T.K. Thorne retired as a captain of the Birmingham Police Department (the first Jewish female officer) and currently serves as executive director of a business improvement district. Both careers provided fodder for her writing, which has been published in variousvenues and garnered awards, including “Book of the Year for Historical Fiction” (ForeWord Reviews) for her debut novel Noah’s Wife. The New York Post featured her non-fiction book, Last Chance for Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting the Birmingham Church Bombers on their “Books You Should Be Reading” list. A short film from her screenplay “Six Blocks Wide” was a semi-finalist at the international “A Film for Peace Festival” in Italy. Thorne speaks about leadership lessons from her life and has served as faculty at several writers’ conferences. Her latest historical novel is Angels at the Gate. She writes on a mountaintop, often with two dogs and a cat or two in her lap.
Writer, humanist, dog-mom, horse servant, and cat-slave, Lover of solitute and the company of good friends Bach and whale-song, well told stories. New places, new ideas and old wisdom. Stars, wind's whisper, ocean's breath, and gnarled trees.
Telling stories has been part of my life since my childhood. I’ve always know 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 was 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 will erupt from her grave to correct me. Yet, the first book I remember her reading to me was Uncle Remus--complete with every nuance of 19th Century 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--improving my vocabulary.
These stories ignited my desire for adventure and my curiosity about human nature and, I’m sure, 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, she 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.
It was not until years later that I learned of her courageous stance for civil rights during the Montgomery bus boycott.
I will never forget my family's love, nor the wonderful gift Granny gave me--the love of books. Perhaps I can honor my parents and my grandmother in following the path she showed me and the passion she ignited—by writing my own.