Turner, Nancy E(laine) 1953-
TURNER, Nancy E(laine) 1953-
PERSONAL: Born November 20, 1953, in Dallas, TX; daughter of Stanley Edward (a corporate executive in the electronics business) and Wanema Jo (an elementary schoolteacher; maiden name, Belcher) Groves; married John Charles Turner (a state police officer), April 18, 1970; children: April E. Turner Bracht, John Sterling. Ethnicity: "Irish, tenth-generation American."
Education: University of Arizona, B.F.A., 1999. Politics: "Conservative with a brain." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Music, theater, grandchildren.
AWARDS, HONORS: Arizona Adult Author of the Year, 1998, for These Is My Words.
These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine,1881-1901 (historical novel), Regan Books (New York, NY), 1998.
The Water and the Blood (historical novel), Regan Books (New York, NY),
Contributor of short fiction to Sand Script.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A Season of Honor, a sequel to These Is My Words; research on Arizona history, World War I, and Pueblo Indians.
SIDELIGHTS: Nancy E. Turner told CA: "My work is character-driven historical fiction. It is all based on fictional characters in real settings, and I take great care to get the details right. My first novel, These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, is based loosely on family anecdotes about my great-grandmother. It is not (as some have suggested) simply a publication of her diary. The second novel, The Water and the Blood, is a book based on a set of principles and has at its core the damage done by prejudice in its many guises. Each of the cast is flawed but redeemable, and the story—like Southern gothic style—is told with nuance and metaphor, in languid circles.
"I'm always influenced by great writing. I got started simply by comparing writing that worked and some that didn't—and asking 'How do they do that?' My motivation is the examination of human nature. It's one thing to be discerning of it, quite another to present it, expose it, exalt the glorious and turn over the rocks hiding the termites.
"My process would drive a writing teacher into therapy. You know how they always asked for an outline? I often know the middle, write the climax, then the opening, then add characters, or . . . start with the ending, cast the 'play,' then just drop them somewhere nearby and start the cameras rolling and take notes. If the cast is right, they'll improvise with minimal direction. Sometimes I fire the characters, hire replacements, and shoot the piano player. Always, always, I write to music."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 1998, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, p. 986; September 1, 2001, Eileen Hardy, review of The Water and the Blood, p. 54.
Houston Chronicle, July 12, 1998, Sharan Gibson, review of These Is My Words, p. 23.
Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, December 19, 2001, Kathy Harris, review of The Water and the Blood, p. K7793.
Library Journal, February 15, 1998, Kathy Piehl, review of These Is My Words, p. 173.
Publishers Weekly, January 12, 1998, review of TheseIs My Words, p. 45; October 8, 2001, review of The Water and the Blood, p. 43.