After practicing psychiatry for many years, reading and writing fiction became the perfect escape from spending much of her time inside the minds of very real people. She particularly likes the split between what people think (their internal dialogue) and what they say out loud. She has travelled extensively with her husband and children, and this particular story evolved from fantasies and nightmares of an adventurous trip to Africa.
On Rubbing Stones, she worked with Peter Gelfan, senior editor at The Editorial Department and Renni Brown, founder of The Editorial Department and previous senior editor for Stein & Day and William Morrow.
After finishing her Medical Degree at the University of California, San Diego, Nancy Burkey moved to Chicago for her Internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology. A year of sleepless nights in Labor and Delivery resulted in her gravitating to the more psychological aspects of medicine.
She transferred to Psychiatry at the University of Chicago where she served as Chief Resident, and concurrently worked in the emergency room at Cook County Hospital. On the faculty of Northwestern Medical School she worked with patients with eating disorders, personality disorders, and the severely mentally ill. She also maintained a private practice in downtown Chicago. She co-authored A Comparison of Demographic, Behavioral, and Ego Function Data in Borderline and Eating Disorder Patients, published in Psychiatric Quarterly. She taught classes in general psychiatry and violence, and supervised psychiatric residents, medical students and psychology post-doctoral candidates. She later became the director of a program for severe personality disorders in a unique open-campus setting.
Ultimately, she decided to return to her early roots in California to raise her two young sons. She settled in Sebastopol, California, a town of fewer than 8,000 and was fortunate enough to add a fabulous marriage and step-son to the mix. For many years she had a private psychiatric practice in nearby Santa Rosa, worked at Sonoma County Indian Health Project, and served as the Medical Director of Creekside Mental Health Hospital for the severely and chronically mentally ill. She recently left these positions to travel, write, and work in hospitals around the country from San Diego to Vermont.
When the 2017 California wildfires completely destroyed her home (and that of thousands of her neighbors), she and her husband relocated to New Mexico…we’ll see how that goes.
Over the years, her travels have led her to Asia, South and Central America, Antarctica, Europe, and Africa, and allowed her imagination to wander into areas of adventure and mystery. Disastrous world events led her to darker thoughts about the world she loves to explore and to wonder about acts of desperation, as well as one’s ability to discover hidden courage in the face of despair. She wrote Rubbing Stones, her debut novel, and is currently working on a second novel.
In addition to adventure travel, she and her family enjoy skiing, bike riding, kayaking, and scuba diving.