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Caroline Slate


Caroline Slate

Caroline Slate is
a New Yorker who grew up in the Richmond Hill section of Queens,
daughter of a dentist with a love for words and an avid volunteer
with a penchant for auctions and antique silver. She has a sister,

Her earliest ambition was to be an actress. She graduated from
NYU’s Theatre Department where she played everything from
Shakespeare to Miller to Coward to Osborne, and at nineteen married
a classmate, whom she later divorced. But out of that marriage came
her son Richard and daughter Joanna. During and after college she
acted off-Broadway, in summer stock and on television, but when her
marriage broke up she needed work that was steadier and closer to
home. For seven years she worked in the New York City schools with
speech-disabled children.

After she married a second time, she made an abrupt career change,
a move closer to her acting roots, though hardly in the
neighborhood of Shakespeare or Shaw. She became a traveling
television spokesperson, pitching products and causes on news and
talk show around the country. Within a year or two, she had
switched to the more staid and lucrative side of public relations,
representing banks and corporate interests, but also causes and
issues close to her heart. She ran public policy for New York
City’s Planned Parenthood and consulted to the Child Welfare
League of America, the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges
and the Council on Adoptable Children.

She divorced a second time and shortly thereafter married Eamon
Brennan, a colleague at Hill & Knowlton, then the world’s
largest public relations agency. In 1980 they both left to open
their own public relations firm, Brennan & Brennan, serving a
mixed group of corporate and issues-related clients. She also
joined the board of directors of an educational media company that
quite early tackled issues such as sexual child abuse and AIDS
among teenagers. In 1985 the Brennans accepted what seemed like a
brilliant offer to sell their firm to a much larger organization.
Despite a senior vice presidency, the switch from running a
business to having a job, did not sit well with her. Within six
months she left to become a corporate headhunter.

Out of that experience came a first novel, published in 1991 under
the name Carol Brennan: Headhunt, the story of a twice-divorced
fortyish P.R. woman with job troubles and a murdered headhunter
client. A sequel, FULL COMMISSION about fast-track New York real
estate followed two years later. After that , two more books, IN
THE DARK, 1994 and CHILL OF SUMMER, 1995, both featuring a
hot-tempered film actress in career decline.

The murder of JonBenet Ramsey captured world attention, not only
because of its inherent tragedy, but also because of what it said
about fragmented American families at the close of the twentieth
century. For Carol it summoned up years of personal experience:
children she’d known and taught; her own children and
stepchildren; her three marriages, two of them failed. Sexualized
children, emotional isolation in the age of hyper-communication,
the fragile nature of trust: THE HOUSE ON SPRUCEWOOD LANE began to
take shape in her head. As it did, she knew this book was going to
be different from the ones she’d written before. Its flawed
characters would lead lives rooted in their own troubled pasts.
Their psychological interplay would develop in depth, creating
intrinsic suspense; the mystery aspect would be there, but not the
main event.

For a new kind of book, a new name: Caroline Slate. Slate’s
next book, as yet untitled, is the story of a jewelry designer
whose life is everything she has ever wanted it to be, but within a
year her father abruptly disappears in murky circumstances and
shortly after, she kills her husband. Seven years later she is out
of prison needing to find a way to live in the present and come to
terms with a past filled with mysterious black holes.

Caroline Slate