Friday, December 18, 2009

Mary Higgins Clark, Author Biographies

Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins was born in the Bronx on December 24, 1927. She was the only daughter of Irish immigrant, Luke Higgins and wife Nora. Her father died when Mary was only 11 years old.

To help her struggling mother financially, Mary went to secretarial school after she graduated high school. She worked at an advertising agency for three years until she decided she wanted to travel.

In 1949 Mary was a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines. Her run was Europe, Africa and Asia. She says, “I was in a revolution in Syria and

on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before

the Iron Curtain went down.” Of course, back then your were like starlets because Pan Pam was the air line to work for.

After her marriage in1950 to her neighbor, Warren Clark, whom she had know since a teenager, Mary started writing short stories. She sold one of her first stories in 1956 for $100.

Mary and Warren had five children together, but Warren died of a heart attack in 1964. Left raising the children on her own, Mary started writing patriotic radio scripts and books. The first book she wrote was, “Aspire to the Heavens.” In 2002, Meredith Press republished this book under a new title, “Mount Vernon Love Story.”

Mary went back to college graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Philosophy at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in 1979. Later, asked why philosophy, she said that there is much psychology in philosophy, which helped her become a better writer. Today Mary has thirteen honorary doctorates.

Mary does use much psychology in her novels. Asked about ESP, Mary says that she believes that all writers have an intuitive sense, “I firmly believe in ESP. Sometimes there is thought transference...” However, she does not believe in channelling or reincarnation.

Mary Higgins Clark tackles many controversial subjects in her novels, such as fertility clinics, capital punishment, HMO’s, multiple personalities and parapsychology. However, Mary has never used explicit sex or violence in her books. Maybe that is why they appeal to the growing number of young adults reading her novels.

Mary’s daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, also a suspense writer, has co-authored several books with her.

In 1996, Mary married John Conheeney. John is the retired chairman and CEO of Merrill-Lynch Futures. They make Saddle River, New Jersey their home.

Although Mary is known as “The Queen of Suspense,” she says that she still wants to write a book that is a generational saga.

Books by Mary Higgins Clark:


Regan Reilly (with Carol Higgins Clark)

Deck the Halls (Holiday Classics) (2000)

The Christmas Thief ((2004)

Santa Cruise (2006)

Dashing Through the Snow (2008)

Stand Alone Novels:

Aspire to the Heavens (1960)

Where Are the Children? (1975)

A Stranger is Watching? (1977)

The Cradle Will Fall (1980)

A Cry in the Night (1982)


Weep No More, My Lady (1987)

While My Pretty One Sleeps (1989)

Loves Music, Loves to Dance (1991)

All Around the Town (1992)

I’ll Be Seeing You (1993)

Remember Me (1994)

Pretend You Don't See Her (1994)

Silent Night (1995)

Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1995)

Moonlight Becomes You (1996)

You Belong to Me (1998)

All Through the Night (1998)

We’ll Meet Again (1999)

Before I Say Good-Bye (2000)

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping (2001) (With Carol Higgins Clark)

On the Street where You Live (2001)

Daddy’s Little Girl (2002)

The Second Time Around (2003)

Nighttime is My Time (2004)

No Place Like Home (2005)

Two Little Girls in Blue (2006)

I Heard That Song Before: A Novel (2007)

Where Are You Now (2008)

Just Take My Heart: A Novel (2009)


Children’s Fiction:

Ghost Ship: A Cape Cod Story (2007)

Non Fiction:

Mother (1996) (with Maya Angelou and Amy Tan)


Anthologies Edited:

Murder on the Aisle: The 1987 Mystery Writers of America Anthology (1987)

Caribbean Blues (1988)

Women of Mystery (1992) (with Faye Kellerman and Cynthia Manson)

Bad Behavior (1995)

The Plot Thickens (1997)

The Night Awakens (1998)

Great Mystery Series: 11 of the Best Short Stories from Alfred Hitchcock’s And Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (2000) (with Lawrence Block and Ralph McInerny)


The Anastasia Syndrome: And Other Stories (1989)

That’s the Ticket/Voices in the Coal Bin (1990) (with Carol Higgins Clark)

Death on the Cape: and Other Stories (1993)

Stowaway and Milk Run (1993)

The Lottery Winner: Alvirah and Willy Stories (1994)

My Gal Sunday: Henry and Sunday Stories (1996)

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