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Death By Library (Pismawallops PTA Mysteries)
by Rebecca M. Douglass
About Death by Library
Death By Library (Pismawallops PTA Mysteries)
4th in Series
Independently Published (December 6, 2019
Number of Pages — ~280
The library can save your life… can it kill you, too?
JJ has a new job at the library, which ought to make her happy. But with all those books to shelve, the PTA to run, and a 16-year-old son to raise, there’s never enough time to spend with her sweetheart, police chief Ron Karlson. That’s especially true with Thanksgiving on the horizon and her mother coming to visit, not to mention the PTA’s Holiday Bazaar looming ahead.
When things turn deadly in the library stacks, JJ needs some answers fast, before she loses her job—or her life. She’s determined to learn everything about the victim, and for once the library doesn’t hold all the answers. JJ and Kitty may have to face the ultimate peril: a visit to Mrs. Halsey, the oldest—and crankiest—person on the island.
About Rebecca M. Douglass
Guest Post by the Author
Writing a Series
First, thanks for inviting me to drop in here today! I always love to see new places. I like the décor! I thought I’d talk a little today about writing a series, since I’m now working on #5 in the Pismawallops PTA Mystery series, something I never could have imagine a few years ago!
Series. Readers love them (I do). We like to be able to cozy up with familiar characters in a familiar place, but still have the excitement of a new story. As a writer, those same things make them fun to write, and working with a world you’ve already built gave you a head start. With every story in a series, more of the world and its inhabitants is uncovered, or crawls out from whatever dark place they were hiding in (depending on the characters and the kind of book).
For me, that’s been the joy of writing the Pismawallops PTA books: the little island I invented as a setting for the first murder has become a real place in my mind. While I continue to meet new people there, more and more I know where they are going to fit—where they work, how they get their kids to school, and if they have a library card.
The downside of writing a series is… exactly the same as the upside. Everyone and everything in my invented world has a place, even if I haven’t discovered it yet. I can’t have events and people that wouldn’t occur on a small island in northern Puget Sound. I can’t suddenly turn and have an alien invasion (which is just another way of saying, I’m stuck in a single genre). Happily, there are other books, and lots of short fiction where I can play with genres and new characters.
Writing a mystery series has another built-in problem: the sudden proliferation of murders in a single small town. How many times can you ask your readers to indulge you with their suspension of disbelief as yet another corpse washes ashore? I don’t have a good answer for that. You can take your sleuth on the road, which opens up all sorts of possibilities, but also makes it harder to give them the means to solve the mystery. Or you can just ignore the issue, and most readers will, too, because of that thing about loving series.
To me, it’s a reminder to think about endings. Most of the series I’ve read that run to 20 or more books have lost me somewhere along the way. There are exceptions, of course, but I can think of several once-favorite authors whose stories have stopped reaching me, for a variety of reasons. When the characters in a series have had their major life problems dealt with, you have to either leave them, or start doing nasty things to them. I don’t want to do the latter. That means I need to add one more thing to my list of things to plan as I plot my mysteries: an end. I’ll know when I find it. Then I can start over, with a new community to explore!
After a lifetime of reading, and a decade or more of slinging books at the library and herding cats with the PTA, Rebecca began to turn her experiences into books of her own, publishing her first in 2012. That failed to quiet the voices in her head, but seemed to entertain a number of readers, so she wrote some more, which generated still more voices. Despite the unlimited distractions provided by raising sons to the point of leaving home (and preparing to move without forwarding address if necessary to retain that empty nest), not to mention the mountains that keep calling (very hard to resist the urging of something the size of the Sierra Nevada), she has managed to pen a total of 9 books so far.
For those who enjoy murder and mayhem with a sense of humor, Rebecca’s Pismawallops PTA mysteries (Death By Ice Cream and Death By Trombone, Death By Adverb, and Death By Library) provide insights into what PTA moms are really like. If you prefer tall tales and even less of a grip on reality, visit Skunk Corners in The Ninja Librarian and the sequels Return to Skunk Corners and The Problem of Peggy. For those who’ve always thought that fantasy was a bit too high-minded, a stumble through rescues and escapes with Halitor the Hero, possibly the most hapless hero to ever run in fear from any and all fair maidens, should set you straight.
Why does Rebecca write so many different kinds of books (there’s even an alphabet picture book in the mix!)? We could argue that it’s because she has a rich lifetime of experience that requires expression in—squirrel!
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NinjaLibrarian
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