“One of the South’s finest novelists.” —Ron Rash

Books by Tommy Hays

The Pleasure Was Mine

The Pleasure Was Mine is the story of three men: Prate Marshbanks, his grown son Newell, and his nine-year-old grandson Jackson — as they come to terms with the fading of Irene; wife and mother, heart and center of the family. … Read More

What I Came to Tell You

What I Came to Tell You, Tommy Hays’ latest novel, is a 2014 VOYA Top Shelf Pick for Fiction for Middle School Readers and a 2015-16 Nominee for the North Carolina Young Adult Award. … Read More

In The Family Way

Tommy Hays’ second novel, In the Family Way, won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award for 2000 and was chosen for the Book of the Month Club. … Read More

Sam’s Crossing

Set in Atlanta in the 80’s, Sam’s Crossing was Tommy Hays’ first novel. Sam and Kate are a young couple who live together in Little Five Points, an edgy neighborhood with a host of interesting and sometimes dangerous characters. … Read More

About Tommy

Tommy Hays is the author of four novels. The Pleasure Was Mine (St. Martin’s Press) was a Finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Fiction Award, and was chosen for numerous community reads, including the One City, One Book in Greensboro and the Amazing Read in Greenville, SC. The novel was read on NPR’s “Radio Reader” and South Carolina ETVRadio’s “Southern Read”. His other adult novels are Sam’s Crossing (Atheneum) and In the Family Way (Random House), winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and a selection of the Book of the Month Club. Tommy’s middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You (Egmont USA), was chosen as a SIBA Okra Pick. He’s published stories and various pieces in magazines and literary journals such as Redbook, Our State, Smoky Mountain Living, The Chattahoochee Review and storySouth.

Recently, he was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors, writers judged to have added to South Carolina’s literary legacy. In 2021 he was named to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the governor of North Carolina. He’s a member of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and a member of National Book Critics Circle. He is retired Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer Emeritus in the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC Asheville. He received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Vignettes Short musings from everyday life.


Ocracoke. I went on a long morning walk down a sandy road that follows the marsh and finally leads to the ocean. A fisherman or two passed by in their … Read More

The Inchworm

One evening we were on the back deck eating dinner when I noticed an inch worm swaying on a thread in front of my face. He hung there dangling from … Read More

Familiar Strangers

I was walking on Sunset Mountain and passed a couple coming from the other direction. They smiled and said hello. As they passed I heard him whisper, “Do you know … Read More