Please help me welcome mystery writer Jacqueline Seewald
Multi-award winning author Jacqueline Seewald has taught creative, expository and technical writing at the university level as well as high school English. She also worked as an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Eleven of her books of fiction have been published. Her short stories as well as poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies. Her paranormal romantic mystery novels, THE INFERNO COLLECTION and THE DROWNING POOL, have been widely acclaimed. The third romantic mystery in the Kim Reynolds series, THE TRUTH SLEUTH, is a new release. Her recent historical romance set in the Regency period TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS is available in both hardcover and large print editions. A young adult novel, STACY’S SONG, was also recently published to excellent reviews.
So here's Jacqueline!
I’ve now written three novels in a paranormal romantic mystery series. The new murder mystery is THE TRUTH SLEUTH to be published by Five Star/Gale in hardcover edition June 8th and available for pre-order from Amazon, B&N, Target, Borders, etc.
Each of the three novels feature Kim Reynolds, an academic librarian, accustomed to doing research. As she observes to police detective Mike Gardner, reference work is a lot like police detection, you’re trying to solve puzzles and find information that leads to a solution.
With the first novel of the series, THE INFERNO COLLECTION, I wrote the book and rewrote it many times and did considerable research on the topic of inferno collections, both historical and current. Eventually, I cut away over a third of the novel because I felt it should be a fast-paced thriller. I wanted to provide readers with an exciting experience. I attempted to write a novel that would build in tension.
I’ve been asked many times: what is an inferno collection? Simply put, it’s a collection of “condemned” banned or censored books. When a reader/reviewer of The Inferno Collection asked if inferno collections actually exist, I responded that not only did they exist in the past but still exist in more sophisticated and subtle forms today.
It is a fact that librarians have viewed themselves as gatekeepers. For example, libraries such as Boston Public at one time found it necessary to maintain separate inferno collections of banned books considered inappropriate for general public display and reading. Often these were books deemed salacious such as James Joyce’s Ulysses. Another example is the Robert Winslow Gordon "Inferno" Collection in the Archive of Folk Song, Library of Congress, consisting of material separated out because of bawdy and scatological subject matter. Paul S. Boyer in his article “Boston Book Censorship in the Twenties” observed that Boston’s censorship began with the very first governor of the Plymouth colony, William Bradford, but became notorious in the 1920’s when the phrase “banned in Boston” took on new meaning.
It is not only governments and libraries that have chosen to ban books found objectionable for various reasons. Materials are often deemed unacceptable for political or religious reasons or are considered profane, pornographic or sexually too explicit for youth. Publishers and booksellers make these decisions and determinations as well. However, it is well to keep in mind that good books often stir controversy. They are designed to question and make people think. That is not something to fear or repress but rather to admire and respect. As Voltaire, author of the banned satire Candide, once stated: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
I hope that many readers will enjoy the three novels in this series: The Inferno Collection, The Drowning Pool and The Truth Sleuth.