06.16.2000 - By Women in Literature (Audio)
Sue Grafton is one of America's most popular mystery writers, the author of a series of best-sellers known as the alphabet mysteries, beginning with "A" is for Alibi and continuing through her latest, "U" is for Undertow due out in December 2009. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville. She was always interested in writing, but feared that she could never make a living at it. Her own father had published two mystery novels but died without achieving the success he had dreamed of. "From the age of twenty-two on, I wrote at night, every night, while I was working full time and raising a family," she says. "I wrote because I couldn't help it... I wrote in the face of rejection, frustration, hardship, weariness and stress. The very act of doing what I loved gave me energy." She completed four book-length manuscripts before publishing her first novel, Keziah Dane, in 1967, followed by The Lolly-Madonna War in 1969. She wrote the screen lay for the film version of Lolly-Madonna, released by MGM in 1973. This led to a lucrative career as a writer for episodic television and made-for-TV-movies, including episodes of Rhoda, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, many written in collaboration with her husband, Steven Humphrey. By the early 1980s, Grafton had acquired a reputation in the industry for her aptitude with the murder mystery genre. She returned to the novel, creating the alphabet mystery series around a hard-boiled female private investigator named Kinsey Millhone, who lives in the fictional coastal community of Santa Teresa, California. In every day life, she is the mother of three and the grandmother of two. When she is not enjoying a garden or writing, Grafton divides her time between Louisville and Montecito, California. Her books have been published all over the world, and have won almost every award in the mystery field. When not writing her mysteries she writes and lectures on the craft of writing.