Reference librarian/writer to moderate Zoom session
When reference librarian Debbie De Louise moderates an upcoming local author panel discussion at the Hicksville Public Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, she’ll also be one of the seven scribes participating in this Zoom session. Along with De Louise, participants can expect to hear from Stasie Fishman, Lisa Diaz Meyer, Mary Healy, Leo Kanawada and John Krahn.
A lifelong writer with a prolific output of titles that include the Cobble Cove Mystery Series and a number of standalone mystery thrillers, De Louise was inspired by a patron to suggest the idea of a local author collection to newly installed Library Director Christine Edwins.
“I have a homebound patron that asks for my books all the time,” the Hicksville native said. “He just turned 95 and is an avid reader that likes my books. He once said to me that I should have a local author collection at the library. I approached [Christine] and told her about my homebound patron. She said it would be a great idea to have a local author collection and said to find out what books of local authors we already own. We started with Hicksville and the surrounding areas like Levittown and Westbury, areas where a lot of our patrons are from that patronize our library. If people want to donate books of local authors, they can do that. We have an application because we do review the books.”
The Hicksville Public Library’s new Local Author Collection has a dedicated section featuring fiction and non-fiction materials for adults, teens and children by Hicksville-area authors. These writers are indie authors that are either affiliated with independent publishers or self-publish. Labels indicating local author designations can be found on the spines of the books and when patrons look up these tomes on the library’s computer system, a bracketed local author designation appears next to each title.
For the upcoming event, patrons need to register for the Zoom session. Moderator De Louise will introduce each author and share their bio, at which point the scribes will talk about their books and writing process. There will also be a question and answer session open to registered attendees. Given her background as a published, award-winning author, De Louise is the perfect person to direct this discussion. Born and raised in Hicksville, writing has been a mainstay in this C.W. Post alum’s life dating back to a childhood reading the likes of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Since 2015, De Louise has been churning out between one and two novels annually. Her latest title is No Gravestone Unturned, which is part five in the Cobble Cove series and was published on Oct. 5 in eBook and on Oct. 6 in paperback.
An avowed feline lover who shares her home with Stripey, Harry and Hermione along with husband Anthony and daughter Holly, De Louise has cats play a major role in her series. Her books can be classified as cozy mysteries, a sub-genre of crime fiction in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate neighborhood.
De Louise’s fictional Upstate New York community of Cobble Cove is the setting for this series, where Alicia McKinney is the primary amateur detective in a community that brings to mind Cabot Cove, the television town where Angela Lansbury’s Jessica Fletcher solves mysteries. The main difference is how De Louise has Sneaky the library cat and his gal pal Kittykai help McKinney out with the heavy lifting.
“What happened was after the fourth book [Love On the Rocks], I introduced another cat character,” De Louise explained. “Sneaky the library cat has been in the series from the beginning and is the main cat character. He was simply a regular cat that sort of led the main [protagonist] Alicia to clues in a regular, cat-like manner. After I did the fourth book that introduced another cat named Kittykai to the series, I wanted their roles to be more important than just that of ordinary cats. What I did was I allowed the reader to see their thoughts, but I still had them doing cat-like things. In the current book I wrote, you’d see them want to play in the leaves and different things they wanted to do. But I want them involved in the mystery.”
Two months is the average time it takes De Louise to complete a book. An admitted early bird who is usually up at around 5 a.m., she keeps a busy schedule working full-time at the library, raising her teenage daughter and writing short stories and articles when not promoting her completed tomes. The end of 2020 leading into 2021 is no different.
“I have an article coming out in Catster magazine in the January-February issue,” she said. “I’ve had online articles published by them, but this will be the first print article. I’m also working on a non-fiction cat book as well as the first book of a new cozy series that I’m querying to agents.”