What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
Quite similar, although right after my author got involved, I did suffer a terrible scare. Besides discovering a dead body, that is. It looked like I might be forced to retire! I know I’m 75, but librarians come in all ages, and I adore my job. I especially love hitting the road in my bookmobile, even if I do tend to roll into trouble.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I respect books. I’d never, ever dog-ear a page or crack a spine or expose the printed word to vile substances such as chewing gum or highlighter ink. I will admit, however, that I recently had a horrible urge. I almost pitched a hardback at someone! I overcame the urge. I’m a southern lady, after all, and I’d never harm a book.
What do you like least about yourself?
I wish I didn’t get so wrapped up in trouble. If I weren’t investigating crimes, I’d have more time to relax on my front porch, reading and sipping tea. But I have to help if I can, and librarians and detectives do share certain skills.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
Thankfully, she hasn’t had me do anything too strange yet. Except for picnicking at a crime scene recently. And breaking into a retirement home. Oh, and she did just involve me in a high-speed chase… I usually enjoy some speed, but not under those circumstances!
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
Bless her heart; my author tries to stop me from enjoying sweets. She’s like my doctor, fussing that I should stay clear of sugar for my health. I do my best, but tea without sweetening is unnatural, I say. I’ve been softening my author up, though. I convinced her to include my award-winning recipe for hummingbird cake in her book. It’s a banana–pineapple spice cake with waves of cream-cheese frosting.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing someone I love. And spiders. I apologize to spiders, but they raise chill bumps up my arms and the hair on the back of my neck.
What makes you happy?
My bookmobile, my gentleman friend, and my frowny-faced Persian kitty, Rhett Butler.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I’d do more of the driving. My dear, departed husband used to hog the wheel. In my senior, single years, I’ve discovered my love of the open road. Now I have to work on easing up on my enthusiasm. I’m afraid my lead foot has led to a few speeding tickets.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Remember my unseemly urge to hurl a book at someone? That would be my town’s young mayor. He told me I was overdue for retirement. How rude! Worse, he wants to shutter my town’s library!
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
My young assistant, Leanna. She’s studying library science at a nearby college. I wish I could take her place for a semester or two and buff up on all the new tricks of our trade.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
My author has a website. It describes her (my) story and upcoming events and contains links for her other social media sites.
What's next for you?
I’ve been staying busy and so has my author. She just finished writing up a draft of my latest case. It involves my quest for a four-decades-overdue book and an unfortunate incident…another murder.
When her best hope of saving her storm-damaged library is found murdered, senior librarian Cleo Watkins hits the road in her bookmobile in search of justice.
Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies and rally library support throughout Catalpa Springs, Georgia.
However, Cleo soon rolls into trouble. A major benefactor known for his eccentric DIY projects requests all available books on getting away with murder. He’s no Georgia peach, and Cleo wonders if she should worry about his plans. She knows she should when she discovers him bludgeoned and evidence points to her best friend, Mary-Rose Garland.
Sure of Mary-Rose’s innocence, Cleo applies her librarian’s sleuthing skills to the case, assisted by friends, family, and the dapper antiquarian bookseller everyone keeps calling her boyfriend. Evidence stacks up, but a killer is overdue to strike again. With lives and her library on the line, Cleo must shift into high gear to close the book on murder.