by Holly Danvers
I’m often asked where my ideas come from when writing a new book series or a standalone. In this case, Murder at the Lakeside Library, pairs two of my favorite things: water and books. Just like you, I, too, am looking for an escape—even in my writing.
First, let me share why I’m always seeking the closest waterfront when reading or writing books. I grew up on the east coast and trips to Maine and Cape Cod were frequent. I told myself (even as a child) that I would never live in one of those landlocked states that didn’t hug the ocean. In fact, California was on my radar. Well, things don’t often go according to plan, do they? Instead, for the last twenty-two years, I’ve resided in the great state of Wisconsin. And you know what? I’ve fallen in love with it. My husband’s family owns a generational cottage on a lake “up north” set deep within the pines. I’ve spent many beautiful days there and continue to do so. The fictitious town of Lofty Pines stems from the drive through the soaring trees on route to the cottage. I knew one day I’d write about it. The salty air has been replaced with fresh water, but no matter. The first time my husband took me for a pontoon ride and I realized I could see over ten feet below, I was hooked. It is so clear and, on a calm day, I can see fish swimming beside the boat! Currently, the bay of Green Bay is my home, and I count my blessings daily. It’s the closest thing to living on the ocean. The sunrises are out-of-this-world! And did I mention the rainbows? We’re really glad we made the move.
Where did the library come from? When I was a child, money was tight. My parents did the best they could, but trips to the shopping mall were few and far between. During the summer months, my mother would entertain my sister and I with a trip to the library, followed by a Happy Meal from McDonalds. I vividly remember the peaceful silence that ensued and the scent of new books the minute we opened the doors to our local library. As soon as I was old enough, I signed up for my own library card, and I treated it like a sixteen-year-old who just passed a driver’s license exam. I was free to choose anything I wanted and take it home with me. What a treat! Like most cozy mystery authors, I, too, devoured Nancy Drew and begged my mother to take me back to the library anytime I had finished one in the series. I couldn’t get enough of them. So, there you have it, a lake and a library, my perfect setting.
I never really thought I’d be an author, to be honest; I didn’t dream that big for myself. It kinda happened unexpectedly. But looking back, I can see the pattern that led me here. And I’m forever grateful readers, that like me with Nancy Drew…you keep coming back for more.
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