Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pro-File: Carolyn G. Hart

Pro-File: Carolyn G. Hart

Five feet five inches tall, light brown hair streaked with silver, green eyes, fairly athletic, reticent about her weight but decidedly not thin. (Henrie O looked thoughtful. Was that why she was thin?)

Some books are written by Carolyn G. Hart, some by Carolyn Hart. Why the missing G? When Hart changed publishers, the new publisher decided the art work would be easier without the G. G stands for Gimpel, Hart's maiden name.

Hart was born in Oklahoma City where the sun almost always shines and the wind almost always blows. Her first fiction about Oklahoma is a non-series short story, "Spooked," which appears in Murder on Route 66. "Spooked" tells the story of Gretchen, a 12-year-old girl in a northeastern Oklahoma town during World War II.

Hart met her husband to be, Phil, on a student trip to Europe during her junior year in college. They had a great journey. They are still having a great journey.

Hart's first cat was Baby Face, a gray tabby. Her current felines are charming (and huge) Cat-A-Thomas and imperious but beautiful Sophie (who bites).

Women she admires: Amelia Earhart, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edith Hamilton, and Georgie Anne Geyer.

Favorite vacation spot: Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Favorite baseball player: Sammy Sosa.

"A Cubs fan," Annie observed darkly. "That's revealing."

"Oh hey, maybe next year," Henrie O challenged.

Max shook his head. "I thought Harry would have some influence in high places, but..."

Annie rattled the sheet with the dossier. "All of this is okay, but surely there's something more interesting about her. Something exciting!"

Max ran his hand through his thick blond hair. "I couldn't find anything else and I looked at everything on the web."

Henrie O sipped the strong coffee. "You know, maybe the truth is, she puts all the interesting stuff in the books about us!"

Pro-File:Carolyn G. Hart

1 Tell us about your current novel.

DEAD DAYS OF SUMMER, the 17th in the Death on Demand series, will be an April 1 Morrow title. Annie Darling plans a big birthday bash for her husband Max. She's having great fun planning the party. One hot August afternoon, Max calls her at the bookstore, tells her hurriedly he's taken on a new assignment and may be late getting home.

He never comes. The phone never rings. Annie knows something dreadful has happened. She calls the police and friends. Everyone searches. His abandoned car is found the next day with a very dead young woman nearby and the murder weaspon in the trunk. The media arrive like vultures and Max is portrayed as an unfaithful husband willing to kill to rid himself of a clinging mistress. Annie never loses faith even though evidence mounts against Max. Annie goes undercover in a last desperate hope to trap a murderer who may have committed the perfect crime.

2. Can you give us a sense of what you're working on now?

I've turned in the 8th novel in the Henrie O series, SET SAIL FOR MURDER. It will be out in 2007. Retired newspaperwoman Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins finds murder on a Baltic cruise.

I've also turned in the first novel in a new series. ONE GOOD TURN . . ., a ghost story, relates the adventures of Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, Ok., who returns to earth to aid a young woman in danger of being accused of murder. I had great fun writing about Bailey Ruth, who always means well but leaves behind her a trail of havoc and some startled citizens.

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

The last stanza of Rudyard Kipling's When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted captures the joy for me:

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;

And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame.

But each for the joy of working, and each, in his separate star,

Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!

4. The greatest DIS-pleasure?

Knowing that the world of publishing discards wonderful books and wonderful authors as coldly and impersonally as a rampaging tiger destroys his prey.

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?

Seek what is good and true and honorable and beautiful.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?

Selwyn Jepson, Kathleen Moore Knight, Erle Stanley Gardner (surely not forgotten but not, to my knowledge, not currently published), Mary Collins.

7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.

A lifetime ago. I saw an ad in The Writer about a contest for a mystery for girls 8 to 12. I loved Nancy Drew and I decided to try. The Secret of the Cellars won the contest. It was published in 1964. ONE GOOD TURN . . ., the first title in a new series, will be out (I think) in 2007. It will be will be my 40th book.


Blogger Richard S. Wheeler said...

In the space of one brief interview Carolyn Hart has shown herself to have a beautiful soul.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Juri said...

Erle Stanley Gardner is in print. Well, at least one of his A.A. Fair books is out from Hard Case Crime.

3:05 AM  

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