Patricia Cornwell - Biography


Patricia Cornwell Biography

Patricia Cornwell     "It is important to me to live in the world I write about," says Patricia Cornwell. "If I want a character to do or know something, I want to do or know the same thing."

Note: If you are unaware of the harrassment that Patricia Cornwell was subjected to, check out this first hand report: Stranger Than My Fiction. Here's the latest regarding her civil suit against the dirtbags at her accounting firm: Patricia Cornwell Can Return to the Writing Life...

Born Patricia Daniels in Miami, Florida, she moved to North Carolina at age 7 following her parents' divorce. While attending Davidson College, she met English professor Charles Cornwell, who she married and subsequently divorced after 10 years. After graduating with a degree in literature, she worked as a crime-reporter for the Charlotte Observer and spent six years working as a computer analyst for the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner's Office. While there, she witnessed and, at times, assisted in hundreds of autopsies. She also served as a volunteer police officer.

Between 1984 and 1986, Cornwell wrote three novels based on her crime desk experience. All were rejected. Disheartened, she wrote to Sara Ann Freed, an editor at Mysterious Press, the one publishing house that had softened its rejection with encouragement. Freed suggested she dump the male detective who had been her central character and expand Scarpetta who had only played a minor role in the early works. So, in 1990 Patricia Cornwell's first novel, Postmortem, was published. Postmortem was the first novel to win the Edgar, Creasy, Anthony and Macavity awards, as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Adventurei, in a single year. Twenty-four subsequent Scarpetta novels have also become international bestsellers, together with Food to Die For and Scarpetta's Winter Table.

Patricia Cornwell is also the author of three police procedural novels, A Time for Remembering, a biography of Ruth Graham, wife of the evangelist, and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper-- Case Closed. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, and she supports several institutions that are concerned with forensic research, victim's support, and animal rescue.

It's been reported that Twentieth Century Fox has acquired the rights to all 16 Scarpetta novels. Slated to play the strong-willed, intelligent, good-looking and sophisticated Kay Scarpetta is actress superstar Angelina Jolie. Fans will be looking forward to the first release.

In her acclaimed novel At Risk (2006), Patricia introduced a new cast of characters, including Win Garano. In 2008, she released a second novel featuring the shrewd Massachusetts state investigator, The Front.


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