I'm so happy to get to be a stop on the book tour for
LARCENY AT THE LIBRARY
Book 6 in the Washington Whodunit Mysteries
by Colleen J. Shogan
Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.
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LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Colleen.
CS: Thanks so much. I’m very excited to be here!
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about “Larceny at the Library.”
CS: This book is the sixth in my series and I simply love the setting for this one. I previously worked at the Library of Congress for almost twelve years. I’d always wanted to write a mystery set in such a magnificent place and I’m thrilled I got to do it.
LKBR: What are your plans for this series?
CS: I’m currently writing the seventh book in the series, which is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There will be at least two more books with Kit and the gang, so the adventures will continue.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
CS: I’ve been a writer for my entire professional life, but I previously focused more on nonfiction and scholarly writing. I was always a lover of mysteries and one day, I simply came up with a plot for one. I decided to find out if I could write a novel, and I really haven’t stopped since that day.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
CS: I published a nonfiction book a while ago, so “Stabbing in the Senate” was not my first book. However, I was so proud of actually getting a novel published, it almost felt like my first book! The process unfolded over several years and there were many twists and turns. I can’t complain about it, however. In the end, I was very fortunate to find an excellent agent to represent my book and a publisher eager to put it in print.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
CS: I was actually quite thankful. The world of academic publishing can be brutal. There are peer reviewers on top of editors, and most critics do not hold back. I actually thought the fiction process was kinder and gentler.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
CS: I like learning about new places and creating fun, quirky characters. Also, writing a mystery is like solving a puzzle. Sometimes the pieces fit neatly, but other times, the writer really needs to work to make everything sync together. It’s like mental gymnastics. Left-brain dominant people are drawn to whodunits.
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
CS: Definitely “Murder on the Orient Express.” In fact, it stayed with me so much, the fourth book in my series, “K Street Killing” is loosely based on it!
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
CS: I love reviews and I cannot wait to read them. I spend close to a year working on a book, between successive drafts, plotting out the action, and edits. A few people read my manuscript during this time frame. Reviews help me figure out what I did right and what I can improve. As a writer, I crave the feedback.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
CS: Goodreads is terrific for readers. Amazon is also very helpful because it can help boost internal ratings and sales.
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
CS: I would love to receive feedback about my main character, Kit Marshall. She’s not the traditional “cozy” protagonist. She’s a chief of staff for a Member of Congress, so she’s a little hard-edged sometimes. I have tried really hard to make her realistic and also to give her redeeming qualities that endear her to readers. I’d like to know whether I have been successful as the series has progressed.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Colleen for letting us get to know you better!
CS: Thank you so much. I appreciate you hosting me for the tour!
About Colleen J. Shogan
Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.
Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. "Stabbing in the Senate" was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. "Homicide in the House" was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.
Author Links Facebook
Twitter - https://twitter.com/cshogan276
Website - www.colleenshogan.com
GoodReads - www.goodreads.com/cshogan276
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