The Greenfield Public Library is proud to announce a new program series starting Thursday, June 21 at 10am in the LeVanway Meeting Room. The Thursday Morning Club will feature local people with interesting hobbies, skills, or (something) to share with our community. The Club will meet twice a month on Thursdays and is free and open to the public. The inaugural session will feature Hazel Dawkins.
Dawkins worked in New York first for the publishing company HarperCollins, then for Columbia University Press. “I was paid to read,” she explains. Later, she was an editor for Chilton in Pennsylvania. Bill Dufty’s Sugar Blues and Menopause, A Positive Approach by Rosetta Reitz are her favorites of the titles she edited although the first Dick Francis mystery to be published in the US was the book that paved the way to Dawkins writing the Dr. Yoko mysteries. When her boss at Harper’s dropped the galleys of the Dick Francis book on her desk, Dawkins said, “I don’t read mysteries.”
“Now you do,” her boss said. That title, Dead Cert, was the first of the Francis books to be published in the U.S. and Dawkins made sure she read all the following books by Francis.
While working at HarperCollins, Dawkins was one of the few on staff who regularly visited a room at the top of the building (Harpers was on E 33rd St. at that time). The room held copies of all the titles the company had published up to then. An avid reader, Dawkins worked her way through those book, from Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, Thackeray and H. G. Wells (an old favorite).
John Ford, Poet in the Desert, by Joseph Malham, Endless Journey by Dr. Janet Stumbo and Molly Campbell’s Characters in Search of a Novel (Molly is a 2-time Erma Bombeck award-winning writer) are among recent titles she has edited.
Dawkins has authored factual as well as fictional books. Eye Sleuth is the first title in her Dr. Yoko series. Next is Eye Witness (co-authored with Dennis Berry). The third, Eye Sleuth’s Ghostly Vacations, is an e-novella but will be a paperback in September 2018. The fourth Dr. Yoko mystery is Eyes on the Past. Factual books includeThe Suddenly Successful Student & Friends and Focus Your Mind’s Eye.
An editor-writer who has worked in London, Paris and New York, Dawkins now lives in bucolic western Massachusetts.