Carolyn G. Hart


How the classic Beverly Gray novels of Clair Blank changed my life.

blank_beverlygrayreporterI look back over a lifetime of reading and remember books from many wonderful writers. I learned from them all, suspense from Alexandre Dumas, courage from Louisa May Alcott, protest from Charles Dickens, the imaginable unimaginable from William Faulkner, anguish from Edna St. Vincent Millay, clear-eyed judgment from Agatha Christie.

But if I peel back the years and tell the truth, the books that directed the course of my life were simply written books for girls, the Beverly Graynovels by Clair Blank. The books chart her college years and her success as a reporter and writer. These books first suggested to me that one could have a life as a writer and as a reporter. I grew up determined to be a reporter. I worked on school newspapers, majored in journalism, worked briefly as a reporter, then turned to fiction in my late twenties.

Thank you, Beverly Gray.

Carolyn G. Hart is the award-winning author of numerous traditional mysteries including those in her Bailey Ruth Raeburn series, Death on Demand series, and Henrie O series.

This "Writers on Reading" essay was originally published in "At the Scene" eNews April 2010 as a first-look exclusive to our enewsletter subscribers. For more special content available first to our enewsletter subscribers, sign up here.