My ancestors stood in murky ponds and rushing rivers, primarily in the British Isles, to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As newly converted Mormons they emigrated straight from their northern towns and villages by way of ships, wagons, and handcarts to the western frontier of the United States.  

My current project is a narrative nonfiction book about a mariner turned Mormon missionary sent to Siam in 1852.

My grandmother was born and raised in one of the settlements in Springville, Utah still tightly knit to those original British families.  She was among the first in her family to move away from the town. Now she’s been all over the world, so have her daughters and so have I.

My grandfather served as Director of Church Curriculum introducing Mormon seminaries and institutes all over the world.  In his later years he directed the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies where I studied Arabic and Middle East history, religion and politics.

Audrey Grad4My father and his family also descended from those early British converts and live in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

As a family we spent several of my early years in Okinawa, Japan.  Later I served a proselytizing mission in Taipei, Taiwan and speak Mandarin. I received my masters degree in International Law and World Order from The University of Reading in England, completed in 2003.  My bachelors degree is in History with a minor in Arabic from Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution.

I taught American Sign Language and Arabic in high school and am currently a full time writer, interpreter and business owner living and working in the Washington DC metro area.  I continue to use Arabic and Mandarin in both my professional and religious life.

My current project is a narrative nonfiction book about a mariner turned Mormon missionary sent to Siam in 1852.


Why this Book?

In third grade I couldn’t understand why the Japanese closed down my school to get their land back.  The elementary school was located on a military base in Okinawa whose lease had expired.  All my encounters with Japanese had been positive until that moment.  That experience and a few others would stimulate a life long journey to understand the dynamic.  This is my exploration into a man’s life who went to Asia believing he would do some good but found out like I did so many years ago that the best intentions may not always be enough to heal the East-West divide.


Writing credits:

“Mormon Man Creates Controversy”, By Common Consent September 2014

“Baggage on the Hooghly: Race, Asia, and the Mormons”, July 2014

“The Broken History”, LDS Phrontistery July 2013

“From Siamese Prison to Mormon Memory”, Juvenile Instructor June 2013

“Double Facebook Profile: Egyptian Women Online”, Eurasia Review April 2011

“Japanese Carp”, Honorable Mention in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category of the Writer’s Digest 75th Annual Writing Competition November 2006

“Voicing Iron Chef”, Signatures, Vol. 10 Num 2  December 2005

“Professionals Look to the Future of NIC in Utah”, Signatures, Vol. 10, Num 1  March 2005



Writing Partner (feedback loop), Washington, DC, weekly ongoing

Scholarly Feedback Group, monthly

Washington Biographer’s Group, Washington, DC, monthly

Washington Independent Review of Books, Editor, April 2015-ongoing

Mormon History Association Conference, Provo, UT Jun 2015 (Will present a paper: “Thai Foundations: When a Missionary Arrived in 1854”)

Association for Asian Studies Conference, Chicago, IL, Mar 2015

Creative Non Fiction, Writer’s Center, Bethesda MD, Spring 2015

Mormon History Association Conference, San Antonio, TX (Presented a paper: “No Purse or Scrip: Analysis of Three Accommodations in Asia for a Working Class Missionary in the 1850s”), Jun 2014

Association for Asian Studies Conference, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 2014

American History Association Conference, Washington, DC, Jan 2014

Mormon History Association Conference, Layton, Utah, June 2013

Narrative Nonfiction: History and Biography, Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, Spring 2013

How to Create a Page Turner, Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, Fall 2012

Suspense Writing, Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD Fall 2012

Creating the Feature Article, Writer’s Center, Bethesda, Spring 2011

Writing Articles, Writer’s Center, Bethesda, Fall 2010

Creative Writing, Brigham Young University, Fall 2006



Honorable Mention in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category of the Writer’s Digest 75th Annual Writing Competition, November 2006

Unsung Hero Award for teaching excellence at Provo High School, 2009

Parent Teacher Association Award for working well with parents, 2006



Association for Asian Studies

American History Association

Washington Biographer’s Group

Biographer’s International

Mormon History Association (MHA)

John Whitmer Historical Association (JWHA)

Publisher’s Marketplace

Washington Independent Review of Books


2 Responses to About

  1. Nellene 29 March 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    This a great bio. Such unique experiences and education.

    • admin 29 March 2013 at 8:49 pm #

      We did a lot of those visits to the British Church historical sites together. 🙂

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