Mary Elizabeth Counselman, author of the classic weird tale "The Three Marked Pennies" (written when she was a teen) and others, was born on this day a hundred years ago in Birmingham, Alabama. Although her output was small -- three dozen or so weird tales, plus some mystery and adventure stories for the pulps, as well as work for the slicks -- her work was well respected for its Southern Gothic sensabilities and its imagination. She worked as a newspaper reporter and was a creative writing teacher. She spent most of her life in Gadsden, Alabama, living on a houseboat. She passed away six days before her 84th birthday in 1995. (One source puts her death on May 3, 1994.)
Counselman's best known book was Half in Shadow, a collection of 14 weird stories published in Britain as a paper back in 1964; 14 years later, August Derleth published a revised version for his Arkham House press, eliminating six of the original stories and replacing them with six others. Her other books include African Yesterdays: A Collection of Native Folktales (1975; expanded, 1977), Move Over -- It's Only Me (poetry, 1975), Everthing You Always Wanted to Know About the Supernatural -- But Are Afraid to Believe (1976), SPQR: The Poetry and Life of Catullus (1977), The Eye and the Hand (poetry, 1977), New Lamps for Old (1978), and The Face of Fear and Other Poems (1984).
A definitive collection of her work would be very welcome.