Thursday, November 26, 2015

In Thanks and Memorium

John Donne

“. . . all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another . . .”
John Donne, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Helene Hanff

Helene Hanff with Anne Bancroft

In college, I adored Helene Hanff’s work, particularly Underfoot in Show Business, her personal history of trying to succeed as a playwright. 84 Charing Cross Road became a sentimental favorite. Who can resist a relationship between a reader and bookseller who communicate by correspondence and never meet? Recently, I saw the movie featuring Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, and Judy Dench. I was so delighted that it incorporated facts I learned in the sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. In 1997, Hanff died of diabetes in New York City. The apartment building where she lived has been named “Charing Cross House.”

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Killer Nashville Noir: Cold Blooded


A special reason that I attended this year’s Killer Nashville was the launch of its first anthology, Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded. When Robert Dugoni was approached to contribute a “southern” story, he kindly asked me to collaborate and help make the story authentic. Through his generosity, I received not only a personalized master class, but also a writing credit with a New York Times bestselling author in a collection featuring notables of the mystery, suspense, and thriller genres. Our story, “A Matter of Honor,” features a murder in the South Carolina Statehouse basement. Thanks, Clay Stafford, for this wonderful opportunity!
Clay Stafford
PGB, C. Hope Clark, Daco