Margaret Maron was born Margaret B. Brown in rural North Carolina and grew up on a farm near Raleigh. She is the daughter of C. O. Brown and Claudia Stephenson Brown. She says that from the time she was eleven years old and discovered the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay, she wanted to be a writer, but it was many years before she began her professional career. Shortly after high school she moved to the North. In 1959 she dropped out of college to marry Joseph “Joe” J. Maron, an officer in the U.S. Navy whom she had met while working in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. They lived for a time in Italy, where he was stationed, and then in New York. Her time in Brooklyn later provided the setting for her Sigrid Harald series. They moved back to her family’s homeplace in North Carolina. They had a son, John, and although Maron says her life was full, she realized that she needed to start writing if she was ever to fulfill her childhood dream.
Maron’s first interest was poetry, but when she began writing seriously and selling her work, she wrote short stories, mostly mysteries, starting with “The Death of Me” in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in 1968. She says that short stories seemed to be her natural form, and for twelve years of writing it never occurred to her that she could write novels because she was intimidated by the long form. However, the short-story market was not strong in the late 1970’s, and she kept adding to one...
(The entire section is 488 words.)