Kim Cross


Kim Cross is an award-winning feature writer and editor-at-large at Southern Living. She has worked as a news reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and a feature writer for the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times). She has been on staff at Southern Living and Cooking Light since 2003. Kim’s work has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Media Industry Newsletter.

     Her first book, What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South’s Tornado Alley (Atria/Simon & Schuster March 2015), has been selected for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great News Writers program.


“Disaster has a soul, and it is deeply, desperately, bravely human. What Stands in a Storm is the human spirit. Kim Cross has brought the real people behind the headlines vividly to life in these stirring pages. She is an amazing writer, a great reporter with a novelist's gifts for character and scene.” —Lee Smith, author of Guests on Earth

“A splendid reporter, and even better writer, Kim Cross has taken a catastrophic ‘act of God’ that seemed to beggar description as well as explanation and rendered it as shimmering molecules of feeling and meaning. An outstanding debut.” —Diane McWhorter, author of Carry Me Home

“The writerly brilliance—the terse dark poetry—of this debut book explodes from every page. Yet Kim Cross is too much of a writer to let mere masterful writing suffice. She has enlisted her sentences in the service of her tremendous reportorial mission: to recover and make sense of the thousands of fragmentary incidents, images, voices, and glimpses of human character ennobled by loss and imminent death—the sum and substance of the most catastrophic mass-tornado attack in recorded American history. This young writer has done the impossible: she has out-written apocalypse. A new star has appeared in our literary sky.” —Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Biography

Turn your cellphone off. Call in sick. Tell your family whatever you need to tell them—anything—because you’re going to have to have eight hours of uninterrupted time once you begin Kim Cross’s book. Her verbs pulsate, her narrative web sucks you in, and, as for her reporting, there is simply no detail that Cross doesn’t seem to know, from the social history of storm chasing, to the plight of a single piece of broken church glass. Mostly, Cross makes you care about people, their quirks and aspirations. You won’t look at a coiling sky the same way after reading this powerhouse debut book.” —Beth Macy, author of Factory Man