Terry Roberts' direct ancestors have lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina since the time of the Revolutionary War. His family farmed in the Big Pine section of Madison County for generations and is also prominent in the Madison County town of Hot Springs, a consistent setting in his novels. Among his forebears are prominent bootleggers and preachers but no one who, like Jedidiah Robbins in The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival Show, combines both preoccupations. He has also written My Mistress' Eyes Are Raven Black. His latest novel is The Sky Club, set in Asheville in the first half of the 20th Century.
His debut novel, A Short Time to Stay Here, won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and his second novel, That Bright Land, won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award as well as the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South. Born and raised near Weaverville, North Carolina, Roberts is the Director of the National Paideia Center and lives in Asheville, North Carolina.