Hearne is an emerita professor of the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences at the University Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is an avid storyteller, poet, and writer, authoring her first book at age five. She has written and collaborated on many books, one was published in 1989, “Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions of an Old Tale.” Hearne discusses her upbringing in southern Alabama where her parents pioneered a rural clinic for poor whites and African Americans. She describes her two daughters as “creative achievers,” and they cite their mother as their role model. She discusses her many years of teaching at UIUC and how she managed to successfully teach storytelling as an online course.