Mystery Author Marilyn Levinson Debuts the Haunted Library Mystery Series @MarilynLevinson

Haunted Library Mysteries

 

Marilyn Levinson, AKA Allison Brook, is a busy lady. As Marilyn, she writes the Twin Lakes Mystery series and the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mysteries. As Allison Brook, she writes the Haunted Library Mysteries. Death Overdue, the first book in this series, came out in October.

Do you outline your books or wing it?  Describe your process.

Before I start chapter one, I have a definite sense of my sleuth—her job, closest friends and/or relatives that appear in the book, her personality, the setting, the opening action, and the first murder. I also know the general direction in which the book is heading. I wrote more extensive outlines for my earlier books. Recently, I find myself creating complications, events, and situations as I go along. Years of experience might be playing a role here. Whatever it is, I like this sense of freedom. Of course I’m careful to monitor clues, red herrings, and how much information my sleuth uncovers.

How do you decide on setting?

Like choosing my characters’ names, my books’ settings simply “come to me.” Many of my books are set on Long Island, where I’ve lived most of my life. However, once I decided on the layout of Clover Ridge—the setting of the Haunted Library Mystery series—I wanted it to be located in Connecticut where my family had a summer home when I was growing up.

What genre(s) do you write in?  Why?

I write mysteries (cozy and traditional), romantic suspense, and novels for kids.  I love the puzzle and excitement of mysteries, the intrigue and romance of romantic suspense, and writing about the fun and angst of being a kid.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I love editing! The story’s been written. All I have to do is make sure things are running smoothly, grammatically, and accurately (for example: Sunday doesn’t come after Thursday) .

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you?

I write the entire novel then go over it twice before handing it in to my editor.

How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it?

The last two books I wrote—Death Overdue and Read and Gone in the Haunted Library series—did not require a good deal of research. My sleuth, Carrie Singleton, is the Head of Programs and Events. Since I spend a lot of time in my library and often chat with the librarians, I’m familiar with the obligations and responsibilities of the librarian in Carrie’s position. In Read and Gone, the second book in the series, a jeweler gives a talk on how to tell the difference between a real gem and a counterfeit. I researched this topic via the web.

How much time do you spend promoting your books?

I spend a good deal of time promoting before a book is published and when it first comes out. After that, promotion tapers off. Sometimes I think promotion takes more time than writing a novel.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?

I taught high school Spanish.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?

I wrote stories in elementary school. In those days I wanted to be an author or a ballerina. Guess which one won out. <g>

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like?

I write in my office, which is a room above my two-car garage. I sit facing a long wall. About six feet to my left are two windows through which I can see the tree growing beside my driveway as well as my neighbor’s house across the street.

My large monitor sits on a long wooden desk between a bookcase and two filing cabinets. Next to the cabinets is another bookcase.  To my right is an open closet fitted with shelves for my writing supplies. Behind me is another bookcase, a desk, and in the corner beneath one window a lounge chair.

For more about Marilyn Levinson, visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Buy Death Overdue on Amazon.

Carrie Singleton, gets the position of Head of Programs and Events in Clover Ridge, CT, where her family used to own a farm. Her first guest, a retired homicide detective is giving a program about a cold case, one that he didn’t solve. He’s speaking about the victim when he heaves over and dies. Carrie and the first victim’s son set out to solve both murders. Along the way Carrie deals with a hostile reference librarian, a sometimes helpful ghost, and a frisky library cat. And falls for her mysterious landlord.

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Comments

  1. Stacy,
    Thank you so much for having me as your guest!

    Marilyn/Allison

Stacy Juba