Last Tuesday, I boated to the Collinsville Library in Collinsville, Oklahoma. Okay, I didn't really set sail, but with all the rain we've been experiencing, I might as well have. The wet weather didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm for the monthly meeting of the Comedy of Errors Book Club. I was there to "launch" Murder Takes the Cake and speak about writing and my experiences since the publication of Evelyn David's first book, Murder Off the Books. I also brought rubber "wedding" ducks to give to all the brave souls who swam in for the meeting. [Note: I can hear my co-author's voice in my head saying, "Enough already with the nautical references."]
According to the library's website, Collinsville owes their library to the Comedy of Errors Book Club. "In 1903 a group of women formed the Comedy of Errors Book Club. Their first order of business was to adopt the project of founding a library for Collinsville, Oklahoma. Their first books were donated from a Methodist Church organization and were kept in the home of Comedy of Errors Book Club founder, Mrs. J.A. Tyner. The books were moved to several locations in downtown Collinsville until in 1911 when the books found a permanent home in a room on the second floor of the new city hall. Members of the COE club and The Women’s Council operated the library for the public. The members of the COE club held teas, talent shows, and benefits to purchase books for the library." In 1913 the library received a grant from the Carnegie Foundation and in 1917 a new building was dedicated.
Nine years ago the Collinsville Library was renovated, more than doubling its square footage, adding handicap access, computers, electronic media, and expanding the book collection. The renovations maintained the historical integrity of the original Carnegie Library. It's truly a beautiful library and I want to thank the staff for hosting me.
Today's Comedy of Errors Book Club is comprised of a wonderful group of women who meet once a month to discuss books and fundraising for the library. Susan Babbit, director of the library, chaired the meeting and introduced me to the group. Susan strikes me as one of those dynamic people who could run a small country just in their spare time. I imagine she gets more done before breakfast than most people do all day.
It was a fun hour as I discussed the creation of Evelyn David and the birth of the Sullivan Investigations Mystery series. I mentioned the fact that neither half of Evelyn David has ever met - they had lots of questions about how my co-author and I plot murder. There was also a lot of interest in "Whiskey," the Irish wolfhound character in both books.
Most of the attendees purchased copies of both mysteries and signed up for our monthly newsletter. If you'd like to receive a copy – please visit our website and sign up.
I hope to return to Collinsville this summer for a "mystery dinner." Stay tuned for more details about in a few weeks!