NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ken Follett and Margaret Maron have been chosen as this year's Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Follett and Ms. Maron will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
When told of being named a Grand Master, Follett said, "I am delighted and honoured. My first successful book, Eye of the Needle, won the Edgar for Best Novel more than thirty years ago. I'm thrilled to know that my fellow writers still hold me in such high regard."
Follett is the best-selling author of twenty novels, and has sold more than 100 million books since he began writing in the 1970's. His career has been wide reaching and after mastering the mystery genre, he expanded into literary epic fiction, TV, movies and children's books. Following Eye of the Needle Follett's string of suspenseful and original thrillers included Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St. Petersburg and Lie Down with Lions. His sweeping historical drama Pillars of the Earth has been on bestseller lists for years, followed by World Without End, Fall of Giants, and Winter of the World. Follett lives in the U.K. with his wife Barbara Follett.
Margaret Maron is the author of twenty-six novels and two short story collections. Her first mystery, One Coffee With, was published in 1981, and was the beginning of her Sigrid Harald series featuring a New York City police officer. But it wasn't until 1992, and a fictional return to her North Carolina roots, with Bootlegger's Daughter (the first of the Deborah Knott series), that Maron was awarded an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award. Maron's works are on the reading lists of courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into 16 languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America. She and her husband live on her family's century-old farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, which inspired the setting for Bootlegger's Daughter.
On learning she was a Grand Master, Maron said, "Me? It still hasn't fully sunk in. I keep remembering my first MWA dinner when I was half-afraid that I would be asked to leave because I only had a few short stories and a half-published book to my name, so how could I possibly belong there with those luminaries? Grand Master? Wow!"
Previous Grand Masters include Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, Dorothy Gilman, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.
One mystery bookstore and one outstanding individual supporting the mystery book genre will be honored with the 2013 Raven Award. Established in 1953, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. The Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego and Redondo Beach, California, and veteran newspaper journalist Oline Cogdill will receive the 2013 Raven Awards.
The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego was opened by Terry Gillman, Maryelizabeth Hart and Jeff Mariotte in 1993. The bookshop has not only served their customers, but has contributed to their community with several successful literacy programs benefiting local schools, libraries and businesses. In 2011, they opened the Redondo Beach store, in the greater LA area. This store has a state-of-the-art media room and adjoining cafe, and stocks some 15,000 to 20,000 books in a renovated 4,000 square-foot facility. The two stores comprise the only mystery bookstores in Southern California.
Maryelizabeth Hart said, "From the day we opened our doors almost twenty years ago, we've believed that bookstores are the bridge between the (sometimes overlapping) community of readers and the community of authors and publishers. We've tried to serve both communities well, and are delighted and proud of this recognition from MWA.'
Oline Cogdill has been a journalist for more than twenty-five years, and is the mystery columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She was awarded the 1999 Sun-Sentinel's Pettijohn Award and the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League. Her reviews are syndicated nationwide.
Cogdill said, "This recognition is an honor that has left me nearly speechless with gratitude. I have always felt privileged to be a part of this community and this validation bestowed by people I respect so much is an overwhelming gift. In these times when the industry is in such flux, it is doubly appreciated that MWA recognizes and endorses the steadfastly ethical relationship between critics and writers."
Previous Raven winners include Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.
The 2013 Ellery Queen Award will be given to Johnny Temple, founder and editor of Akashic Books. The Ellery Queen award is given to editors or publishers who have distinguished themselves by their generous and wide-ranging support of the genre.
In 2004, Akashic Books launched their Noir Series of short stories about a particular city. Brooklyn Noir was the first to be followed by fifty-five more. Pete Hamill, Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, S. J. Rozan, George Pelecanos, Ken Bruen, and Joyce Carol Oates are among the many contributors. Two stories published in the Series have won the Edgar for Best Short Story, and the Series has been recognized with nominations and awards throughout the mystery and literary world, from the Shamus, Derringer, Macavity, and Anthony Awards to the Pushcart Prize. Under the guidance of Johnny Temple, the Noir Series has become an important presence in the mystery community. Upon hearing the news of his award, Johnny Temple said, "It's wonderful, and it's monumental."
Previous Ellery Queen winners include Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post/Hearst Media News Group, Kate Stine and Brian Skupin, co-publishers of Mystery Scene Magazine, Carolyn Marino, Vice President/Executive Editor, Harper Collins, and Ed Gorman.
The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses more than 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website: www.mysterywriters.org.
The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
SOURCE Mystery Writers of America