Patricia Cornwell's Biography
"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."
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. Fourteen subsequent Scarpetta novels have also become international bestsellers, together with Food to Die For and Scarpetta's Winter Table. The seventeenth, The Scarpetta Factor, will be released in October of 2009.
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.
Here are the Kay Scarpetta novels in order of publication: 1. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell, 2. Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell, 3. All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell (August 1992), 4. Cruel & Unusual by Patricia Cornwell (December 1993), 5. The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell, 6. From Potter's Field by Patricia Cornwell), 7. Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell, 8. Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell), 9. Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell, 10. Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell, 11. The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell (October 2000), 12. Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell (October 2003), 13. Trace by Patricia Cornwell (September 2004), 14. Predator by Patricia Cornwell (October 2005), 15. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell, 16. Scarpetta (December 2008), 17. The Scarpetta Factor (2009), 18. Port Mortuary (2010), 19. Red Mist (2011).
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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