Library Panels Attract Readers

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The Norwalk, Connecticut Public Library supports writers and readers through regular events such as this Mystery Lunch held this month at its main location.

It’s always fun to meet readers and talk about mysteries. When libraries put on programs which bring authors and readers together, it’s an enjoyable time for all.

Last week, here in Connecticut, the Norwalk Public Library hosted five of us mystery writers as part of their ongoing AuthorSpeak series.

These programs are the effort of the library’s director of information services, Cynde Bloom Lahey. Cynde,  a veteran Connecticut librarian works tirelessly to make her library an important element of the community it serves.

Cynde schedules several of these AuthorSpeak events each month, building a following of readers who come regularly to hear authors talk about their recently published books. Sometimes a single author speaks; other times a panel will share the podium. Refreshments are served, and if you are lucky to come to a program scheduled at noon, there is a lunch!

Our panel consisted of three of our Women of Mystery bloggers – Dorothy Hayes, Deirdre Verne, and me, Anne-Marie Sutton. We were joined by Mark Rubenstein, a thriller writer whose new novel is The Lover’s Tango, and Jan Yager, who writes with her husband Fred. They are the authors of Untimely Death, among other books.

Four of our panelists at AuthorSpeak in Norwalk, Connecticut: (left to right) Deirdre Verne, Jan Yager, Anne-Marie Sutton, and Dorothy Hayes. Missing: Mark Rubenstein.

Four of our panelists at AuthorSpeak in Norwalk, Connecticut: (left to right) Deirdre Verne, Jan Yager, Anne-Marie Sutton, and Dorothy Hayes. Missing: Mark Rubenstein.

Dorothy spoke about her latest novel in the Carol Rossi Mystery series, Broken Windows. Deirdre announced that her second book in the Sketch in Crime series, Drawing Blood, is available for pre-order now. I gave some background on my Newport Mystery series, including the most recent, Keep My Secret.

During the program we heard about Deirdre’s adventures in dumpster diving as part of her research for her books. Mark, a psychiatrist, shared some of his experiences as an expert witness in criminal trials.

Of course, it is always the question and answer period that brings out good information. Dot discussed the pro’s and con’s of having her main character marry for the first time at the age of 47. I admitted that having to spend a lot of time in Newport to promote my book isn’t such a bad deal for a writer.

Some of the readers who attended are writers themselves. The Norwalk Library has a writing workshop called Resolved to Write which meets weekly. Participants agreed that they benefit attending the author events at the library. As writers ourselves, it was good to be in their company and hear about their own aspirations and accomplishments.

Everyone is grateful to Cynde and the staff at the Library for hosting our event and wish her luck for the future success of AuthorSpeak. I know all of us love our libraries and are always pleased to participate in any programs which bring writers and readers together.

5 thoughts on “Library Panels Attract Readers

  1. That sounds like a great event, and with such a dedicated organizer, I’m not surprised she’s built up a loyal audience!

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