At a very early age I had the compelling need to capture
life and then explain it
to whoever would listen. Usually nobody. At the age of six
I wrote an epic poem about heaven and angels. Nobody listened.
At the age of nine I wrote a play called Nevada.
I shamelessly stole the title from a Zane Gray novel. The
play took place in a barroom and dealt with the intense
exciting world of cowboys and dancehall girls. The play
ends on the climactic note of the villain being sent to
his room. Already I was developing a firm moral basis that
would serve me well in the mystery genre.
Growing up in Southern California I read Raymond Chandler,
Ross Macdonald, Nathaniel West and in his Hollywood period,
F. Scott Fitzgerald. They turned Los Angeles upside down.
When driving my car along Sunset Blvd. toward the ocean
I no longer saw a rosy sun-streaked sky. I saw a smear of
blood. Seductive palm trees turned lurid. Blondes were
not just sex symbols, but capable of murder an inverted
power but a power nonetheless. As in The
Day of the Locust, movie
fans didn't adore, they rioted and destroyed. Hollywood
bred a dangerous desperation between the buyers and sellers
of dreams. I was hooked. But Hollywood discovered me before
I could discover it.
However, more than glamour
of setting, what makes Ms. Howes work stand out is
keenness of insight.
Ellery Queen Magazine
stopped in front of my favorite shoe store.
There they were. A pair of black and white
spectator pumps. I longingly admired how the
black shiny patent curved around the pristine
white leather. I delighted at the little holes
punched along the edge of the patent so the
white leather peeked through. I appreciated
the curve of the sexy heel.
...spectator shoes. Think of the possibilities.
If I slipped my feet into them what would
I observe? Witness?
Maggie Hill, Beauty Dies