Born Rebecca Sánchez, Beck was raised in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. Beck often reflects on the people and places of her youth in her writing. She is the first generation on both sides of her family to speak English as a first language -- and was taught early on the importance of words -- the right words. However, like many, Beck had to leave home to realize what she needed in a college was in her (metaphorical) backyard at her beloved SUNY New Paltz. There Beck continued her education and received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in English. Beck later traded the Shawangunk Mountains of New York for those surrounding Asheville, North Carolina where she spends her day largely in the past -- teaching about dead, British writers. Weekends she likes to treasure hunt with her husband, rummaging through estate sales, collecting pottery and blown glass from local artists. She is enslaved by two cats that frequently let her know her services are lacking. However, her grown children seem to tolerate her better as she makes a mean cheesecake.