Carolyn Hart is one of Oklahoma’s literary treasures, having written at least 50 mystery and suspense novels, many of which have been best-sellers and won prestigious awards.
In December, it was announced that she would receive perhaps the greatest writing highlight of her career: She and Robert Crais, a TV script writer and author of the Elvis Cole series, were named as the 2014 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA).
The organization is a big deal, particularly to writers in that field.
Past Grand Masters include Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Ira Levin, Mickey Spillane, Tony Hillerman, Alfred Hitchcock, John D. McDonald, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout and Agatha Christie, among many others. It’s a roster of the biggest names in suspense fiction dating back to 1955.
Hart was lauded for her work and presented with her award on May 1 at the Edgar Awards Banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
The presentation included a professionally produced video tribute that played as she walked on-stage to accept her award.
Characteristically, Hart had little to say about herself when she returned from the New York ceremony.
“It was a magical evening,” she said in an email. “MWA President Brad Meltzer presided. He was funny, interesting and appealing.”
She and Crais were interviewed by Oline Cogdill, a well-known mystery reviewer; the interview is posted online at the MWA website, mysterywriters.org.
Now Hart is back home and back on deadline for her next novel. But, she said, the recognition from her peers has her “still sailing on a cloud.”