Thursday, August 21, 2014

Margaret Maron to Inaugurate New Series About Women of Mystery


Who: Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery (with Nancy Pickard)
When: Wednesday, October 29, 7 pm
Where: Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, UNCG
Free and open to the public


How does a highly successful writer like North Carolina’s Margaret Maron give back? 

For one, she continues to write books that her readers are eager to snap up whenever they’re published.  Margaret’s latest, the nineteenth featuring Judge Deborah Knott of the fictional Colleton County east of Raleigh, North Carolina, is entitled Designated Daughters and was published in August. As the Chicago Tribune has declared, “There’s nobody better.”  While decidedly modest about a list of accomplishments and awards that includes an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010, Margaret has long been active in mentoring other writers and calling attention to the compelling issues facing North Carolina in her novels. Maron’s papers are on long-term loan to UNCG’s Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Department in Jackson Library.

In January, the library administration at UNCG suggested that another avenue for giving back might be appealing, and Margaret jumped on the idea of presenting other women mystery authors whose work she admires and commends to readers.  For the first in what may become a series of events each Fall, Margaret invited her friend, colleague and fellow author Nancy Pickard to participate in a program we are calling “Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery.”  The program will be October 29 at 7 pm in the Virginia Dare room on the UNCG campus, and is free and open to the public.

Pickard, who hails from Missouri and lives in Kansas, is a highly successful author in her own right. Like Maron, Pickard is a founding member and former president of Sisters In Crime, the international organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers, and she is a former national board member of the Mystery Writers of America. Especially known for her Jenny Cain series, she too has won “a slew” of writing awards. When she was ten years old, she wrote: "I will be happy if I can have horses, solve mysteries, help people, and be happily married.”  She continues, “For thirty years after that, I forgot on any conscious level about that wish list. When I finally came across it again, I was forty years old, married to a cowboy, doing volunteer work, and writing murder mysteries.” She then she described that insofar as the writing murder mysteries was concerned, she owed it all to Nancy Drew (“I read Nancy Drew. Didn't you?”).  So it is particularly appropriate that she would come to visit UNCG, where our library has premier collections of Girls’ Books in Series, and of Women’s Detective Fiction in our Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives.


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