Speaker/Media Info

TK Thorne_London_UsedForWiki FOR WEB

 

You held us spellbound for almost two hours!
–Nolan White, Baldwin County Writers Group

 

 

 

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BIO

From: Montgomery, AL
Education: Masters in Social Work, University of Alabama, magna cum laude
Currently lives: Near Birmingham, AL
Wikipedia: T.K. Thorne
Blogs atTKThorne.com
Website: www.TKThorne.com

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black-divider-thAward-winning author, T.K. Thorne inspires, entertains, and enlightens, speaking about life lessons learned as a police woman in a macho-male world; the fascinating research behind the investigation of a bombing case that became a pivotal point in  America’s civil rights movement; and her historical novels about unknown women in two of the world’s oldest and most famous stories.

Speaking Topics:
(click for one-page speaker sheets)

“5 Simple Secrets To Realize Your Dreams”
“Floods, Bombs & Angels: A Writer’s Journey”
“Surprising Revelations About The 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing Case”
“The Flood That Changed The World & What They Don’t Want Us To Know About Our Religion”

Writing Workshops:

“Somebody’s Gotta Die”
“7 Steps To Make Your Fiction or Nonfiction A Page Turner”
“Historical Fiction: A Different Beast”

Comments From Speaking Engagements & Workshops:

“Participants in your workshop said, ‘We want more!’”
–Barbara Lipe, Chattahoochee Writers Conference

“You held us spellbound for almost two hours. Every minute was worthwhile.”
-Nolan White, Baldwin County Writers Group

“How to Make Your Nonfiction A Page Turner’ was great and so relevant to my writing struggles.  I had a 75,000 word book and couldn’t find readers because it was just boring.  Now I know what was wrong and how to fix it.”
-Elaine Johnson, Chattahoochee Writers Conference

“…an outstanding program– Lion of Judah women [gathered] to hear [T.K. Thorne’s] recounting of the infamous 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four young black girls.”
-Samantha Dubrinsky, BJF Director of Community Impact & Special Projects

“Everyone raved about your talk . . . you were the favorite presenter!”
-Michael Hart Hillman, Greater Atlanta Lions of Judah

Writing Awards

Independent Book Publisher’s Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction
IPPY Benjamin Franklin Awards (silver)
ForeWord Reviews “BOOK OF THE YEAR” for Historical Fiction
Portland Book Review for Short Fiction
Chattahoochee Valley Writer’s Contest for Short Fiction
Eugene Walters Writers Festival Termite Hall for Screenplay
Magic City Writers’ Contest for Short Fiction

Storyteller

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 before retiring again to write full time.

Both careers and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama provide fodder for her writing, which has garnered several awards

T.K. has written two award-winning novels, NOAH’S WIFE and ANGELS AT THE GATE, filling in the untold backstories of extraordinary women—the wives of Noah and Lot—in two of the world’s most famous sagas. The New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list featured her first non-fiction book, LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE, which details the investigation of the 1963 Sixteenth Street church bombing case. She blogs on her website, TKThorne.com and speaks on life lessons, her writing journey, and her books.

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

T.K. on the set of "Six Blocks Wide" with director Yuri Shapochka

T.K. on the set of an adaptation of her short story “Six Blocks Wide” with director Yuri Shapochka

Community

A leader in her community, she has served on numerous boards and been recognized with various community awards including:

  • Positive Maturity’s Top 50 Over 50 Award
  • Birmingham International Center’s “Motivating Women” Award
  • Chamber of Commerce’s Jesse Lewis Community Service Award
  • Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award
  • Operation New Birmingham’s Achievement Award
  • The Community Affairs “Liberty & Justice Award”
  • Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top Birmingham Business Women” Award

T.K. Shares A Few Fun Facts About Herself:

—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 need Indian food at least once a week.
—I once had an M-16 rifle pointed at me while researching a book.
—Frogs make me smile.


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T.K.  speaking at the Unitarian Fellowship in Fairhope, Al


 Previous Speaking Engagements

Suggested Interview Questions:

1.You are a retired police captain. How did that experience affect your writing?

2.Both of your historical novels are based on biblical stories, yet they aren’t religious in nature. Can you talk about that?

3. Can you walk us through the research process for your historical novels?

4. You have won two recent national awards for Angels at the Gate in the historical fiction category. A gold Benjamin Franklin Award and a silver IPPY Award. Is this the first time you have won a big award for your writing?

5. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?


Reviews of Angels at the Gate:

The story is so compelling that I could not wait until I could read the next part of the adventure.San Francisco Book Review

 “The plot is intelligently mapped and skillfully builds suspense… Thorne portrays ancient lands with an eye for wilderness… scenes unfold in crisp detail… A tale set in biblical times comes to life for a literary audience.”
–Foreword Reviews

“A compelling and exceptional read, “Angels At The Gate” documents author T. K. Thorne as an impressively talented novelist. This is the stuff of which block-buster movies are made.”
Midwest Review

“…fans of “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant will love this book.”
The Hutchinson News

“. . .a terrific yarn composed of brilliant world-building, clever extrapolation, and fascinating characters. . . The action is convincing, the characters compelling, and the setting excellently depicted. Not only is the writing smooth, but Thorne cleverly twists the biblical story, adding realism without detracting from religion.”
Washington Independent Review of Books 

“[Thorne] manages to blend historical fiction of the most ancient sort with spiritual themes that wouldn’t frighten away even the most staunch of atheists, and she does so all while developing captivating and heart-tugging characters that you aren’t soon to forget.”
–Arts Bham

Although based on a few Bible verses people are familiar with, this tale is fully imagined and takes great liberties with the Bible story. . . Although there are feminist parallels to the present, and this novel, is in a sense, a retelling of the story of Lot’s wife . . .  [it’s] greatest strength is as an adventure novel; comparisons could be made to Tolkien or C.S. Lewis.
–Don Noble, Book Reviewer and Host of Alabama Public Radio

“Thorne’s ability to transform the reader to another time and place is seamless. Her novels are highly recommended.
–Association of Jewish Libraries Review

“Filled with a remarkable interwoven detailed look into the culture of Abram’s tribe and life in a trade caravan, the second mysterious woman of the bible dramatization (see Noah’s Wife) provides a fascinating look at who Lot’s wife was before she turned into the Pillar of Salt.  The key to this entertaining biblical novelization is T.K. Thorne provides a plausible background that explains why Lot’s wife would disobey the angelic warning not to look back.”
–Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Review

“T. K. Thorne combined religious, archeological and historical study to create this story of a woman who followed her own path in the world… Thanks to Thorne, Lot’s wife is transformed back into woman, wayward and strong but alive.”
–Books That Follow You Home

“The reader gets a great story and learns so much about the time of Lot’s wife. “

Cathie Martin of WGRT-FM

“As she did in NOAH’S WIFE, Thorne gives us a brilliantly imagined alternate history.”
Perle Champion, Perle’s Ink

“…Thorne’s vivid imagination and gift for storytelling are extraordinary.  For all whose curisosity is piqued by how it might have been in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, this is a must read!”
–Dianne Mooney, founder of Southern Living At Home

“Thorne unspools an ancient adventure with crackling undertones of our contemporary lives.  Lean, polished action sequences render a young woman’s life with both intensity and nuanced truth.”
–Carroll Dale Short, journalist, columnist, public radio commentator, author of The Shining Shining Path

“A masterpiece of historical research, interweaving history and theology in a re-visioning of an ancient story from a woman’s perspective.  Thorne is a dazzlingly gifted writer.”
–Sue Walker, Poet Laureate of Alabama 2003-2012

“Adventure, Drama, Love and Losses—I am absolutely enthralled with the writing of T. K. Thorne.”
Lenora’s Culture Center and Foray into History

“For readers familiar with the Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the finale should come as no surprise, but the journey toward that end is well worth following. The characters are flawlessly drawn, utterly human, and completely true to life. The religious and mystical aspects of the Old Testament story are delicately woven into the structure of the novel in a way that honors the original tale without focusing too heavily on divine retribution. This excellent, well-crafted historical novel showcases a truly talented storyteller.”Library Journal STARRED review

“ANGELS AT THE GATE is nothing short of a masterwork–superbly and eloquently written, solidly researched and a highspeed page-turner. Readers will be swept up in a story they can’t put down.”
–Elsa D. Rutherford, editor, The Nifty Pickle


 

Reviews of Last Chance for Justice: 

“… [Detetive] Herren’s interview with one of the bombers, and the subsequent trials of Blanton and Cherry, are truly gripping. Thorne’s story is a stunning reminder of just how tough the fight for freedom—and justice—really is.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“I can blame T.K. Thorne for a sleepless night reading Last Chance. What a great job telling this little known or understood major historical story!”
—Morris Dees, the co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center

“I don’t have time to read books, but I decided to read the first chapter.  I didn’t put it down until I finished it, and I learned things I didn’t know.”
—Bill Baxley, former Alabama Attorney General and prosecutor in the 1977 bombing case

In Last Chance for Justice, T.K. Thorne portrays the remarkable skill, determination and tenacity of Alabama law enforcement officials on a mission too long forsaken and largely forgotten. The mission for justice initiated by an unequalled Alabama Attorney General in 1977 ended a quarter century later, with the convictions and life imprisonment of Sunday School terrorists Blanton and Cherry. As a civil rights activist fifty years ago and a reinvigorated one today, I am especially grateful for the commencement and completion of that mission. The author’s deeply researched account is at once marvelously entertaining and enlightening.”
—Alabama Federal Chief Justice U.W. Clemon

“I loved it. It is really masterful. It tells me things I didn’t know about a story we all know a lot about.  … really smart choosing to tell it from the perspective of the investigators in the most recent trials. It made for a very compact, impactful narrative.”
Birmingham News reporter Robin DeMonia

“A page turner. . . a thought-provoking work . . . an important addition to the historical record.”
—Frye Gaillard, author of Cradle of Freedom


 

Reviews of Noah’s Wife:

Noah’s Wife“. . . a terrific storyteller, with the ability to transport readers from one time and place to another.”
—Sena Jeter Naslund, Bestselling novelist, Ahab’s Wife, Four Spirits.

“. . . an extraordinary work.”
—Dianne Mooney, founder of Southern Living At Home

“. . . a novel of epic sweep, emotional power, and considerable beauty.”
—Ron Gholson, The Blount Countian

“. . . awed at Thorne’s ability to work magic with words.  Her mastery kept me awake many nights.”—Sherry Kughn, Anniston Star

“Noah’s Wife is one of the best novels I have ever read— and I average about a book a week.”
—Barry Marks, Alabama Poetry Book of the Year for Possible Crocodiles

“So compelling and readable.  Brava! Excellent! I am basking in the glow of a fascinating, complex read.”
—Jane Archer, Professor of English, Birmingham Southern College

“Well-researched, well-written, engaging book that is absolutely one of the best reads I have had in a long time.”
—Gail Sheldon, Director, Oneonta Public Library

“Masterfully created a unique variation on the Biblical world and its culture. It is a MUST READ!  Thorne is exceptionally gifted in her sensitivity to life, love, and loss.”
L. Nolan-Ruiz, Editor, InternationalBookCafé.com 

“… you quickly want to savor Na’amah’s words and sensations for they are incredibly unique in literature. The sentences themselves are like a work of art….From my familiarity with Asperger’s, [Na’amah] feels realistic and I also think her character will be a good role model for women who have this form of autism.” 
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

“A novel of great enchantment, suspense and power . . . looks like a BESTSELLER to me.”
Malcom R. Campbell, author, Sun Seeker and Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire

“. . .new depth to an old story in a beautiful novel of truth, love, and survival.”
—Irene Latham, author & poet, Leaving Gee’s Bend and What Came Before

“. . . with an understanding of what makes us humans tick, Thorne looks at our origins in a brand new way. It’s more Clan of the Cave Bear than theological treatise—and that’s a whole lot more fun!”
—John Archibald, Birmingham News

“Not since Mists of Avalon or Ahab’s Wife have I enjoyed such a finely crafted woman’s point of view on an oft-told tale.”
Perle Champion, freelance writer and artist, Alabama Writer’s Forum

“T.K. Thorne is a magical writer.  She turns Biblical lore upside down…and makes us believe every word of this novel is true. Her writing is flat-out brilliant and spellbinding.”
—Elsa Rutherford, Editor, NiftyPickle, columnist, novelist

 “Now Na’amah repeats her life’s story and it becomes a guide on how to live until you’re sure life will continue.”
—L.Z. Golden, Books That Follow Me Home

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