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Nancy Elaine Turner was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in Southern California and Arizona. She began writing fiction as an assignment for a class at Pima Community College and completed a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts Studies from the University of Arizona in 1999 with a triple major in Creative Writing, Music, and Studio Art. She lives in Tucson with her husband and Snickers, a dog rescued by F.A.I.R. She has two married children and four grandchildren. She also enjoys the outdoors, theater, movies, and antiques.

"Writing historical fiction is much like working on a term paper every day. My story is never far from my mind. I create characters by mingling traits of people. I love all my characters, too, especially those with complexity that makes them seem all the more real. I believe the locale of a story can be as much a part of the book as a character, and I use settings I know well enough to describe in detail."

Contact me directly 

Nancy E. Turner


 Because you asked...

:: Where did you find Sarah's diary?
There wasn't a real diary, I chose to write the story like a diary. The character of Sarah is based on my real great-grandmother. I grew up hearing stories about her.

::Did you always want to be a writer?
I didn’t start out to be a writer when I began my college education at the age of 40. I thought I was headed toward teaching high school English classes. I enrolled in a Creative Non-fiction writing class, hoping it would spark my abilities for upcoming term paper requirements in my coursework. After two years at Pima Community College, I was highly dismayed when I came to registration for the fall and there were no “real” classes in writing left other than a fiction class. Besides, I loved science. I loved to write, too, but I wanted to write about science. Full of doubts, I signed up for Advanced Fiction Writing thinking at least it wouldn’t hurt anything.

:: Do you have any reading suggestions?
I think in terms of authors, rather than a particular work. Every reader brings her own baggage into play, too, so it’s all so very subjective. It’s the between-the-lines style that gets to me. Mark Twain and Stephen King, Zane Grey and John Grisham, Mary Stewart and Alice Walker, Tony Hillerman and Alfred Lord Tennyson, Margaret Mitchell and Thomas Cahill have all brightened my world. The best book is one that ends with an almost audible gasp, an immediate twinge, that “oh, no, it’s really over,” combined with the hollowness of letting go, and a slightly bitter, envious voice from somewhere that murmurs, “I wish I’d written that!”


The real Sarah Prine is third from the left. Young girl is Nancy's mother at age 11. The tallest lady is Nancy's grandmother, teller of stories and baker of pies, and the lady on the far right is Nancy's great- great grandmother, Roxie Virginia Stockman Reed."

Nancy in her period Edwardian - 1906 costume she made.

Quilt by Nancy Turner
As seen on the cover of 
The Star Garden!