Mary Higgins Clark / Simon & Schuster

Mary Higgins Clark reportedly became the first author to break the eight-figure advance barrier when Simon & Schuster gave a $10.1 million contract for four novels back in 1988.

In her memoir Kitchen Privileges, Clark described how she found her blockbuster ideas: “Take a dramatic situation, something that sticks in…

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Janice Harayda

Janice Harayda

Critic, novelist, award-winning journalist. Former book columnist for Glamour and book editor of The Plain Dealer.