by Carolyn Haines On a hot April day in Lower Alabama, I find myself drifting back in time to my beginning writing career. I’d been lucky enough to sell some books to Harlequin Intrigue, and my dream of being published in long form had been realized. But I also knew that I was just on… Read More
USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines grew up
with both parents working as
journalists, and she was bitten by the writing bug at a very
young age. Her three ambitions were to be a cowgirl, a
mystery-solving sleuth like Nancy Drew, and a writer. Today,
she has basically accomplished them all. She is the author
of the acclaimed Bones mystery series and in
addition, she works as an advocate for humane treatment for
animals and operates a small rescue on her farm (7 horses, 9
cats and 6 dogs).
Haines claims to have had “the last golden childhood
of the South.” She grew up in Lucedale, Mississippi, a
town of 3,000 in the Southeastern Pine Barrens. She rode her
bicycle all over the county with her wonderful dog Venus and
employed her imagination to create adventures with her friends.
Her first job in journalism was at the local weekly, The
George County Times, when she was in high school. She
went on to work as a photojournalist at the Hattiesburg
American while attending the University of Southern
Mississippi to earn a B.S. in journalism.
She worked for nearly a decade in the news business,
covering local politics, the state legislatures in Alabama
and Mississippi, spot news, writing a personal column and
her favorite—writing features and using photography to
illustrate the story. With her mother,
she ran a statewide bureau in Mississippi for the Mobile
Register and the Mississippi Press. As part of
her journalistic adventures, Haines covered an armed robbery
on horseback, hopped a freight train, and rescued a young,
injured bald eagle from certain death. She was the first
female reporter hired on the news side of the Huntsville
At the same time, she began writing short fiction for
personal satisfaction. Under the sway of Eudora Welty,
Flannery O’Connor, Doris Betts, and Lee Smith, Haines
wrote about the landscape and the people she knew. The end
result was being accepted by an agent who urged her to
“write a novel.”
Another huge influence was Harper Lee and TO KILL A
MOCKINGBIRD. Haines’s first novel was SUMMER OF
THE REDEEMERS, a coming of age story set in 1963 rural
Mississippi and published in 1994. Haines was honored in
2010 with the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing.
In 2009, Haines was named the recipient of the Richard
Wright Award for Literary Excellence.
From general fiction, Haines drifted into mysteries, and
THEM BONES, a humorous mystery with a wise-cracking
ghost, was bought at auction. The stories center around
Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends. The fourteenth book in
the series, BOOTY BONES, was published May 20, 2014,
by St. Martin’s Minotaur.
While writing the lighter mysteries, Haines has continued to
write in the darker terrain of the crime novel.
PENUMBRA and FEVER MOON (both St.
Martin’s Minotaur) are historical crime novels.
In May 2010, an anthology she edited, DELTA BLUES,
was released to critical acclaim.
Along with writing, Haines is the fiction coordinator at the
University of South Alabama where she teaches graduate and
undergraduate fiction writing. And she is president of Good
Fortune Farm Refuge, an organization dedicated to helping
animals and to educating the public on the need to spay and
She lives on a farm with her “critters.” They
are the terror of the neighborhood.
by Linda O. Johnston Last month I blogged about the end of 2016, so it feels only natural to blog today about the beginning of 2017. If you read my blog last month you’ll know that I anticipate the publication of two new books, in different genres, this year: BAD TO THE BONE, the third… Read More
by Deanna Raybourn One of the joys of writing historical fiction is the chance to read as much as you like on a pet subject—so much that you could easily bore your friends senseless on the topic. (Inviting writers to dinner parties is a risky proposition.) Over the years, I have acquired a set of… Read More
by Laura Benedict It makes sense that you (almost) never see bathrooms on television shows, or in films, unless they are integral to the story. If you do see one, it’s usually because we need to see someone sneaking up behind the heroine as she looks in a mirror. Or she’s getting ready for work… Read More
For years I wanted to write stories about young women struggling for a second chance in a small mid-western town. I knew this was not a popular genre and I stood the chance that no one would ever read the pages, or appreciate the stories, but I had to try. There is much of my… Read More
I’ve always thought of romantic suspense as being akin to having one’s cake and eating it too. And if I had any doubts about that, a trio of new novels set in small towns and out this month would put them to rest. The Queen of Small Town Thrillers Shiloh Walker starts off August with… Read More
by Carolyn Haines The Victorian ghost story became a Christmas tradition long before Charles Dickens wrote A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Some of the literary masters of the day indulged in chilling tales that were read around a fireplace while waiting for Old Saint Nick to pay a visit and fill the children’s stockings with sweets or… Read More
When you think of romance, your first thoughts probably don’t go to a story about politicians or political wives. But with the GOP convention just over and the Democrats’ just begun, you can actually bury your nose in a book and still keep the theme of presidential politics going if you know where to look…. Read More
What is more intriguing than a promise? The promise to love someone ‘til death do us part, the promise to return from war … the promise that some day the world will end. June finds authors exploring the mystery of promises both good and evil. New York Times Bestselling Author Stella Cameron leads off the… Read More
(The Importance of Grounding Your Readers) By Joanna Campbell Slan Imagine this: You open your eyes and have no idea where you are. In fact, you aren’t even sure what year it is. Checking your pockets, you realize you don’t have an I.D. and you can’t remember your name. Pretty disconcerting, isn’t it? But writers… Read More
Latest from our Blog
Remember When Opium Was Legal?
by Bronwen Evans Okay, I’ll prefix that title by explaining that I write early 1800’s historical romance. Believe it or not, opium could be bought over the counter like a tonic until 1864, and was not restricted as a medicine until 1901. In the early 1800’s opium, available in many forms, became the recreation past… Read More