The daughter of a salesman and a high-school English teacher, Chance Harvey learned the importance of storytelling early in life. As a child, she loved nothing more than sitting on her grandmotherâ€™s knee and listening to stories about the past. These moments, coupled with nightly bedtime storiesâ€”courtesy of her mother and the Brothers Grimmâ€”fostered a passion for the written word.
After attending Gulf Park College in Long Beach, Mississippi, the budding writer transferred to Millsaps College, where she received her BA in English. She earned her MA from Duke University, taught for a year at Brinkley Junior High School in Jackson, Mississippi, and then returned to Duke, where she worked toward a second masterâ€™s degree in education. After another half-year of teaching, she spent six years as a graduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she received her PhD.
It was during Harveyâ€™s time at Tulane that the inspiration for The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon was born. As a student worker at Tulaneâ€™s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, she came across a collection of letters addressed to Saxon and signed â€œYours especially, Rachel.â€ Intrigued by her findings, the graduate student chose these letters as the focus of her dissertation on Saxon, for which she won the John T. Monroe Fellowship for Dissertation Research.
After living in New Orleans for more than twelve years, Harvey combined her love of teaching and travel and served for two years on the English faculty of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has taught English at Charleston Southern University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and Southeastern Louisiana University.
Harvey currently lives with her husband, Judge Neal Biggers, in Tylertown, Mississippi.