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Thursday, December 24, 2020

'Like Pushing A Train Up The Mountain'

 “The first four months of writing the book, my mental image is scratching with my hands through granite. My other image is pushing a train up the mountain, and it's icy, and I'm in bare feet.” – Mary Higgins Clark



Born in The Bronx, NY, on Christmas Eve 1927, Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark said she just seemed destined to become a writer, starting a daily journal and writing her first poems by age 7 and crafting plays for her family and friends when she was 8.



Despite her penchant for writing, she began her adult life as an airline stewardess for Pan Am Airlines.  But after marrying and settling back in New York City she took a writing workshop that re-opened her love for writing and got her back on her ultimate career path.  A “persistent” believer in what she wrote, she spent several years (40 rejections) on getting her first short story published, but once accepted that story opened the door for many more.


Ultimately, Higgins Clark – who died earlier this year – published hundreds of stories and more than 50 novels, winning numerous awards along the way.  More than 30 of her tales were adapted into either movies or television programs.  Her debut novel in the mystery-suspense genre, Where Are The Children?, is currently in its 75th printing.

Among Clark’s many awards were the Horatio Alger Award, the Passionists’ Ethics in Literature Award, and the National Arts Club’s Gold Medal in Education. She also was awarded 18 honorary doctorates, including one from her alma mater, Fordham University.


“If you want to be happy for life,” she said, “love what you do.”



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