Mary Ellen Hughes

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Like most writers, I was an enthusiastic reader before I became a writer. Nancy Drew mysteries were early favorites, and they inspired my own first attempt at writing at about nine or ten years old. That’s when I discovered that writing an entire book was hard, and I stuck to just reading for a while.

Writing for my school newspapers later on was fun, though I found I much preferred features to straight reporting. So when it came time to choose a career path, journalism didn’t make the cut. Medical Technology seemed much more practical than fiction writing, and that was my choice of major. I spent a few years after college at the National Institutes of Health helping to solve health-related mysteries through clinical chemistry instead of creating mysteries on paper.

Marriage and two kids took over next, but as the children grew and ‘me’ time reappeared, I returned to writing, dabbling at first, then buckling down more seriously. Moving from hobbyist to professional didn’t happen overnight, but with lots of practice, networking with other writers through Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, plus regular meet-ups with a critique group, I saw my short stories make it into print. A small press published my first mystery novel, RESORT TO MURDER – and believe me, there’s nothing more exciting for a writer than that first book contract –then the same publisher picked up  A TASTE OF DEATH.

After acquiring an agent, I signed with larger publisher Berkley Prime Crime to write the Craft Corner Mysteries. These included WREATH OF DECEPTION, STRING OF LIES, and PAPER-THIN ALIBI. The Pickled and Preserved Mysteries followed, beginning with THE PICKLED PIPER and LICENSE TO DILL. The third book—SCENE OF THE BRINE—is currently on the path for publication.

What will come next? Good question, and one whose answer I’m just as interested to find out. Life, after all, is full of mystery, and a lot of the fun comes from following all the twists and turns along the way. So I hope you’ll check back here for updates and also sign up for my newsletter, whose sign-up form is on this website’s home page. Thanks so much, and—happy reading!