Image provided by Jenn McKinlay via email to Savannah Frame
Interview with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jenn McKinlay on her “Library Lovers Mystery Series”
By: Savannah Frame
Jenn McKinlay is a bestselling mystery author. Her cozy mystery series “Library Lovers” is a collection of nine books about librarian director Lindsey Norris who always seems to get caught up in solving local murder mysteries. The books take place in a quaint town in Connecticut, and throughout the series you will be introduced to a cast of likable, quirky characters.
Tidewater Community College student Savannah Frame had the honor to speak with McKinlay and ask her a few questions about her “Library Lovers” series. Below is the interview.
What was your inspiration to write the Library Lover’s Mystery Series?
“One of the things about being a writer is that you're always keeping an eye on what's popular, whether it's magic, vampires, titles with the word "Girl" in it, or whatever. When a trend hits (if you're not the one setting it) you want to make sure that whatever you're writing is on point and won't be rejected because the publishers aren't looking for witches, adult coloring books, or whatever the hot ticket was last year. So, while I don't try to write to the market, I do pay attention to what's happening. When I was looking for a new mystery series to write, I noticed that mysteries with books as a back drop were hot. Hmm. I'd been working as a part-time librarian for years, suddenly it all came together. I spent a week writing a proposal, and within three days I had a deal.”- Jenn McKinlay
Who is your favorite character in the series?
“Heathcliff, the dog. He's based on my own dogs Otto and Annie. Otto, in particular, is a hugger. He stands on his back legs and hugs your knee with his front paws and then he presses the side of his face against your leg. So, of course, I wrote that into the book for Heathcliff. I've never had a dog that was a hugger before. Both of my dogs were rescues, which is why almost every book I write has a rescue animal in it. I am so very glad we found them and kept them, along with our three cats. Really, I should just live in a barn.”- Jenn McKinlay
Why did you choose for the main character (Lindsey Norris) to be a librarian? Do you think the skills she has aquired as a librarian help her solve the mysteries?
“My own history as a librarian made the choice of Lindsey's career pretty easy. That being said, I know so much about libraries and the occupation, I was afraid I'd drown the story in details and it would turnout really boring, but luckily murder always livens up a plot. Librarians, in general, are the smartest of the smart that's why so many of them appear on Jeopardy! They know how to do research that goes a thousand times deeper than a Google search, so, yes, I definitely use Lindsey's research skills to help solve the mystery.”- Jenn McKinlay
How do you think the setting of Briar Creek, Connecticut affects the overall feel of the series?
“Briar Creek is based on a real town called Stony Creek, which is a few towns over from New Haven, Connecticut. It's where I lived after I graduated from college. It's a quaint little village that does have an archipelago of islands called the Thimble Islands, which have a fascinating history. When I thought of the first mystery, I just knew that's where it had to be set, but I didn't want to be tied down by the town's own history, so I made up Briar Creek and the Thumb Islands so I could have some fictional license with the area and the residents of the town. I was born in CT and even though I've been in AZ almost as long, I will always be a New Englander at heart.”- Jenn McKinlay
If you could describe the main character (Lindsey Norris) in 3 words, what would they be?
“Brainy. Blond. Buttinsky. Sorry, the alliteration sort of took over there!”-Jenn McKinlay
You can pick up any of Jenn McKinlay’s “Library Lovers” mystery series at your local library or you can purchase them at any major bookstore.
Tidewater Community College and The Current wants to send a special thanks to Jenn McKinlay for taking the time to speak with us.