It was quite the thrill to sit in an intimate setting with one of the most popular fiction writers ever, Mary Higgins Clark, and her successful daughter, Carol Higgins Clark. The two mystery storytellers were at the Mysterious Bookstore on Warren St. in Tribeca, NY for the debut of their new respective books, "Two Little Girls in Blue" and "Hitched".
The few fans who managed to show up, with the massive immigration demonstrations only a few blocks away, earned a real treat being able to converse with the authors practically one-on-one.
Mary said how she and Carol never actually read at these so-called "readings"; rather they enjoy sitting and talking with the audiences. A lot of behind-the-scenes material was discussed, but the one area that most people always want to talk about is how they get their plots. In mystery writing, Mary revealed there are only really seven plots that an author can extrapolate from.
Both writers build their stories from real life experiences. Whether going on a cruise, visiting friends, shopping, attending a party or simply watching television, something usually sparks a story idea.
That's one of the reasons why successful authors like Mary and Carol get sued so often. There is always that one reader claiming they stole his/her material or overheard a conversation and used it. "It costs a fortune to fight these false claims," Mary explained. "Most of these can never be substantiated and go away as fast as they surface, but they are nevertheless disturbing."
The more famous authors become, the more they attract people with too much time on their hands, one example being the guy who often writes to Mary and corrects her grammar. He claims she still doesn’t know the difference between "take" and "bring" in the construction of her sentences. "That's why I have a publisher and editor, but sometimes they don't catch it either."