Martha Mattingly Payne

Location Atlanta
Website http://

About Me

Mother of four and youngest sister to five, I seem to end up writing about family most of the time. The bonds we can neither control nor break, like it or not, thread through my work. And the South. Born and raised in Atlanta, which is still part of Dixie, if only at the tattered edges, I find themes of race and religion and a preoccupation with place surface often, even when I'm sick to death of them. Then there's baseball, the game I grew up on, with a pacing and latent melancholy I can't seem to escape.

Currently, I'm shopping a novel, my second, called A GIRL OF SUMMER. Set along Florida's Gulf Coast, it features Tessa Girard, young team seamstress for a struggling indie league team in danger of losing its seaside park. It gives a girl's take on baseball, yes, but the novel's driving force is Tessa, who finds herself broke, pregnant, unwed, and underinsured on the day her baby's father takes a line drive to the head.

Why do you write?

When I write, the chronic restlessness I feel when I do most anything else falls away.

My children fuel my creativity, as do the Smoky Mountains, and crisp spring days walking a Southern beach.

Any favorite authors? Books?

Toni Morrison
Ian McEwan
Ann Patchett
Barbara Kingsolver
Marilynne Robinson
Clyde Edgerton
Jeffrey Eugenides
Jhumpa Lahiri
Geraldine Brooks

Some Favorites: Suite Francaise, Belle Canto, Little Bee, Bird by Bird

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