I've written many times about Mary Stewart on this blog; in my estimation she is unmatched as a writer of romantic suspense, and as a writer of the literary mystery. Stewart's writing, intelligent and exciting, has remained my favorite for thirty years, and I only hope she is celebrating this birthday with people that she loves, and that perhaps she is reading a good book at her own hearth.
Always a private person, Stewart did consent to an interview with Raymond H. Thompson in 1989, in which he asked her about the writing of suspense. Stewart claimed that it was not entirely conscious: "I've written stories since I was three and a half, and I think you're either born with the storyteller's flair or you're not. You can learn much about the craft of writing, but you either have the storyteller's flair or you don't. It's no virtue of mine. It's just there. In a story, however, each point of rest is also a point of departure; you can't help it."
For anyone who hasn't read a Mary Stewart novel, you must do yourself the favor of reading one in honor of her birthday. NINE COACHES WAITING has been re-released by Chicago Review Press(thanks for that info, Janet Reid) with a lovely, mysterious cover. I bought it for my mother for her birthday this past August, because she is the one who did me the favor of introducing me to Mary Stewart!
In any case, Mrs. Stewart, I am thinking of you today as you celebrate 91 years.