Novelist John Foster West attended Mars Hill Junior College and later received both his AB and MA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel, TIME WAS, published in 1965, tells the story of his family. In 1968, the novelist became writer-in-residence at Appalachian State University and he has lived in Mt. Pleasant since that time. West continues to write poetry and focuses much of his work on the mountains he calls home.