Even as a young girl, growing up in the Bronx, Mary Higgins Clark knew she wanted to be a writer. The gift of storytelling was a part of her Irish ancestry, so it followed naturally that she would later use her sharp eye, keen intelligence, and inquisitive nature to create stories about the people and things she observed. When Mary's father died during the Depression, her mother decided to open the family home to boarders, and placed a discreet sign next to the front door that read, FURNISHED ROOMS. KITCHEN PRIVILEGES. The family's struggle to make ends meet; her employment as a hotel switchboard operator; the death of her beloved older brother in World War II; her brief career as a flight attendant for Pan Am; her marriage to Warren Clark; sitting at the kitchen table, writing stories, and finally selling the first one for one hundred dollars (after six years and some forty rejections!) - all these experiences figure in Kitchen Privileges.