We love libraries and they have been around a long time. Since 30 AD in Alexandria, Egypt, in fact. My first library experience was a later than that. As a little kid growing up in Islington (a borough of London, England) during the mid-1950s, I still remember the feeling of awe, staring at all those amazing books. Billions of words, arranged into sentences and paragraphs and chapters that tell incredible tales. And credible ones, too. I learned to read at four, so the access to all those books opened up the universe.
When my family moved to the US, I haunted the children’s section of the old Anaheim Library. Down in the basement, scouring the shelves for Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books–my favorite pastime. (I just googled her and learned that amazing lady is still going strong at 102!).
Fast forward to 1964, more libraries
By the time the fancy new library was built, I was devouring one mystery after another (Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart). Every morning at school, Jo Levetsky and I traded books. Those Gothic tales were far more interesting than homework. It was during those times that I started writing stories for my friends to read. They would check them out from me, just like at the library, and return them. 50 years later, I still have those checkout lists! And now, my own books are on library shelves next to the authors I admire so much. A dream come true.
Recently, a friend and handwriting analyst colleague, Betty Almeida, asked her local librarian to order my Forensic Handwriting mystery series. The result is in the photo above. All it takes is asking, as Betty did.
I would love to see my books in more libraries around the country, so I’m offering a
bribe prize, to anyone who posts or sends me a photo of themselves next to a library shelf with my books on it. Your choice, a mini handwriting analysis or a free book. I’m also happy to send the librarian a list of my ISBNs and a stack of bookmarks to give away to their patrons. Email for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, keep reading!