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Mary Higgins Clark, photo by Bernard VidalMARY HIGGINS CLARK

America's "Queen of Suspense"

NYS Writers Institute, October 3, 2001
4:00 p.m. Seminar | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

MARY HIGGINS CLARK, America's "Queen of Suspense," knows the struggles most writers experience while honing their craft. It took six years and forty rejection slips before she sold her first short story for $100. Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, became her first bestseller and is currently in its 75th paperback edition. The book's tremendous success brought Clark sudden wealth and enabled her to finally pursue a college degree. She graduated summa cum laude in 1979 from Fordham University with a B.A. in philosophy. Mary Higgins Clark is the author of 23 runaway bestsellers, with over 50 million copies of her books in print in the U.S. and are also world-wide bestsellers.

On the Street Where You LiveWidowed with five children at a rather young age in 1964, Clark sought to support her family by writing radio scripts. She also began writing books in the early hours of the morning, before she needed to get her children ready for school. Her first book was a novel about George Washington, Aspire to the Heavens, published in 1969. The book will be reissued this year in a special edition by the preservation organization Historic Mount Vernon, under the new title, Mount Vernon Love Story.

Her most recent book, On the Street Where You Live (April 2001), is the story of a young criminal attorney named Emily Graham who moves from Albany, NY, to Spring Lake, NJ, in order to elude a stalker and begin life afresh after a painful divorce. Emily soon becomes involved in tracking a serial killer who believes he is the reincarnation of a 19th century strangler. The new book, set in the same New Jersey town where Clark recently acquired a Victorian house, spent a number of months this year on the New York Times best seller list.

"He knew every detail, every nuance of what had happened to her and the others. Relishing the thought of his omniscience, he lightheartedly joined the late afternoon strollers on the boardwalk and exchanged pleasantries with friends he met along the way. But even as he bantered with them, he could feel the need stirring within him, the need to complete his trio of present-day victims.

Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. A new annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon & Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, will be launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgar's week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of the International Crime Congress.

Mary Higgins Clark, Page Hall, 10/3/01, photo by Judy AxensonHardcover Bestsellers (Simon & Shuster):

  • Deck the Halls (2000) co-authored with Carol Higgins Clark
  • Before I Say Good-Bye (2000)
  • We'll Meet Again (1999)
  • All Through the Night (1998)
  • You Belong to Me (1998)
  • Pretend You Don't See Her (1997)
  • My Gal Sunday: Henry and Sunday Stories (1996)
  • Moonlight Becomes You (1996)
  • Silent Night (1995)
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1995)
  • The Lottery Winner: Alvirah & Willy Stories (1994)
  • Remember Me (1994)
  • I'll Be Seeing You (1993)
  • All Around the Town (1992)
  • Loves Music, Loves to Dance (1991)
  • The Anastasia Syndrome & Other Stories (1989)
  • While My Pretty One Sleeps (1989)
  • Weep No More, My Lady (1987)
  • Stillwatch (1984)
  • A Cry in the Night (1982)
  • The Cradle Will Fall (1980)
  • A Stranger Is Watching (1978)
  • Where Are The Children? (1975

Motion Pictures:

  • Where Are the Children? starring Jill Clayburg (Rastar Films released through Columbia 1986)
  • A Stranger is Watching starring Kate Mulgrew and Rip Torn (MGM/UA 1982)
  • The Cradle Will Fall starring James Farentino and Lauren Hutton (CBS 1983)
  • Stillwatch starring Linda Carter (CBS 1987)
  • A Cry in the Night starring Carol Higgins Clark and Perry King (Rysher Distribution (1992)
  • Terror Stalks the Class Reunion starring Kate Nelligan (Rysher Distribution 1992)
  • Weep No More, My Lady starring Shelley Winters (Rysher Distribution 1993)
  • Double Vision starring Kim Cattrall (Rysher Distribution 1993)
  • Remember Me starring Kelly McGillis and Cotter Smith (CBS 1995)
  • While My Pretty One Sleeps starring Connie Selleca (Family Channel 1997)
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart starring Meredith Baxter (Family Channel 1997)
  • Moonlight Becomes You starring Donna Mills (Family Channel 1998)

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.