Meet Claire Applewhite
“Applewhite isn’t afraid to stretch the boundaries of noir fiction…” —Kirkus Reviews
Claire Applewhite, MBA, is an award-winning mystery writer and Acquisitions Editor for Smoking Gun Publishing, LLC and the Sunflower Press.
A graduate of St. Louis University, her published books include The ‘Nam Series: The Wrong Side of Memphis, St. Louis Hustle, Candy Cadillac, and Tennessee Plates, followed by Crazy For You, and The Doctor’s Tale, published by Smoking Gun Publishing, LLC. Voices of Excellence, a textbook, was published by Sunflower Press, LLC. Applewhite is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. As a judge for a statewide Missouri writing competition, grades 4-6, she identified a widespread deficit in basic language and communication skills that prevented talented disadvantaged students from reaching the “winner’s circle.” All too often, these students and their essays were disqualified in the first round, despite a gripping “voice” that held the reader’s interest until the very end, due to improper grammar, punctuation and/or formatting. What if those students had mentors to provide the one-on-one attention they needed to compete and win? In August of 2011, she launched Voices of Excellence, a two-part program, designed to improve written and oral literacy. Now in its sixth year, the program is making plans to expand its influence. Why? Because, Applewhite believes, every voice matters. Every voice deserves recognition. Every voice needs to be heard.
A pianist and composer, Applewhite wrote her first song, A Serenade For Barbara, for a book trailer for her ‘Nam Noir series. With the publication of additional books, Soldier Man, Time, and Why Should I? soon followed to complement the worlds created in her books. This collection resulted in a CD entitled Night Rain, recorded and produced in Los Angeles by California Sun Records. If Why Should I? sounds like a Beach Boy was hanging around during recording sessions, there might just be a very good reason. “Whether real or imagined,” says Claire, “music makes feelings and words rich and clear.”
She has served as President of the Missouri Writers Guild, (Leadership Award, 2011,) and as a Board member of the Midwest Chapter, Mystery Writers of America. Organizational memberships include the St. Louis Metropolitan Press Club,(Above and Beyond Service Award 2012, Media Person of the Year Chair,) St. Louis Writers Guild, (Outstanding Service Award, 2010,) Sisters in Crime, St. Louis Chapter, the Ozark Writers League and Active member, Mystery Writers of America. St. Louis Medical Society Alliance presented Applewhite with the Member of the Year Award in 2012 and the Jean Huesgen Literary Award in 2013.
A mother of three grown children, Claire lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and two Airedale Terriers, Jack and Lola.