When I was a kid, my two favorite pastimes were Barbies and books. Barbies were problematic. We lived way out in the boonies, and the only other kid for miles around was my little brother who thought running over my Barbies with his Tonka Trucks was more fun than playing out whatever script I had written for them. In his defense, my scripts were usually dramatic love stories that ended with Ken and Barbie smooching. I guess flattening them with a dump truck seemed a good way to subvert that mushy girl stuff. Reading was conveniently solitary, so to keep the peace, my mom made sure I always had a stack of books at the ready. That meant a weekly trip to the library.
Oh how I loved library day!
We did all our in-town errands on library day. We picked up my dad’s shirts at the dry cleaners, stopped at the drug store, McDonald’s for lunch, and then oh joy, the library! The car was barely stopped before I was out the door and sprinting across the parking lot. I hit the big glass door and took the steps to the second floor two at a time. Another set of glass doors contained a young reader’s Mecca. The children’s collection was on the right, the Young Adult collection on the left.
I discovered Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, the Boxcar Children, and all of L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. I found Narnia, Wonderland, and the creepy worlds of Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. I read every single book that had “ghost” or “monster” in the title. I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula before I really understood it, and before I left middle school, I had read all of Judy Blume and was downstairs in the general fiction section reading books that ended with “happily ever after.”
My mom usually browsed through my stack, but only because she was interested. She never censored my reading choices, and a week later she always took me back for more. My library card was one of my most prized possessions, and I’ve had one in my purse ever since.
As a child, I alternately gravitated between the weird and fantastic and the romantic. Nothing much has changed. I discovered Laurell K. Hamilton in the library, along with the more sinister vampires of Guillermo del Toro. F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack and Karen Marie Moning’s Highlanders all came to me from the library.
I found magic in the library, and so it is entirely fitting that my first public appearance as an author should take place there. Thanks to my long-time friend (since the 7th grade) and fellow bibliophile, Lisa Rice, I will be visiting the Warren County Public Library in Bowling Green as part of their ePublish or Bust series. Lisa read an early edition of Sapphire Sins several years ago and contacted me last week after it went up on Amazon. I am lucky to count her as a friend. It should surprise no one that I count several awesome librarians as good friends.
If you are in or near Bowling Green this Monday, February 9th, please come join me. We can talk about Sapphire Sins, self-publishing, vampires, romance, or share our favorite books. Anything is possible in the library.