Last week I attended a booksigning at my local mystery book store, Aunt Agatha’s, featuring two popular cozy mystery writers, Denise Swanson and Casey Daniels/Kylie Logan. Denise Swanson is known for her Scumble River mystery series, featuring amateur sleuth and school psychologist Skye Denison. The 15-book series began with Murder of a Small Town Honey. Kasey Daniels has written a number of mystery series, but is most recently known for her Pepper Martin mysteries. Pepper was introduced in Don of the Dead, where while serving as a cemetery tour guide discovered she has the ability to communicate with ghosts.
The authors were in town to publicize new cozy mystery series they have each begun. Denise Swanson’s new series features the owner of a small town dime store, while Kasey Daniels, under the pen name Kylie Logan, has a new series featuring the owner of a button store in Chicago.
Kylie Logan told us that she got the idea for her button store series while sitting at a coffee shop on a previous trip to town. She said she was the only customer in the coffee shop until a couple came in and sat just a few feet from her. They proceeded to have a prolonged, very loud break-up. Ms. Logan had hoped to spend a long time in the coffee shop, sipping coffee and knitting. But finally she’d had enough of the break-up saga, packed up her knitting, and went into the store next door, which turned out to be a button store. And from there, the new series took shape.
Ms. Daniels/Logan is incredibly prolific, and has two new mystery series beginning next year. In addition to mysteries, she has written romances under the names Constance Laux and Connie Lane. She credits her early experience as a romance writer with her ability to write so many books each year. She commented that she’s probably written under about 12 different pseudonyms.
Ms. Swanson talked about the process she went through to get published. She said that it took five years to sell her first book, and she received 270 rejection letters. During that time Ms. Swanson was a school psychologist. She has translated many of her experiences into the Scrumble River series. She commented that many amateur sleuths in mysteries have no legitimate reason for investigating murders. However, she feels that a school psychologist is the perfect character. She said that in a small town, the school psychologist knows everything that’s going on, both through things students tell her, and through conversations in the faculty lounge.
Ms. Swanson said she’s a frustrated romance writer and has added a strong romance thread to her new Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series. She said her editor initially had problems with the romance thread, and cautioned her that she’s a cozy mystery writer, and might offend her longtime readers.
The authors were both entertaining, and I ended up buying the first book in each of their new series. And as if that wasn’t enough, the owner of the bookstore had a gorgeous cake and beverages for all of us in attendance. The cake was decorated with the covers of each author’s new book.
Have you gone to any author events lately? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I have managed to find a number of events around the country that AAR readers may be interested in. But, as always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-April, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-April, please send them to us at aarbooksign AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-April post.
Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.
Upcoming Booksignings: March and Beyond
Patricia Briggs, March 9, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., 4751 West 117th Street, Leawood, KS (other events on the Barnes & Noble Web site).
Jodi Picoult, March 9, The Bookcase, 7:00 p.m., 607 East Lake Street, Wayzata, MN.
C.S. Harris, March 10, Garden District Book Shop, 2:00 p.m., 2727 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA.
Tucson Festival of Books (This isn’t a signing but two days filled with panels with an incredible number of authors including Zoe Archer, Cara Black, Shayla Black, HelenKay Dimon, Diana Gabaldon, Rachel Gibson, Iris Johansen, and Lauren Willig). March 10 and 11, University of Arizona campus, Tucson, AZ.
Rhys Bowen, March 12, The Poisoned Pen, 7:05 p.m., 4014 N. Goldwater, Scottsdale, AZ.
Margaret Livesey, March 16, Northshire Bookstore, 7:00 p.m., 4869 Main Street Manchester Center, VT.
Suzanne Brockmann, March 20, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., 4010 S. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota, FL (other events on the Barnes & Noble Web site).
Shannon Butcher, Alexandra Ivy, and Jade Lee, March 24, Rose’s Bookhouse, 12:00 p.m., 8935 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon, MO.
Kerrelyn Sparks, March 30, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 7:00 p.m., 161 Lexington Green Cir # B, Lexington, KY
J.R. Ward, March 31, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., Sycamore Plaza at Kenwood, 7800 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH.
Eloisa James, April 12, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., 82nd & Broadway, 2289 Broadway, New York, NY (other events at the Barnes & Noble Web site).
Nora Roberts, Ruth Langan/ R.C. Ryan, Sophia Nash, Sarah Pekkanen, and others, April 14, Turn The Page Bookstore, 12:00 p.m., 18 N. Main St., Boonsboro, MD.
Southern Kentucky Book fest (Teresa Medeiros, Deanna Raybourn, and many other authors) , April 21, Carroll Knicely Conference Center, 654 Campbell Lane, Bowling Green, KY.
Amanda Quick, April 24, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 12:00 p.m., 117 Cherry Street, Seattle, WA.
Charlaine Harris, May 4, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., Westwood Plaza, 1812 Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston, SC (other events at the Barnes & Noble Web site).
– LinnieGayl AAR