Book & Author Spotlights

Mary Jane Clark
Tomie DePaolo

ADULTS:  MARY JANE CLARK

Mary Jane Clark (born in 1954) is an American author of two series of suspense novels. Her first twelve books are media thrillers influenced by her three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. She plots murder mysteries investigated and solved by the characters who work at KEY News, the fictional television news world she has created. Her next series is The Wedding Cake Mysteries, featuring an actress-turned wedding cake designer who gets involved in murder cases which threaten to prevent ceremonies.

The daughter of a special agent with the FBI who uncovered Russian espionage during the Cold War and, later, worked on kidnapping and extortion cases, her interest in suspense started at an early age. She attended Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, Bergen County, New Jersey, graduating in 1972.  With the goal of working in television news, she graduated from the University of Rhode Island with degrees in journalism and political science.  She started her professional career as a desk assistant at CBS News headquarters in New York City, eventually becoming a producer and writer.

Clark resides in Hillsdale, New Jersey and Florida. She has two children, a daughter, Elizabeth, an actress, and a son, David who has Fragile X Syndrome, the most common inherited form of developmental disability. Mary Jane supports the FRAXA Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports scientific research aimed at finding a treatment or a cure for the condition.  Clark's former mother-in-law and sister-in-law are the well-known American authors Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, respectively.

(The display of books is by our "NEW" book shelves.)

                   

CHILDREN:  TOMIE DEPAOLO

Thomas Anthony "Tomie" dePaola (born September 15, 1934) is an American writer and illustrator who has created more than 200 children's books, and is known best for the PBS Kids TV series Barney & Friends and picture books such as Strega Nona.  He received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his lifetime contribution to American children's literature in 2011.

Though not as well known as for illustrations of children's books, DePaola has also produced significant works of fine . These works include the simple, yet elegant, series of fourteen Stations of the Cross and a depiction of St. Benedict that reside in the Abbey Church of Our Lady of Glastonbury in Hingham, Massachusetts.

After high school, dePaola studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  He taught at Newton College of the Sacred Heart outside Boston, then moved to California, where he taught at San Francisco College for Women. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1969 and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco. DePaola relocated to New England in the 1970s. He taught art at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. DePaola retired from full-time teaching in 1978 to devote his time to writing and illustrating books.  

As an actor, dePaola has appeared in several episodes of Barney & Friends as himself. He also starred as himself in the Jim Henson Company series Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola.

The Pratt Institute honored him with an honorary doctorate on May 18, 2009.  DePaola has received many awards for his children's books.  He currently resides in New London, New Hampshire.

(These books are on display in the Lower Level on top of the ER shelves.)

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