Carol Bodensteiner was born (1948) in Maquoketa, Iowa, and raised on her family’s dairy farm in eastern Iowa, between Maquoketa and Preston.
After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in speech and English education, Carol joined the American Soybean Association where she spent three years as editor of Soybean Digest magazine.
Subsequently, Carol spent 23 years as public relations advisor to clients at two agencies. For 10 years, she was the president of CMF&Z Public Relations, one of the Midwest’s largest business-to-business public relations firms. In that capacity she worked with national, regional and local clients on everything from product introductions to community relations, legislative issues and crisis management.
Since 1999, she has worked as an independent consultant and freelance writer. During that time she was also Special Assistant to the President for marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Drake University where she earned her MA in mass communication.
Her first book, Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl, a memoir about her childhood on the farm was published in 2008. In her memoir, Carol preserves in words for her son and generations to follow this natural, deeply textured way of life that has been nearly lost in our country.
In 2014, Carol independently published her first novel, Go Away Home. Set in Iowa in the pre-WWI years, Go Away Home tells a young woman’s story of independence, choices and love. The 2014 winner of the Reader’s Favorite silver medal for historical fiction, Go Away Home was subsequently acquired by Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing.
In 2018, Carol returned to indie publishing with her second novel Simple Truth. A contemporary novel set in Iowa, Simple Truth is the story of a young woman who lands a career-making job only to discover her client may be exploiting immigrant workers. With each revelation, she questions the client and also comes to question herself and her career. Ultimately she must answer: What is she willing to risk to help someone else.
In 2020, she published Stitched Through Time: The Story of Libbie Haylock’s Quilts, covering the journey of her family’s heirloom quilts through five generations.
Carol is professionally accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. She has been active in the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy. She was named a Fellow in the Public Relations Society of America in 1999. Carol has been a contributing author for various publications in her career, including Public Relations Review and Public Relations Quarterly. She is a frequent participant in the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
In addition to writing for professional journals, Carol has written essays and articles published in The Iowan magazine and The Des Moines Register and aired on WOI-Radio.
She lives with her husband on an acreage near Des Moines where grandchildren, a prairie, a vegetable garden, and hostas too numerous to count occupy her time when she’s not writing.