Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi in 1922, Borden Deal (whose given name was Loyse Youth Deal) also spent part of his childhood in Ingomar, Enterprise, and New Albany. After school, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in the navy during World War II. Deal graduated from the University of Alabama in 1946 with a major in English and a minor in creative writing. Although better known for his literary novels set in the New South, Deal also wrote a number of thrillers and romances, occasionally publishing them under assumed names, such as Lee Borden for the 1961 gaslight tale The Devil’s Whisper. In The Killer in the House (1957), criminals threaten an ex-con’s family in order to gain his assistance in their schemes.