Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Agatha Christie - Author of 82 Detective Novels

Agatha Christie - Author of 82 Detective Novels Agatha Christie was one of the most successful crime novelists and playwrights of the 20th century. Her lifelong shyness led her to the literary world where she conjured up detective fiction with endearing characters, including the world-famous detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Not only did Christie write 82 detective novels, but she also wrote an autobiography, a series of six romance novels (under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott), and 19 plays, including The Mousetrap, the world’s longest running theatrical play in London. More than 30 of her murder mystery novels have been made into motion pictures, including Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), and Death on the Nile (1978). Dates: September 15, 1890 – January 12, 1976 Also Known As: Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller; Dame Agatha Christie; Mary Westmacott (pseudonym); Queen of Crime Growing Up On September 15, 1890, Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born the daughter of Frederick Miller and Clara Miller (nà ©e Boehmer) in the seaside resort town of Torquay, England. Frederick, an easy going, independently wealthy American stockbroker, and Clara, an Englishwoman, raised their three children Margaret, Monty, and Agatha in an Italian-style stucco mansion complete with servants. Agatha was educated in her happy, peaceful home via a mixture of tutors and â€Å"Nursie,† her nanny. Agatha was an avid reader, especially Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. She and her friends enjoyed acting out gloomy stories where everyone died, which Agatha wrote herself. She played croquet and took piano lessons; however, her extreme shyness kept her from publicly performing. In 1901, when Agatha was 11, her father died of a heart attack. Frederick had made some bad investments, leaving his family financially unprepared for his untimely death. Although Clara was able to keep their home since the mortgage was paid, she was forced to make several household cuts, including the staff. Rather than home tutors, Agatha went to Miss Guyer’s School in Torquay; Monty joined the army; and Margaret married. For high school, Agatha went to a finishing school in Paris where her mother hoped her daughter would become an opera singer. Although good at singing, Agatha’s stage fright once again prevented her from publicly performing. After her graduation, she and her mother traveled to Egypt, which would inspire her writing. Becoming Agatha Christie, Crime Writer In 1914, the sweet, shy, 24-year-old Agatha met 25-year-old Archibald Christie, an aviator, who was in complete contrast to her personality. The couple married December 24, 1914, and Agatha Miller became Agatha Christie. A member of the royal Flying Corps during World War I, daring Archibald returned to his unit the day after Christmas, while Agatha Christie became a volunteer nurse for the ill and injured of the war, many of whom were Belgians. In 1915, she became a hospital-dispensing pharmacist, which gave her an education in poisons. In 1916, Agatha Christie wrote a death-by-poison murder mystery in her spare time, mostly due to her sister Margaret challenging her to do so. Christie titled the novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles and introduced a Belgian inspector she invented named Hercule Poirot (a character who would appear in 33 of her novels). Christie and her husband were reunited after the war and lived in London where Archibald received a job with the Air Ministry in 1918. Their daughter Rosalind was born on August 5, 1919. Six publishers turned down Christie’s novel before John Lane in the US published it in 1920 and subsequently published by Bodley Head in the UK in 1921. Christie’s second book,  The Secret Adversary, was published in 1922. That same year, Christie and Archibald set sail on a voyage to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada as part of the British trade mission. Rosalind stayed behind with her aunt Margaret for ten months. Agatha Christie’s Personal Mystery By 1924, Agatha Christie had published six novels. After Christie’s mother died of bronchitis in 1926, Archibald, who was having an affair, asked Christie for a divorce. Christie left her home on December 3, 1926; her car was found abandoned and Christie was missing. Archibald was immediately suspected. After a police hunt for 11 days, Christie turned up at the Harrogate Hotel, using a name patterned after Archibald’s mistress, and saying she had amnesia. Some suspected that she actually had a nervous breakdown, others suspected that she wanted to upset her husband, and the police suspected that she wanted to sell more books. Archibald and Christie divorced April 1, 1928. Needing to get away, Agatha Christie boarded the Orient Express in 1930 from France to the Middle East. On tour at a dig site in Ur she met an archaeologist named Max Mallowan, a big fan of hers. Fourteen years his senior, Christie enjoyed his company, finding out that they both worked in the business of uncovering â€Å"clues.† After they married on September 11, 1930, Christie often accompanied him, living and writing from Mallowan’s archeological sites, further inspiring her novels’ settings. The couple remained happily married for 45 years, until Agatha Christie’s death. Agatha Christie, the Playwright In October 1941, Agatha Christie wrote a play titled Black Coffee. After writing several more plays, Christie wrote The Mousetrap in July 1951 for Queen Mary’s 80th birthday; the play became the longest continuously running play in the West End of London, since 1952. Christie received the Edgar Grand Master Award in 1955. In 1957, when Christie became ill living at the archaeological digs, Mallowan decided to retire from Nimrud in northern Iraq. The couple returned to England where they busied themselves with writing projects. In 1968, Mallowan was knighted for his contributions to archaeology. In 1971, Christie was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire, the equivalent of knighthood, for her services to literature. Death of Agatha Christie On January 12, 1976, Agatha Christie died at home in Oxfordshire at the age of 85 of natural causes. Her body was interred at Cholsey Churchyard, Cholsey, Oxfordshire, England. Her autobiography was published posthumously in 1977.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

4 Ways to Impress Any Hiring Manager

4 Ways to Impress Any Hiring Manager No matter how great your resume, how extensive your skills, how thorough your qualifications, if you don’t have that â€Å"know it when you see it† something special, you may not be able to convince the hiring manager that you’re the one. Here are four traits you can work on showcasing in the interview process that just might get you the job.Practice your playground 101Scheduled for a lunch or coffee interview, rather than an appointment in the office? The hiring manager might be trying to suss out how well you play with others. Can you make small talk? Can you put people, including and especially yourself, at ease? Are you pleasant and personable? You may not realize how important people skills are, even for jobs that don’t require a lot of client or customer interface. Remember, your coworkers have to interact with you every day. Show them they won’t regret taking you on board! Politeness and self-awareness will go a long way here.Don’t be shyDon’t overdo it and come across as an overzealous lunatic, but do try and let your enthusiasm shine through. Love this kind of work? Have tons of passion? Be yourself and show how hungry you are to succeed. You might just have the kind of spark your hiring manager is searching for.Do diligenceThink of the interview as your first assignment and do your homework. Learn everything you can about the company and the team you’d be working on, and go in with a few intelligent, insightful questions. This will be a great way to â€Å"show, not tell† the truth of that â€Å"hard worker† line in your cover letter. Also have a story or two on hand about times when you went above and beyond- just to sink the point.Be niceWe’re back on the playground again. Try and show your interviewer you’d be the kind of colleague they’d want to go to happy hour with to cheers over a big win. Be solicitous and easygoing. If the team likes you, that will go a long way in decision making.The bottom line is: be yourself, but go the extra mile to make sure your best self is shining through in interview situations, even when you’re nervous and concentrating on selling your skills. It can make all the difference.