I'm a thirty-something mother of two who lives in semi-rural Georgia. I have two kids, my son Sam, and my daughter, Maisy. I think of myself as a stay-at-home-mom who writes. I've always written. My parents have books I wrote and self-published using the "crayola-and-stapler" method. I've always made time for it and I married a man who took my writing seriously enough to treat my time like it was valuable even though I was "just a housewife." That's a rare man, but it took me awhile to see it; we were best friends for seven years before I noticed what a catch he was. So writing, wifing, mothering, that's my real life and it feels very natural to me to be doing all these things.
Publishing, however, is quite a different story. Going to New York, book tours, seeing my words in print with gorgeous covers in my local book store....all that seems as fictional to me as anything I make up in my novels. I always have this faint tinge of surprise when I realize my friend Caryn, who calls me to talk books and ask for my pages and gives me invaluable feedback for revisions, is actually my editor who holds an actual book contract with my name on it in actual New York City. Weird.
I'm very involved with my church, Powder Springs First United Methodist, and I am on the school council my son's elementary school. I like to bake and a bread machine is the top of my Christmas list. I think these things might surprise people who have read my novels. My books are funny and have, I think, a very positive world view at the bottom of them, but the humor is often dark and I tend to have some violent undercurrents. After Gods in Alabama came out, I got a little bit of a "What's a nice girl like you doing with a book like this?" reaction. I think that edge in my stories comes from the way I read --- I am hugely eclectic and so my influences are very scattered.
While my favorite writers will probably always be Harper Lee and Flannery O'Connor and I am devoted to the work of contemporary southern novelists like Sonny Brewer and Mindy Friddle, I also love manly gunplay writers like Dennis LeHane, Michael Connelly, and Lee Child. Probably my favorite new writer is Cornelia Read. As a child I was utterly devoted to pulp: Edgar Rice Burroughs and all the Conan the Barbarian books were mixed in with my Roald Dahl and Frances Hodgson Burnett.