This Goodly Land

Carolyn Haines (May 12, 1953–present)

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Biographical Information

Carolyn Haines was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., and grew up in Luceville, a small town in southeastern Mississippi. She read widely as a child and enjoyed listening to ghost stories told by family members. Haines's parents were journalists, and she learned photography to help her mother cover stories for the local newspaper. Haines studied journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, earning her BS in 1974. After graduation, she worked for ten years as a photojournalist for several newspapers including the George County Times, the Mobile Register, and the Hattiesburg American. While working as a journalist, Haines was also writing fiction. She enrolled in a creative writing program at the University of South Alabama and earned an MA in 1985.

In 1988, Haines published her first Harlequin novel, a mystery/romance called A Deadly Breed, using the pen name Caroline Burnes. Since then she has published over thirty books for Harlequin. Her first non-Harlequin novel, Summer of Fear, was published in 1993. In the late 1990s, Haines briefly ran her own publishing company, producing a novel and Moments with Eugene, a collection of reminiscences about author Eugene Walter. Haines's first "Bones" mystery (featuring her detective Sarah Booth Delaney), Them Bones, was published in 1999, and the series has continued with a new book approximately every year. In addition to her own writing, Haines teaches creative writing classes at the University of South Alabama. She lives on a farm in Semmes, Ala., and is involved in animal rescue activities.

Interests and Themes

Carolyn Haines writes mystery and non-mystery novels, most of which are set in Mississippi. She also writes mystery/romance novels under the name Caroline Burnes. My Mother's Witness is a non-fiction story about the murder of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers.

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Last updated on Dec 12, 2009.

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