Mystery writer Marilyn Levinson launched a new series with the release of DEATH OVERDUE on October 10. Marilyn is writing her new Haunted Library series under the pen name Allison Brook. Look for the second book in the series READ AND DONE, in September 2018. Please welcome Marilyn Levinson!
Where did you get the idea for your new novel?
The idea for DEATH OVERDUE, the first book in my Haunted Library mystery series, came to me when I was sitting outdoors in my library’s scenic park about to listen to a drumming presentation. As the librarian in charge of adult activities introduced the drummer I thought: a person in that position would make a wonderful sleuth. As Head of Programs and Events in a small town library, my sleuth’s workplace would be a small village within a village, and she would also have the opportunity to bring in speakers and performers.
Why did you choose this genre?
I love mysteries, always have since I read the Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Trixie Belden series in elementary school. And the cozy aspect—a small-town setting where everyone knows everyone else—is fun to read and to write.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I find it difficult to settle down to write each day, and so my writing time first starts in the middle or late afternoon.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read DEATH OVERDUE?
I hope readers will read the last line of DEATH OVERDUE and smile, thinking: that was a fun read! I love the characters and enjoyed the mystery. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I did when I was in elementary school. I was discouraged by a high school English teacher, and so I majored in Spanish. I started writing again when my two sons were very small.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For years I was a plotter, pretty much sticking to the outline I’d written, making necessary changes along the way. But writing the first two books in the Haunted Library mystery series I’ve become more of a pantser. I start out with a definite plan for the first few chapters, know what the basic mystery is, and let my characters take off from there. They do come up with the most interesting twists and turns.
Do you write in the same place every day or do you like to change it up?
Yes, I always write at my large-screen computer in my office.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
I’ve lived most of my life on Long Island. I started out writing short stories and then went on to writing novels. My first published books were novels for young readers. The last few years I’ve mostly been writing mysteries, though I occasionally write a YA or romantic suspense.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
I’ve a few: reading, traveling, watching foreign and indie movies, doing Sudoku, and spending time with my grandkids.
Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?
Many years ago I taught high school Spanish. I’m not sure how this helps with my writing but, as a writer, I draw on all my life experiences.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
I have a red tabby named Sammy. He’s very devoted to me and I to him. I love the fact that he’s a wonderful companion, and usually stays close to me when I’m home. I suppose I am a cat person, though I love dogs, too.
What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?
I wanted to be a ballerina or a writer.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Carrie Singleton, my sleuth in DEATH OVERDUE, comes from a dysfunctional family. She never feels she belongs in any one place. In this book she takes on the position of Head of Programs and Events at the Clover Ridge Library and knows she must prove herself to the library director as well as to herself. Carrie discovers she’s good at her job. For the first time in years, she’s making friends and starting a romantic relationship as well as investigating two murders. I like Carrie’s spunk and drive.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
My web site: http://www.marilynlevinson.com
My Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Levinson/e/B001KHVLUU
Allison Brook’s Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/ksydz3s
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I am working on the edits of READ AND DONE, the second book in the Haunted Library mystery series. In this book, Carrie’s father, who she hasn’t seen in years, shows up and tries to involve her in one of his illegal schemes.
What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
I’m not sure what you mean by a tagline. Writing this series, I use the pseudonym Allison Brook. Having a pseudonym was my publisher’s idea. I don’t mind having one since most readers know that Allison Brook is really Marilyn Levinson.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I think that might be GIVING UP THE GHOST. Cameron Leeds, the ghost in this mystery, is somewhat of a scoundrel and one of my favorite characters. He’s amusing and charming, if a tad amoral. The scene where he and the woman he loves say their final farewell is the most romantic scene I’ll probably ever write.
Tell us about your next (or current) release.
READ AND DONE is my next release. (see above) I believe it will be out in September, 2018.
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson is the author of mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She writes the Twin Lakes Mystery series and the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mystery series. Death Overdue, written as Allison Brook, is the first in her Haunted Library Mystery series. Library Journal has given the book a star review and named it a Pick of the Month. Blackstone has recorded an audiobook version of Death Overdue. Marilyn lives on Long Island, where many of her novels take place.