In Fine Libraries Everywhere

Kate Flora: There’s an old New Yorker cartoon I remember from my childhood, where

Sometimes it's fun to stack up all the books and see how much I've written.

Sometimes it’s fun to stack up all the books and see how much I’ve written.

the husband is saying on the phone: “She’s not here. She’s at fine stores everywhere.” Well, for me—the second-hand queen—I am rarely found at stores, but whenever possible, I am found in libraries.

There is no place a writer likes better than the library. The vast majority of us are voracious readers, and developing and feeding that reading habit began when we first clutched our library cards and started choosing and taking out books. Growing up, the Vose Library in Union, Maine was a magical place. Every week I would bring home a whole stack of books, and on Friday I would return them and get another stack. Back then I was enchanted by the way writers could pull me out of this world and into the world they had created.

I still am.

Becoming a writer—crossing that threshold into creating stories as well as reading them—has brought me into libraries in a new way. Now I visit to talk with readers. To get their perspective on my books. To hear what they wonder about. Sometimes to hear how deeply attached they’ve become to my characters. It is readers, of course, who have led me change my mind about ending the Joe Burgess series. It was supposed to be a quartet, but now I’ve written book five and am pondering on the plot for book six. Libraries foster these relationships between writers and readers by providing opportunities to speak about the process, the research, and to connect with people who are fascinated by writing and storytelling.

Last year, I joked that I hoped to eventually visit every library in Maine. So far, I’ve only taken baby steps, but with my co-written Maine game warden memoir, A Good Man with a Dog, http://amzn.to/1PuSQwI on the publication horizon, I’m hoping retired game warden Roger Guay and I will get to visit a whole lot more in 2016.

Here are some snapshots of 2015 in the library. Where will 2016 take me?

At the beautiful Rangeley Library with Lea Wait and Dorothy Cannell

At the beautiful Rangeley Library with Lea Wait and Dorothy Cannell

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Death and Desserts at the Liberty Library with Lea Wait and Dorothy Cannell

Death and Desserts at the Liberty Library with Lea Wait and Dorothy Cannell

Murder by the Book, Jesup Library, Bar Harbor

Murder by the Book, Jesup Library, Bar Harbor

Speaking about Death Dealer at the Jesup in Bar Harbor

Speaking about Death Dealer at the Jesup in Bar Harbor

Celebrating Carol Briggs retirement at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick

Celebrating Carol Briggs retirement at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick

With other Maine crime writers at Books in Boothbay

With other Maine crime writers at Books in Boothbay

Mystery Night at the Concord Public Library

Mystery Night at the Concord Public Library

 

 

 

 

 

About MCWriTers

Kate Flora is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including her Joe Burgess police procedural series, her Thea Kozak series, two true crimes, a stand-alone suspense and a memoir, as well as many short stories. Her books have been Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Derringer finalists. She’s twice won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction and won the 2015 Public Safety Writers Association award for nonfiction. She divides her time between Maine and Massachusetts. Flora is a former international president of Sisters in Crime.
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4 Responses to In Fine Libraries Everywhere

  1. Sennebec says:

    Maybe we can do some road trips because I also want to visit every library in the state…Of course I’ve already hit about half of them thanks to my MSL job. I remember Vose fondly as well. their collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs books kept me sane.

  2. MCWriTers says:

    Happy New Year — to Kate, to my fellow Maine Crime Writers — and to librarians and readers everywhere! 2017 should take us,individually and collectively, to many new libraries and to re-visit old favorites. I’m looking forward to it all! Lea Wait

  3. Vaughn Hardacker says:

    I also have had the pleasure of visiting some of our fine libraries. The folks at the Jesup and Curtis are fantastic. I’ve also appeared in Caribou, Presque Isle, and Dover-Foxcroft. I’m up to do a library anytime, anywhere in Maine.

    Vaughn C. Hardacker

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