As the daughter of an Arkansas farmer, Talya grew up playing in the cotton fields of Mississippi County while perfecting the art of making mudpies. After high school, she attended college at Baylor University, graduating with an economics degree primarily because her Daddy said, “If I’m paying for college, you’ll get a business degree.” So that’s what she did.
For nearly thirty years, Talya lived in Dallas, built a successful banking career, married, raised two incredible children and enjoyed life—all the while planning to someday return to Arkansas.
In 2011, after an “aha” moment, (the topic of her memoir, Gene, Everywhere) she left banking to pursue her dream of writing. Now she lives in Fayetteville with her husband, John, and two miniature schnauzers, Annabelle and Gracie. Her family still farms in the Arkansas Delta.
Talya’s debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, was published in January 2016. Although the story is fiction, the characters and setting will be familiar and relatable, especially to those with southern roots, less than perfect families, and questions about life in general. The Second Edition of The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee was released in 2020 – complete with illustrations!
Talya is a contributor to Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Front Porch Magazine where she writes a regular column, Delta Child. Her award-winning short stories, essays, and micro-fiction have been published in Arkansas Review, Ponder Review, and other print and on-line journals. She shares stories of farm, food, garden, and life on her personal blog, Grace Grits and Gardening. Follow her on Goodreads too!
Her third book, Bernice Runs Away, is available at Pearl’s Books in Fayetteville, via this website, and through Amazon / Barnes & Noble.