Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery with Charlaine Harris October 22 at UNCG in Support of the University Libraries


Charlaine Harris,
photo by D. Woldan
Margaret Maron
photo by Bob Witchger
Note: The  audience will be limited to 125 persons.  There is no charge for the event, but those wishing to attend are asked to email Barry Miller at barry_miller@uncg.edu to assure their place for this unique program.


What happens when Judge Deborah Knott meets Sookie Stackhouse? 

Do vampires indulge in the products produced by alleged North Carolina bootleggers?

Find out when authors Margaret Maron and Charlaine Harris settle down with their famous protagonists for a conversation at UNCG on October 22 at 7 pm in the Virginia Dare Room of UNCG’s Alumni House for the second installment in the Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery Series. 

It is no accident, they say, that the visit is timed only a few days before Halloween.

Margaret Maron and Charlaine Harris are both highly successful writers with legions of fans, and the appearances of their new books are always highly anticipated. They are also two highly accomplished women who have been pioneering figures in a world of mystery-writing now dominated by women novelists.  They will speak about their careers, their lives, their friendship, their genres, the state of the book industry, and the handling of social issues in their writing, among other topics. 

This is not Margaret Maron’s first visit to UNCG.  She attended school here and has returned a number of times to speak, including the gift of a commencement address to our graduates in 2010.  Last year, she inaugurated our Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery series with her friend and colleague Nancy Pickard.

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 and the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2008, Margaret Maron 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.

Her latest novel, Long Upon the Land, was published in August 2015.  It will be the last in the Judge Deborah Knott series, Maron says. 

This year she has invited Charlaine Harris to be part of her Women of Mystery series.

Charlaine Harris says that she is a true daughter of the South. She was born in Mississippi and has lived in Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas. An aside: Her mother was a librarian, and she has written a mystery series about a librarian/sleuth, both of which make her popular at this gathering. 

Charlaine began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and began to write books a few years later when she says her husband “told her to stay home and write.” Her first book, Sweet and Deadly, appeared in 1981. When Charlaine’s career as a mystery writer began to falter a bit, she decided to write a cross-genre book that would appeal to fans of mystery, science fiction, romance, and suspense. She is perhaps best known for The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, otherwise known as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels. She says she could not have anticipated the huge surge of reader interest in the adventures of a barmaid in Louisiana, or the fact that Alan Ball, creator of the long-running True Blood TV series, would come knocking at her door.

Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League.  She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Her papers reside in the University of Mississippi Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Charlene is also an enthusiastic promoter of the Kiva microloan program, Heifer International, Doctors Without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity, among other organizations.

Charlaine is a voracious reader. She has one husband, three children, two grandchilden, and four rescue dogs. “She leads,” she says, “a busy life.”

Please contact Barry Miller at barry_miller@uncg.edu or 336-256-0112 at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

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