dog-mom, horse servant,
Lover of solitude
and the company of good friends
New places, new ideas
and old wisdom.
Thank you for visiting! I am so grateful for my readers and the opportunity to touch other lives and be touched by them.
Warning: My blog is about What Moves Me, i.e., what “affects, touches, impresses, disturbs, inspires, stimulates, provokes, influences, rouses or incites.” So if you take this journey with me, hang on! We cover whales to whirling dervishes, secrets of the civil rights era to ancient times with startling perspectives.
T.K. Thorne’s childhood passion for storytelling deepened when she became a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama. “It was a crash course in life and what motivated and mattered to people.” When she retired as a captain, she took on Birmingham’s business improvement district as the executive director. Both careers and a clinical Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama provide fodder for her writing, which has garnered several awards, including multiple national awards for her novels about unknown, unnamed women in two of the world’s most famous stories–Noah’s Wife and Angels at the Gate. Her first non-fiction book, Last Chance for Justice gives the investigators’ perspectives of the 1963 Sixteenth Street church bombing case and was featured on the New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list. She loves traveling, especially to research her novels, and speaking about her books and life lessons. She writes at her mountaintop home near Birmingham, often with two dogs and a cat vying for her lap. http://www.tkthorne.com
The question I am asked the most is how I became a police officer. I speak about this and life lessons along my journey to be a writer, but the short version is–it was all an accident! My father was horrified (before he got proud), and I just didn’t realize that there was anything particularly unusual about a 5’3″ 115 lb 22 year-old strapping on a gun belt that could barely hold all the equipment in the space around her waist and going to work every day not knowing if she would be chasing a robbery suspect, calming a family dispute, or searching a dope house. My career in law enforcement broadened my life experience, developed my capacity for empathy and compassion, and greatly influenced my writing.
A Note about BECOMING A WRITER …
Telling stories has been part of my life since my childhood. I’ve always known it was the truest part of me.
I owe much of who I am to the love and influence of my father, Warren Katz, who taught me to fend for myself mentally and to question everything, and my mother, Jane Katz, an Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame honoree. Mom exemplified the principle that intelligence, perseverance and charm are not mutually exclusive, and that one’s primary responsibility in life is to make the world a better place.
A writer must first become a reader, and the mentor who guided me on that journey was my maternal grandmother, Dorothy Merz Lobman.
As soon as I learned to talk, Granny got busy working on my southern drawl, which tended to laze “get” into “git.” To this day, I firmly believe should I neglect to pronounce the “r” in “library,” Granny would erupt from her grave to correct me. Yet, the first book she read to me was Uncle Remus, with every nuance of 19th Century black deep South dialect!
Next in a long line of magical journeys, was my favorite, The Phantom Tollbooth, a wonderful story about a little boy named Milo who tries to rescue the kidnapped twin princesses of Rhyme and Reason. At my pleading, Granny read this cover-worn treasure many times, until I could do so on my own. Then she moved on to Mark Twain’s classics, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Some, like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, were so far over my head, I was constantly stopping her to ask what a word meant. She was always patient. I now suspect a plot afoot to improve my vocabulary.
These stories ignited my desire for adventure, my curiosity about human nature, and influenced my later career paths, which, in turn, enriched my writing.
One night, I suffered an attack of what I later learned was chronic appendicitis. In addition to draconian attempts to cure me of a stomach ache, Granny read much of Robinson Crusoe to me that night, staying at my bedside to distract me from the pain far into the morning hours, until she was beyond hoarse and her voice gave out.
It was not until years later that I learned of her and my mother’s courageous stance for civil rights during the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, a heritage that came full circle for me in writing a book about the investigation of the Birmingham Sixteenth Street Church bombing and a history of behind the scenes contributions by white allies of Birmingham’s civil rights days (in progress).
I will never forget my family’s love, nor the priceless gift Granny gave me—the love of story. I hope I am honoring my parents and my grandmother in following the path they showed me and the passion they ignited—by writing my own stories.
7 Fun Facts About Me:
- I’m a 4th degree black belt in the martial art of Aikido.
- At age 8, I won a ribbon for being stubborn.
- I dove the Great Blue Hole in Belize, the largest sea hole in the world.
- As a rookie police officer, I had to devise a different way to hold a gun because my hands were too small.
- I had an M-16 rifle pointed at me while researching a book.
- Frogs make me smile.