50 Shades of Cabernet, 2017
"I offered my biography at a conference by citing the formative libraries in my life from childhood through education, profession, and family life -- a no-brainer way for me to describe my journey and a telling comment on the importance of libraries to me!"
Division One: Alpha and Omega, 2017
"What advice do I give new writers? That's simple. READ. Read, read, read. Then read some more. And read the GOOD stuff -- the classics: Chaucer, Doyle, Stoker, Joyce, Twain, Shelley, Wells, Shakespeare, Verne, and the like. Because when you read them, you're getting the good stuff, and it's soaking into your subconscious. The style, the patterns of speech, the concepts. Then, when you sit down to write, your brain will distill that 'good stuff' into YOUR writing, and you become a better writer for it."
Black Flowers, White Lies, 2016
"I received my first library card in elementary school and was amazed at all of the free books available to me. I still find it magical to visit the library and consider all of the reading possibilities."
A Palette for Murder, 2015
"When I was not quite four I sneaked out of the house and walked to the library, almost a mile away. When I got there I asked the librarian where the third-grade section was. I didn't know how to read yet, but I thought looking at a book for bigger kids might teach me. I picked out a book and sat at a table, trying to figure out how to read. Maybe if I sat there long enough I would learn. The librarian wandered by and said I had the book upside down. When turning the book the right way didn't help, I brought it to the front desk and said I wanted to check it out. The librarian gave me a card to fill out. I knew how to print my first and last name. Soon after, my mother came for me. I don't remember her being angry. Maybe because people didn't raise their voices in a library. But that's how I got my first library card."
Dark Signal, 2017
"While our weekly library visits were highlights of my childhood, my favorite memories of libraries is the tiny county library in our Nebraska town of 300. The picture books were on a bottom shelf and I spent hours with my toddlers, them picking out books and cuddling in my crossed legs as I read them. Then picking our favorites to take home. (There now, just writing that made me cry.)"
Elementary She Read, 2017
"I love libraries at all times, but never more than when they're empty. Empty of people, that is. Then I can imagine the words whispering to each other, sharing stories, making up new ones. Sci-fi chatting to romance; American history exchanging views with Brazilian politics; Vietnamese cookbooks swapping tips with Indian. And my beloved mystery characters listening in on everything, perhaps taking notes."
All the Wrong Places, 2015
"I can date my desire to become a writer to the day I read a poem entitled "What" by Stephen Dunn. I was twenty years old and the closing stanza stopped me in my tracks: people die between birthdays and go on for years; what stops things for a moment are the words you've found for the last bit of light you think there is. Pretty much says it all."
Roses Are Dead, My Love, 2015
"I don't remember a time when I didn't possess a library card. Some of my earliest memories are visiting the Georgetown Library in Washington DC. It was always a thrill to climb the steep steps to the library door, smell the books, listen to the quiet, play in the garden, and come home with an armful of wonderful stories to read. And sixty-odd years later, it still is!"