I was born a long time ago in Tallahassee, Florida. The story goes that I made my way into the world amid hurricane warnings. I hope thatʼs true–I like believing it. Long before I ever dreamed of becoming a writer I began to live my life in geographically inspired chapters, including such places as Tuscaloosa, Auburn and Decatur Alabama; Greenville and Charlotte, North Carolina, Richmond, Blacksburg and Pearisburg, Virginia, St. Petersburg and Pinetta, Florida. It took moving away from the South to discover that I was, in fact, a Southerner, and not yet the citizen of the world I aspired to be. Laramie, Wyoming taught me that. I have since lived in Boston, Massachuetts: Tucson, Arizona; Austin, Texas; San Jose, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii–where it is beginning to feel that maybe my husband, Dick Tomey, and I have found our home, happily adrift out here in the Paciﬁc Ocean.
I attended Virginia Tech, University of Wyoming, Athens State University (Alabama) over the years. I got my MFA at University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I have taught writing at University of Alabama (as a GA), North Carolina at Charlotte and University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. I am indebted to Yaddo, MacDowell, and VCAA for providing time and place to work. I also received an NEA Grant in 1991 and several years later a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe–two wonderful life changing experiences.
Along with short stories published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies, I have written ﬁve novels: Crossing Blood, Balls, Verbena, As Hot As It Was You Ought to Thank Me, Eat Drink and Be From Mississippi–and one collection of stories, Pretending the Bed is a Raft, the lead story of which was made into a ﬁlm, My LIfe Without Me, produced by Pedro Almodovar and Isabel Coixet. I recently completed a quartet of stories currently titled A Home For the Perfect, which I just mailed to my agent. I am working on a sixth novel set in Virginia Beach. And, alas, I have one novel, set in Tutwiler Womenʼs Prison in Wetumpka, Alabama–Donʼt Nobody Like to Kill a Dog–biding its time, looking for love.
About the photo gallery…if readers wonder where stories comes from, I think some of the photos in the gallery can help explain that. My work is driven by the power of place. Where matters. So I have included some photos of locations that inspired stories, along with some personal and family photos some of which loosely inspired certain characters. Every face in every photo is an untold story. But, of course, you already know that. npk