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About the Off the Page Contributors
Chauncey Mabe grew up in Southwest Virginia, where he fell in love with reading in order to learn more about dinosaurs, little suspecting he'd eventually become one himself. A fiercely proud autodidact, he always says he learned everything school had to teach him by the fourth grade, after which he shifted his educational attention to the library. His hero is George Bernard Shaw, who once declared that his biggest achievement was never working an honest day after the age of 20. Mabe feels the same way, as journalism is far too much fun to be considered work. Following an indifferent collegiate career at three separate institutions, he dropped out as a fifth-year sophomore to take a job as assistant to the women's page editor at the Daily Banner of Cleveland,Tenn., where, a few months later he was appointed police reporter and discovered his life's calling. He went on to the Jupiter Courier-Journal, the Palm Beach Evening-Times, and the Palm Beach Post. He arrived at the Sun Sentinel in 1986, after a short stint of magazine editing with the now-defunct Halsey Publishing Co. of North Miami. For more than 20 years, Mabe wrote book reviews and literary features as the Sun Sentinel's Books Editor. He's also written general cultural criticism, and about TV, movies and popular music, especially country-&-western, which, with its penchant for story songs, he considers the most literary of all musical genres.
A journalist for more than 25 years, Oline H. Cogdill is a longtime mystery columnist for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and other publications. She goes through mysteries as if they were water and generally reads two to three books a week. She's been fan of the genre since she was about 10 years old and began reading her mother's collection of old mysteries. But Oline didn't start with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Instead, she started with Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Mary Roberts Rinehart. After she read all her mother's novels, she started going through those at the library at her small hometown. (The library once called her mother to ask if it was all right if the then 12-year-old checked out an Ian Fleming; it was, her mom said.) Oline was awarded the 1999 Sun Sentinel's Pettijohn Award and the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League.
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