Upon graduating from Elon University with a B.A. in elementary education, Connie Nelson took a sales job with the Hasbro/Milton Bradley Toy Company. However, her outside interests turned toward community theater and acting. She was cast as one of the original O. Henry Players at the Greensboro Historical Museum and in various community theater roles, including Meg in Beth Hensley's Crimes of the Heart, staged by the Burlington Gallery Players. This newfound passion for acting led her to pursue a master’s of education in theatre education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she worked on a number of student films through the school's broadcast/cinema department.
From the first film project, she was hooked. In spite of long days, often in less than ideal conditions, being on a movie set was thrilling. Just three courses shy of a master’s degree, she moved briefly to Honolulu, where she worked as an extra on Jake and the Fat Man and Island Son. From there she moved to Boston, where she got a job with Houghton Mifflin in the school reading division. Connie next landed a job with an educational travel company. Since this job coincided with the school calendar, she spent several summers in North Carolina working as a movie/TV extra and auditioning for roles. During her four years in Boston, she completed her master’s of education in theatre education.
Once her education was complete, she moved to Wilmington and worked for a patent attorney by day and as a writer and editor for Reel Carolina Journal of Film and Video by night. It was during her days at Reel Carolina that she first considered writing a book about North Carolina movie locations. It was also during this time that she met Floyd Harris, a regular contributor and columnist at Reel Carolina. She and Floyd became friends and discovered they had much in common.
In 1995, Connie started her own public relations business and continued to work with Reel Carolina and other magazines. All the while, she maintained an agent, took acting classes, and auditioned. Much to her dismay, her writing talent was more in demand than her acting abilities. As fewer auditions materialized, it was time for Connie to make some major career decisions. She decided to return to the job market and was hired by the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she has worked as communications/public relations director for since 1998.
Inquiries from visitors and media interested in Dawson’s Creek and other film projects inspired Connie to develop a FAQ sheet for visitors about the popular television show. It was an immediate hit and the idea about writing a travel book detailing movie locations across the state began nagging at her again. She called her friend Floyd Harris and when she told him about Film Junkie’s Guide to North Carolina, he was as excited as she was about the project. After a bit of research, they submitted a pitch letter to John F. Blair, Publisher, in October 2000. Three-and-a-half years of working nights, weekends, holidays, and vacations produced the Film Junkie’s Guide to North Carolina.
In addition her day job in tourism, Connie has taught classes on travel & tourism and public speaking for the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her writing has appeared in Taste Full magazine, Wilmington magazine, and E - The Environmental Magazine. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and Public Relations Society of America.