The name came first. It just popped into my head. I’ve always loved oxymorons and while Killer Librarian isn’t a true oxymoron, it has that sense of two disparate words put together. A title should raise the first question and make the reader open the book. This title made me want to know the story.
Further inspiration came when a long-time friend received a Dear Jane email, on Valentine’s Day no less. She called me at eight in the morning, crushed and angry. While I am in a good solid, twenty-year relationship, this dissolution kept haunting me. How could she have not seen who he really was? How could someone send an email to break up with someone they had claimed to love? What might an angry, jilted woman do? Would she be able to trust and love again? I had the questions that I needed to answer in my story.
I chose as my main character a librarian because I wanted her to be smart but slightly sheltered; comfortable in a landscape of books, but not so savvy in the bigger world; full of knowledge, but sometimes missing basic cues. Not that all librarians are like that but Karen Nash from Sunshine Valley, Minnesota, is. Plus, I love librarians. They have held my hand all through my life, first as a reader, then as a writer. I owe them big time.
After her jilting, Karen goes off on her first trip to England—a country I know well and understand little. I love how it’s like America and then it isn’t at all. The slight misunderstandings, the kerfuffles, I thought would add to the difficulties of falling in love. And there she meets a man, Caldwell Perkins, who loves books as much as she does.
As a writer of crime fiction, I have always thought that a good romance should be as suspenseful as any thriller. At its heart is the beating question—will these two people find each other in the deepest of ways? Will they come to see how right they are for each other? Or will the world somehow manage to keep them apart?
I wrote this book for me, really for fun. The characters tweaked me and surprised me. The plot kept me guessing. I thought I knew where I was going, but wasn’t sure how I would get there. Most days I couldn’t wait to sit down and see what would happen next with Karen and Caldwell.
In Killer Librarian, I truly wrote a book that I would want to read for some serious entertainment, a book about likable people who are struggling to find love and happiness, people who have the adventures of their lives, and find themselves in the end.