I have invited author Jacqueline Seewald to visit us and talk about her very entertaining Kim Reynolds series. Stay tuned because at the end of this interview Jacquie will be giving away a copy of The Truth Sleuth to one lucky commenter.
Jacquie, most mystery readers love to have librarians in the stories they read. How/why did you decide to make Kim Reynolds, a psychic librarian/sleuth?
It started some years ago while I was working as a librarian. I taught English for a number of years, including Creative Writing courses at both the high school and college level (RutgersUniversity). I also taught Expository and Technical Writing at the college level. Then I got another graduate degree at Rutgers and worked as an academic librarian and later an educational media specialist.
I became intrigued with “inferno collections” during the time of my library studies at Rutgers and while working at Alexander Library. A PrincetonUniversity library professor spoke at a symposium for MLS students on the topic. His enthusiasm was infectious. I eagerly took notes. (An inferno collection is a group of banned books considered inappropriate for general public display and reading. Often these were books deemed salacious and kept separate or hidden.)
I thought the concept of a modern day inferno collection would make a unique frame for a mystery. That’s how the first novel in this series came into being. The amateur detective of my novel is an academic librarian, Kim Reynolds. She tries to discover who has murdered her friend and the reasons behind the crime. At the same time, she is trying to demystify her own troubled past which is shrouded in guilt and family secrets. Because of the nature of the crimes, it seemed appropriate that Kim would have certain psychic abilities. However, she makes most of her discoveries through deductive logic, examining and following clues as do most detectives. Kim is actually a reluctant sleuth as well as a reluctant psychic.
I understand this book is part of a series. Could you tell us a little about how the series came about?
Five Star/Gale originally published THE INFERNO COLLECTION in 2007. Sara Paretsky liked the novel and gave it an excellent blurb/recommendation which appeared on the cover. Librarians also liked the novel and it received very good reviews. It later came out in a large print edition. The book is now available as an e-book in all formats. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery will publish a paperback edition in April 2013.
Because THE INFERNO COLLECTION did well, I decided to write another novel featuring Kim Reynolds. The second mystery novel in this series, THE DROWNING POOL, was also published by Five Star/Gale, came out as an e-book, and was published by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery February 2012. Again, there were very good reviews.
Five Star/Gale published THE TRUTH SLEUTH, the third novel in the series, both in hardcover and large print editions. It was well-reviewed by BOOKLIST and LIBRARY JOURNAL. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery has just published the novel this month in an inexpensive paperback edition. You can find out more about it, including reading a free excerpt here.
Can we expect to see more of Kim?
I’ve just finished writing THE TREACHEROUS WIFE, the fourth novel in this series. Hopefully, it too will be published. I think it’s the best book yet in the series.
What made you decide to mix mystery and romance instead of writing just one or the other?
I wanted to create characters that were well-rounded and had actual lives beyond solving mysteries. Kim is realistic in that she has many good qualities but also certain character flaws. She becomes involved with police detective Mike Gardner in THE INFERNO COLLECTION. That relationship develops and changes through the series, just as it would in real life.
Jacquie, thank you so much for spending this time with us today and I know our readers are excited to be able to try for a chance to receive a free copy of The Truth Sleuth by commenting below. Dear readers, please remember to include contact information, in case you are the lucky one!
Comments will close on Friday, January 25th.