In 2007, four writers gathered at a table in Panera Bread and set out to brainstorm a name for their writing group. Each writer sucked in a breath and tossed out a suggestion. And another. And another. The moments were tense. This name needed to represent the philosophy, standard, and goal of the group. The pace picked up. The rounds were rapid fire. Some names sounded corny, some cliche-ish, some weak. Until a writer said, how about Thunder Rock? Silence. A figurative sigh of relief swept the table. That’s it, Thunder Rock. The rest, dear readers, is history.

There’s a scenic drive on Highway 64 that runs along the Ocoee River in the Cherokee National Forest. The picture (above) is Thunder Rock. Past Parksville Lake driving north, just past the 1996 Olympic Center and behind TVA Powerhouse No. 3, visitors can hear the rushing waters of Thunder Rock. The namesake for this writing group.

Like Thunder Rock Campground, we would settle and rest on our blog to catch our literary breath and renew our commitment to write. At times, we meandered like Thunder Rock Express, a hiking trail where nature can inspire creativity.

The four founders / past members: Marsha Brantley, Wendy C. Brown, Reggie Jay, and Innis Gee.


Marsha Brantley

Marsha Rader Brantley

Marsha Brantley was a former member and co-founder of Thunder Rock Writers. She was an award-winning author and animal rescue volunteer. Sadly, Marsha was reported missing from her home about four months after she surprised TRW members with an announcement of her departure from the group. If you have any information regarding her whereabouts, please contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-Find. Read more here.

Wendy C. Brown

Wendy is a prolific writer and has published several articles in various magazines. It’s rumored she is a licensed therapist, maybe in Colorado

Reggie Jay

Reggie Jay authored A Trail Chronicle on Blogspot. She left Thunder Rock Writers when she moved too far to commute for TRW activities.  She has written articles about everything from fairy dust to trail dust. Reggie enjoys hiking and spending time with her grandchildren. It’s rumored she lived in Alaska, but now resides in Tennessee.

As for me, this is my attempt to hold on to a writing group I loved and still love. Any writing success I ever have will be due in part to my stick-to-it-tiveness and to Thunder Rock.