked with author Tom Bird of Ambassador University in an intensive writer’s program. She also attended writer’s retreats on:
- “Releasing the Author Within” with award-winning editor Michael Sideman and best-selling author Carol Adrienne.
- “Editorial Eye” with Dick O’Conner.
- “How to get on Oprah” with David Thalberg, Founding Partner of BrandStand. Thalberg commented that Guthrie, “Would be a remarkable guest on any television or radio program.”
The voice of Aria Vanir introduced herself to Guthrie during the media training retreat with Tom Bird and David Thalberg. Guthrie listened to Aria and wrote her first novel based on this psychic tween protagonist, Mystical Aria: Seeking the Gallion Queen.
Guthrie’s first published poem, “Prison Walls,” appeared in America at the Millennium— the Best Poems and Poets of the 20th Century. Her poem “Baler Twine,” written in honor of her father’s seventy-fifth birthday, won a National Cattlemen’s Magazine contest and was published in its March 2001 edition.
Guthrie lives in Smyrna, Georgia, where she writes sequels for her Mystical Aria series and works as an IT program management consultant.