The Official Bio
Curtiss Ann Matlock is an American writer of 36 novels, among them the beloved Valentine series of books set in the fictitious town of the same name. She has written contemporary and historical fiction for Silhouette Books, Harlequin Historical, Avon, and Mira Books. Her novels have placed on the USA TODAY best seller lists and received numerous awards, among them The University of Oklahoma Professional Writing Award, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, and three nominations for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award. Her books are published world-wide in twenty languages. Told with a strong Southern voice, her warm and insightful stories portray the human comedy and uncommon valor of everyday people striving to deal with heartbreak, to live with faith, and to love well.
Born in North Carolina into a military family, Curtiss Ann traveled widely until she and her husband settled in rural Oklahoma, where they raised their son and a few horses, the church was just up the road, and everyone managed to know everyone and help out when necessary.
Curtiss Ann currently resides in south Alabama, where she is busy with family, writing, gardening, and RVing.
“Matlock writes about generous people striving to live and love well. She does it beautifully.“
~ Contra Costa Times
“Matlock has a gift for telling what she calls ‘the secret lives of ordinary people.’”
~The Detroit Free Press
Becoming a Writer
My earliest memories are of my mother reading stories to me, and me pleading, “One more, Mama.” In this manner, my mother taught me to read well before I started school. My mother was an avid patron of the library and took me with her. I remember trailing out of the library behind my mother, my skinny little arms carrying all the books they could hold.
In childhood I dreamed of being a writer, or a cowgirl, or Nancy Drew. I entertained myself for hours making up stories in my head. Sometimes they made their sketchy way to paper. When I look back now, I am gratified to see that I became a writer and a bit of a cowgirl, and I became the heroine of each of my stories.
More serious writing began when my son started kindergarten. The first piece I dared to submit for publication was a tiny essay about my son and his friend that was accepted by a national Baptist publication and back in the mail came a check for $15. I went whooping from the mailbox, waving the check, and quickly wrote another essay about the comfort of our wood fireplace, submitting it to a country magazine. When I received a check in the mail for $50, I said, “I’m going to write a novel.”
While writing that first novel, which took me the better part of a year, I found my way to the Oklahoma University Professional Writing program where I studied under the wonderful authors Carolyn Hart and Jack Bickham. I finished that first novel and Carolyn Hart graciously critiqued it. I still remember her laying her hand on the thick manuscript and saying, “This is a publishable novel.” So I boxed it up and sent it to a publisher. It would be yet another year, but the first novel I ever wrote, A Time and A Season, was accepted and published by Silhouette Books. I went on to sell each novel that I wrote, to my thorough amazement.
All my life I have been given refuge, pleasure, and encouragement from fiction, and my aim in writing my books has been to pass the same on to my readers. It is my hope that upon reaching the last page of one of my novels, the reader feels more hopeful about herself and her life. I know that in at least in a few instances, I have achieved this aim, as readers have written to tell me so. All praise goes to God, Who guided me even when I was filled with doubt and unbelief. He is “from Whom comes every good and perfect gift” and nothing stops His plans.
God instilled in me the love of the written word and stories and made me a writer, and he sent many kind and wonderful people to help me along the way. Thus I am still writing, if a lot slower. I generally write a few hours every morning, both saving my sanity and giving myself delight, and honoring the gift God has given me.
Today I live in a small community in southern Alabama, sharing my home with my faithful red-heeler, Faith. My son and grandchildren live up the road and I see them often. My stories and essays still come from the heartbreak and heroism and faith of amazing life all around me.