Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - The Two Dozen Mark

Yes indeed, that's right, we are at Week 24 in the Six-Word Memoir project. Each week when I start this I'm reminded of what a great community the crime fiction-writing community is. All of these people who have given their time to put together memoirs. Time and thought went into them all and some people have taken additional time to provide me with special photos or information to include in the bios. So many have taken time to send me notes afterwards. Time is a precious commodity, and I'm so appreciative of every minute that people have contributed to this project. I'm equally appreciative of the time you take to come and read them and comment or email me. It's been fun getting to know a lot of you that come to visit each week. But, I'm getting off track here. Thanks will come at the end. We still have memoirs to cover.

This week we're starting off with a debut novelist. Kristin Callendar published her first novel this year called THE TRUTH LIES IN THE DARK. She's hard at work on her next book, actually in the editing stages and THE TRUTH LIES IN THE DARK is being considered for a movie by producer Beth Grossbards. When she isn't working on her writing, Kristin is a substitute teacher (God, bless her) as well as a wife and mother of four. The Callendar family enjoys time at the beach, around the fire, or vacationing. When I first spoke to Kristin about her six-word memoir, she said it would have to be:

Love, Laugh, Breathe, Read, Write, Live.

Shortly thereafter, she contacted me again and said, I have another one: "Remember life before spellcheck? Shure dew!" I think she must have been having a typo-filled day! Thanks Kristin!

My next memoirist is a seasoned writer with a great sense of humor, but someone I just came to know this year. Steve Hockensmith is the author of four books featuring his mystery-solving cowboys, Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer. The first book of this series, HOLMES ON THE RANGE, was nominated for the 2007 Edgar, Anthony and Shamus awards for Best First Novel. Big Red and Old Red have also made appearances in short stories featured in Ellery Queen Magazine. Steve, however, has more writing in his resume. If we look back further we will find an internship at People Magazine; time spent as an entertainment journalist with publications such as The Hollywood Reporter, The Chicago Tribune, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Newsday and Total Movie; and three years as the editor of Cinescape.

Steve's most recent revelation is the fact that he has authored PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS, the third book from Quirk publishing but actually the prequel to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. That book will be available in March of 2010. Later in 2010 the fifth Holmes on the Range book will be released from St. Martin's Minotaur.

When I gave Steve six words, he did a little thinking outside the box:

Chapter One: writer, dad.
Chapter Two:???
There've already been some major accomplishments for Chapter One, but I have a feeling Steve still has the best yet to come in Chapter Two.

Margaret Maron is the author of both the Sigrid Harald series and the Judge Deborah Knott series, as well as two collections of short stories. Her writing has won her an Edgar, an Anthony, an Agatha and a Macavity award. And the first Deborah Knott novel, BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER, was named as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. She has also been recognized by her home state with the 2008 North Carolina Award for Literature.

This year Margaret published the 15th Deborah Knott novel, SAND SHARKS, and she's on track to release CHRISTMAS MOURNING, book number 16 in the series, in 2010.

Margaret was raised on a tobacco farm, but marriage took her to Italy and then Brooklyn before she and her husband returned to North Carolina, the setting for her Deborah Knott series. Margaret has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League and the Mystery Writers of America. But she says that real icing on her cake is her son and two granddaughters.

The icing on my cake was getting to talk to Margaret about her six-word memoir. What an absolutely delightful human being she is. She told me, "Yes, I would have loved the movie offers, the seven-figure advances, the full-page ad in the NYTimes, but

I never felt I was owed.
And she shared a story with me about a friend, Elizabeth Daniels Squire, who said to her "You may not get what you want, but if you're lucky, you'll want what you get." And Margaret plans to have her tombstone read, "I knew what I had." What an amazing outlook on life. I'm so thrilled to have her share it.

And anchoring the six-word memoir post this week is someone for whom writing is a family occupation. Last week we heard from Mary Higgins Clark and this week, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary's daughter and sometimes co-writer, joins us. Carol studied acting, performed at Carnegie Hall and as an extra on Ryan's Hope (among other roles) before turning to a writing career. These days she writes the New York Times best-selling Regan Reilly series. The first book in this series, DECKED, earn Carol a nomination for both the Agatha and Anthony awards for Best First Novel. This year Carol released the 12th book in the series, CURSED.

In addition to co-writing with her mother on the four Holiday Mysteries, Carol has recorded many of her mother's and her own books on audio. Her reading of JINXED earned her an AudioFile Earphones Award for Excellence.

A reviewer was once quoted as saying, "Mary Higgins Clark goes for the jugular; Carol Higgins Clark goes for the funny bone." So it would only make sense that Carol's memoir be

There's nothing like making people laugh.
Thank you so much Kristin, Steve, Margaret and Carol. You have once again made this a fantastic six-word memoir post. I'm so honored to have you all here, and I'm humbled that you shared your time with me and everyone reading.

To everyone reading, thanks for taking time to stop by today. As for me, I'm headed to Murder and Mayhem in Muskego this weekend. I'm leaving you a little surprise on Friday, but then you'll probably not hear from me until next week when I hope to have lots to share.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading!


Sophie Littlefield November 11, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

thanks for another great batch, JF. Kristin looks a lot like my sister, whose name happens to be coincidence!

le0pard13 November 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

Jen, you keep presenting Six-Word sets, and I promise I'll keep coming back for them. Thanks.

Kaye Barley November 12, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

I continue to love this series! Yep - you keep 'em coming and I'll keep coming back. What fun to see Margaret M. here!!!!!
Jen - have fun in Muskego, and I can't wait to hear all about it.

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