Thank you for visiting! I am so grateful for my readers and the opportunity to touch other lives and be touched by them.
7 Fun Facts About Me:
- I’m a black belt in the martial arts of Aikido and Jujitsu.
- At age 8, I won a ribbon for being stubborn. Really.
- 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.
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 has been passionate about storytelling since she was a young girl, and that passion only deepened when she became a police officer. Serving for more than two decades in the Birmingham (Alabama) police force, she retired as a precinct captain and then as the executive director of a downtown business improvement district, to write full time. Her books include two award-winning historical novels (Noah’s Wifeand Angels at the Gate); two nonfiction civil rights era works (Last Chance for Justice and Behind the Magic Curtain: Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days); a dally with murder, mystery, and magic in the Magic City Stories (House of Rose, House of Stone, andHouse of Iron) and a YA science fiction, Snowdancers. She writes from her mountaintop home northeast of Birmingham, often with a dog and cat vying for her lap and horses hanging out in the yard.
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 drug 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. To this day, I firmly believe should I neglect to pronounce the “r” in “library,” she 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!
Go figure. Actually, I have since learned that the stories of Br’er Rabbit were based on archetype trickster metaphors that originated in African folklore and were brought to America by African slaves, where they took on attributes similar to Native American tricksters. They were important stories, preserving the culture, passing on morals and values, and sometimes used as code messages during slavery days. I just soaked them up as any child would.
Next in a long line of magical journeys was my favorite, The Phantom Tollbooth, a wonderful tale 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. Layers of meaning delight every age, so it was as fun to read to my children/grands as it was to hear it as a child myself. 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 in Last Chance for Justice and Behind the Magic Curtain, a history of behind-the-scenes contributions by white allies of Birmingham’s civil rights days.
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.