I was born in Pensacola, Florida to a Cajun Mother and a Texas Father. My parents had me late in life and raised me with stories about their experiences. They both lived through the Depression, and Father fought in the South Pacific in World War II, ranched and rough-necked in Texas as well as being a cross-country truck driver. Mother grew up bilingual and told me how she was punished at school for speaking her mother tongue Cajun French. They also raised me with family stories, and it is these stories that I attribute to my desire to become a writer.
I received my B.A. at Louisiana State University, my M.F.A. at the University of Memphis, and my Ph,D at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. I am an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Cameron University in Lawton, OK. I have been publishing my fiction and creative nonfiction in literary journals since 1997, and my work has appeared in fourteen journals. My first novel, Every Bitter Thing, is forthcoming in 2010 from Black Lawrence Press. In 2001, my nonfiction manuscript, People of the Good God, was awarded a grant from the Louisiana Division of Arts. In 2006, I received a research grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program for their “New Populations Project” in which my wife and I performed fieldwork in the Laotian community of Lanxang, located outside of Lafayette, LA.. Our fieldwork focused on the Laotian New Year festival, and the result of our work was the essay “Laotian New Year and Its Traditions,” which was published in the December 2007 edition of Louisiana Living Traditions.
I’m working on a memoir, End of These Wonders, about my father and his string of heart attacks that began when I was nine years old and ended with his passing when I was eighteen.
Natthinee Khot-asa Jones is a country girl from the Thai side of the Thai-Cambodian border. She grew up speaking Cambodian, Thai, and Laotian. In 2000, she graduated from Sophon Business School in Thailand, and later attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Auburn University. Her short story "Puppy Love" was published in the Thai anthology High School Love in 2007. Her memoir Wal-Mart Girl was published in 2008 by Nokhook publishing; in 2015, an excerpt of the English translation, "My Talking Dic," is in Issue Two of Red Truck Review. Her novel The Heart of Time was also published by Nokhook in 2008, and in that same year her webblog, Roslita-bloggang was voted the third best literature blog on the Pantip website.
In addition to being a writer, Natthinee is an avid photographer. One of her photos was used for the cover image of the "Family Secrets" (Issue #44) for Sugar Mule Online Magazine. In 2006-2007, she was a Laotian translator and photographer for Louisiana’s Folklife “New Populations Project.” For this project, her husband received a research grant to write about Songkran, the Buddhist New Year's celebration in the Laotian community of Lanxang outside of Lafayette, Louisiana. The essay and photographs from their research are on the Louisiana Folklife website. Natthinee loves cooking and in 2006 her Phad-Thai recipe was featured in the Wal-Mart Family Cookbook. She is co-founder and webmaster for Cybersoleil online journal (http://www.cybersoleiljournal.com) and hardyjoneswriting's website.
She worked in the Lawton Public School system for four years, and she worked in the Accounting department at Sam's Club from 2009 to 2014, and in November 2011 she was named Associate of the Month.
She loves reading, writing, drawing, cooking, traveling, photography, and working on her website. Currently she is translating her Thai works into English and is working as a professional photographer in the New Orleans area. She works at Magnolia Pralines company and is pursuing a degree at the University of New Orleans.