Midwest author Linda Lowery is no stranger to libraries. In fact, she has more than four decades overflowing with experiences, delightful anecdotes and attention-grabbing stories that have culminated in her first self-published mystery novel, Murder in the Library.
I had the opportunity to ask Linda a few questions about her latest creative venture:
Kale: How would you describe your book to those who haven’t read it yet?
Linda: Murder in the Library is of the genre ‘cozy mystery’ (subgenre of crime fiction, read more about that here) Larissa Lou Rue is a librarian dealing with all kinds of library problems. Everthing from raging tornadoes, a killer or two, rabid quilting ladies and a ghostie who haunts the grounds of the old insane asylum that is now the local library is considered ‘all other duties as assigned.’ This is a collection of three library mysteries that all merge into one fun story.
Kale: What inspired you to write a book set in a library?
Linda: I have worked in libraries for over forty years and continue to do so. I love the library setting and the great people who work there and visit there. I began writing these stories because every Saturday morning, I would write a Facebook status update about how I had scared myself silly in the dark library. There were several ghost stories shared by staff members, so there was a possibility, but more likely it was my own shadow doing the ‘spooking.’ In my status, I would tell my children and friends that I was there alone and if they didn’t hear from me to look for my cold dead body in the stacks. People enjoyed my updates and if I failed to write one, the messages began. When I decided to start writing for fun, it was with those updates in mind. I’ve always loved mysteries and a bit of the paranormal so for me, combining those elements was the way to go. And what better setting than a library?
Kale: Many of authors have a “playlist” for their books. Is there one particular song that fits with your book or one that you listened to while writing it?
Linda: The only music I listen to when writing is ‘Fairy Music’: Fairy Nightsongs, Fairy Lullabies and Fairy Heart Songs, all by Gary Stadler. Mostly instrumental and very sweet and flowing. If I listen to songs with words, I sing. Although, Larissa, my character, does listen to Eminem, Pink and The Who’s Pinball Wizard is important to the story.
Kale: What’s one piece of advice you have for other indie authors trying to get their work out there?
Linda: Edit and edit and edit. Do it yourself, beg a friend (or five) because small mistakes are so easy to miss. Also, enjoy the process and the rewards.
Kale: What inspired you to take the independent publishing route rather than traditional publishing?
Linda: When I first finished the book it was just for me, a book on my bookshelf, but family and a few friends wanted to read it and besides, after all of the work, why not? Luckily, I have a very tech-savvy friend who did all of the formatting and design and most of the editing. She is amazing at everything she does.
Kale: Anything else you’d like to add?
I went back to college and majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing later in life, but NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was the motivating factor to finish this book. I also compiled family stories about bad cars from a college assignment to produce my second book, Roasting Marshmallows on the Manifold because: “Heaven shall be a bonfire of all of the cars that ever gave us trouble on Earth – and we shall roast marshmallows!”