Our Team

Our team includes educators, students, travel partners, geneaologists, historians, environmentalists, and a diverse cadre of supporters across the US and beyond. We draw our writing, photography, and videos from on-location visits, discussions with each other and readers, and by following curiosity. We also do service projects to support literary landmarks whenever and wherever possible and are known for rather lively public speaking.

Special thanks to the John Corcoran Foundation for adopting us, making financial contributions to our mutual cause a breeze through our Give page.

What inspired authoradventures.org? Click Beginnings.

About Us

Channel IslandsPatricia Baron Smart founded Author Adventures and is one of its writers and photographers. She began her career as an assistant to philanthropist Frederick G. Ruffner, founder of the Literary Landmarks Association. She later became a founding partner of Los Angeles Times Reading by 9, Verizon’s Southern California Reads, and the Literacy In Media Awards in association with the Writers Guild Foundation, while executive director of the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles. She is a past president of the Southern California Library Literacy Network and served for many years on ABC-CLIO’s American History Board, reviewing scholars’ proposals for history textbooks and databases.

She has embraced a wide range of executive and community engagement roles for regional and national non-profits, public television, libraries, government programs, and schools. She has also served on many boards of directors and is a current member of the University of Kent US Alumni Board supporting Fulbright scholars and the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley Board of Directors. She has a Master’s in Information Science (UCLA), a Bachelor of Science (University of Miami) in Communications, book publishing credentials (Columbia University, University of Denver), and completed a year of interdiscplinary studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Her day-job as a national awards program coordinator/editor brings forth high profile recognitions for writers, educators, producers, and STEM innovators.

Rebecca Blake Beech is a partner and major contributor of writings and photography to Author Adventures with over 20 years of varied teaching experience. She has worked with at-risk high school students, been employed as a private ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor, and substitute taught in public and private schools in Greater Los Angeles. An avid and award-winning volunteer, she has made living history presentations to hundreds of students in public, private, and homeschool settings, and taught ESL in LAUSD Adult Schools. As a student teacher, she taught ESL in a public school in Paris, France. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English (UCLA) and a Multiple Subjects Teacher’s Credential (CSULA). She has a special interest in literary sites in the Midwest, book-themed family trips, photography, and hosting and attending parties with literary and historical themes in her early 20th century neighborhood.

Katherine Smart is the Author Adventures cartographer and has also written and contributed photography in several state sections including California, District of Columbia, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. She recently graduated from the American University School of International Service Scholars Program and Boston University’s Postgraduate Certification Program. She also studied abroad at two major universities, gaining knowledge in multiple languages and international relations efforts within four Southern Hemisphere nations. She is a member of two national honor societies and has tutored students in elementary through college in English. She has worked at several non-profit organizations around the globe as well as a law firm in the US. Her literary articles have been published by Sojourners Magazine, and she plans to enter law school in the fall of 2023.


Additional contributors of writing, research, photography, and other resources are identified on the pages of their submissions.

Our Sponsor

For John Corcoran‘s incredible story, click here: My Story. You can also read a recent post about John Corcoran through BBC News.