Mary Higgins Clark
Revered as the "Queen of Suspense" by her legions of fans, prolific novelist Mary Higgins Clark sold well over 80 million books, with dozens of her bestsellers adapted for film and television. While raising five children alone after the death of her husband, the aspiring novelist wrote her first book at the kitchen table in the mornings before starting her busy days as a mother and radio script writer. Although her first effort, a historical romance, sold poorly, for her second attempt, Higgins Clark committed to writing the kind of page-turner she herself enjoyed reading. The result was the 1975 bestseller Where are the Children? , which was quickly followed by the equally popular A Stranger is Watching in 1977. As more titles landed on the bestseller list, "A Stranger is Watching" (1982) and "Where Are the Children?" (1986) were adapted into major motion pictures. Soon, scores of made-for-TV movies like "While My Pretty One Sleeps" (Family Channel, 1997) were based upon her novels. Later endeavors included 2000's Deck the Halls, the first in an ongoing series of holiday-themed thrillers co-authored with her daughter Carol, and Ghost Ship in 2002, the writer's first children's book, illustrated by Wendell Minor. The octogenarian author later entered Dan Brown territory with the biblical conspiracy thriller The Lost Years in 2012. In a career that spanned more than 40 years, it was clear Higgins Clark enjoyed crafting her tales of suspense just as much as her devoted fans enjoyed reading them.