Cedar Lake Sales Fishing

A conversation with Hartford author Holly Quinn | By Samantha Sali

June 5, 2019 – Hartford, WI – The Jack Russell Memorial Library in Hartford (JRML) is hosting a Book Launch Party to meet local author Holly Quinn and roll out her new book A Crafter Hooks a Killer

Quinn’s new book, A Crafter Hooks a Killer, is the second of three in her Handcrafted Mystery Series. “The series follows a gal named Sammy Kane who owns a Craft Store and finds herself deep involved in mysteries in each book,” Quinn said. “You could call it Nancy Drew for adults, or Hallmark Movies and Mysteries; it’s very vanilla. So, if you like cozy towns and mystery without the gore this series is for you. Most like to read the series in order but you don’t necessarily have to.”

Book launch party at JRML

While the stories of Quinn’s small-town mystery series takes place in a a fictitious town called Heartsford, Wisconsin, it’s loosely inspired by Hartford. “I use the geography, street names, but not where the streets are exactly located, which local readers have pointed out to me,” shared Quinn. “However, the characters are completely fictional. I never want to offend someone by thinking they are someone acting inappropriately in my work. I did use Jennifer’s name, only after permission, for the Library Director in the town as a sign of respect and admiration for what she does for JRML. Running a library is an often underappreciated in my opinion and the library is such a vital part and the hub of our community.”

If you’re curious how Quinn found the inspiration for the books, she shared the moment it arrived. “I was sitting in the window the first year of the mannequin challenge at Faith and Giggles during Midnight Madness and I looked at my husband and said, ‘I have to write about this.’ The community was out in force and a feeling of electricity and excitement was in the air. I based the series on a craft store because I always wanted to own and run one. Then soon after the Local Collective shows up in town and I was like, ‘Woah, my writing is coming to life!”

Every writer has their own creative process in creating a masterpiece like Quinn’s crafter series, her exact process focusing on a stricter routine. “I write every morning and plot in the afternoon while walking, gardening or cleaning,” she said. “The next day I edit yesterday’s writing then add another 1,000 to 2,000 words until I reach 80,000. I don’t deviate from this process…[and] I need complete silence. Only once did I put on a YouTube of a thunderstorm when I was writing a stormy scene.”

Quinn revealed the third book in the series, yet to be released, was the most difficult to write. “Originally it was going to be released at Christmas and I was finally writing the mannequin challenge—the inspiration. Perfect right,” she said. “The release was pushed to February and I had to re-write the entire manuscript. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is due to release Feb 11, 2020 and I notice Amazon already has pre-orders up. Crazy! Anyhow, depending on sales of the series, the books could continue. I will know more this fall whether or not Crooked Lane books wants a fourth.”

Quinn said there isn’t one specific author that inspires her. “Anyone in this business inspires me,” she said. “It’s a tough business to navigate as it’s completely saturated now with the ability to self-publish and sell books for $.99 cents. I just finished Something in the Water. I loved it. Unfortunately, while writing a series I don’t have the opportunity to read as much as I’d like because I’m always working on two books. Writing one and editing the previous at the same time. I do participate in the JRML Book Club but many times I listen on audio. We are discussing A Crafter Knits a Clue the first book in the Handcrafted Mystery series on June 10 at 6:30 p.m. if you’d like to join us.”

Quinn also gave a little advice for the writer dreaming of making a career out of their love of writing. “Write because you love it,” she shared. “Don’t let your end game be to publish. Publishing is a bonus but not the destination.”

The first book of the series, A Crafter Knits a Clue, was released in the fall of 2018 and the support of the Hartford community was what really pushed Quinn into local literary success. “Faith and Giggles hosted the first book launch back in October and Wendy and Jason had to turn people away as the attendance grew beyond capacity,” she shared. “[That’s] one of the reasons we’re having the second launch at Jack Russell Memorial Library. Plus, the library is a backdrop to the second book in the series. I will be doing a short reading and I think attendees will recognize the Riverwalk alongside JRML in the book.”

Quinn’s book launch party will take place Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. There will be door prizes, cake and a chance to add your mugshot to the suspect list.


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