James Ladd Thomas was born and raised in Alabama where he lived the first 30 years of his life. After earning degrees from the University of Alabama and Auburn University, Thomas taught college English for 30 years, including 25 years of fiction workshops at Valencia College. He has published several short stories in literary journals, including RE:AL, Berkeley Fiction Review, Hawaii Review, Dead Mule, Southern Exposure, Snake Nation Review, First Class, and The Wax Paper. James has published two novels, ARDOR and LESTER LIES DOWN (published by Vine Leaves Press in 2022). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the literary anthology Best New American Voices. After retiring from teaching in 2017, he now spends his days reading & writing fiction, playing golf, searching for peace, and jumping in the ocean. To read more of his work, visit jamesladdthomas.com.