About the McNeals
Tom McNeal was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, but spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother grew up. After earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine, he lived and worked in the region of Nebraska that inspired his critically acclaimed novels, Goodnight, Nebraska and To Be Sung Underwater. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and is the recipient of the James Michener prize and two California Book Awards. His short stories have been widely anthologized, and "What Happened to Tully" was the basis of the award-winning independent film: Tully. To read more about Tom, read "An Imagination with Built-ins" from the New York Times.
Laura Rhoton McNeal was born in Arizona and raised near
Air Force bases in Iceland, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Utah. She
holds an MA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and taught
middle and high school English in Salt Lake City. With Tom she is the author of a picture book called The Dog Who Lost His Bob and four young adult novels: Crooked, Zipped, Crushed, and The Decoding of Lana Morris. Her solo young adult title, Dark Water, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2010.
were married in 1993 and live in southern California
with their two sons, Sam and Hank. Their living room is not usually this tidy.
Photo of Tom © Jeff Lucia; Photo of Tom and Laura by Laure Joliet
Frequently Asked Questions