Yay, Indiana! My first day on the Indiana Libraries Tour.

One of my favorite movie lines of all time was from “The Mummy” when the hero asks the tipsy heroine “who are you?” and she sits up straight and says with pride: “I … am a LIBRARIAN!”

I love libraries, and I love librarians. Last year, a librarian from Bartholomew County, IN, asked whether I’d visit her library. I’ve never explored Indiana (except for a short visit to Muncie) and since it’s a bit of a haul from Maine, I asked her if there were other libraries in her state that might want me to do an event while I was in the area. A few days later, she gave me a list of over 20 interested libraries. Together, we hatched a plan for a 2-week, 23-stop Indiana library tour. I didn’t know how it would actually work out, but I’ve just finished the first day and it’s been terrific.

Day One: First top, Michigan City. The room was filled to capacity (maybe even more than that, but we won’t tell the fire chief). 108 readers turned up to hear me speak, to get books signed, and to buy books (thanks, Barnes & Noble.)

With Michigan City Librarian Robin Kohn

With Michigan City Librarian Robin Kohn

Then it was on to LaPorte County Public Library, where another near-capacity crowd of 100 turned up to hear me speak.

Outside LaPorte Library

Outside LaPorte Library

With LaPorte librarian Monicah Fratena:
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It’s been an amazing first day, and the library tour experiment has been excellent on so many levels. I’m getting a chance to say thank you to public libraries. I’m seeing a part of the country I’ve never explored. And best of all, I’m meeting readers I’ve never met before.

Plus, I’m learning fun facts as I go.

In downtown LaPorte:
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Fun Fact #1: No one here seems to know the origin of the word “Hoosier.” Some people tell me it’s because, way back, a guy asked at a house: “Who’s here?” Wikipedia says it may relate to a region of England (origin of many Indiana immigrants) where “Hoozer” meant hill country. It’s surprising that a word that’s so universally used to describe someone from indiana has such a mysterious origin.

Fun Fact #2: Carnegie financed more public libraries in Indiana than in any other state.

I’ve spoken to other authors who are intrigued by the idea of a libraries tour. Maybe this is the start of a new movement. Go on the road, see a part of the country you haven’t visited, and support our public libraries!

The Great Indiana Public Libraries Tour

Tess Gerritsen great indiana public libraries tour

I love public libraries. More than any other institution, they guarantee every American free access to great literature, educational resources and information on a vast array of subjects. For many, they are literally a window to the wider world.

That’s why I’m embarking on a special two-week tour to celebrate and recognize libraries for the critical role they play in our communities.

From Sept. 30 through Oct. 14, I will criss-cross the state (making a final stop in Kentucky!), visiting 23 libraries in 16 days. Check out the full “Great Indiana Public Libraries Tour” schedule in the calendar below and on Facebook. For live updates and tour news, follow me on Facebook and Twitter at #tesstourindy.

Why did I take on this adventure? When I was a child in San Diego, I practically lived at my neighborhood library. That’s where I learned to love reading, and where I discovered the thrills of mystery novels, including my childhood idol, Nancy Drew. I’ve always been grateful for our nation’s public library system, and I’ve never forgotten what it gave to me.

My primary goal is to say THANK YOU to libraries everywhere. I’m looking forward to meeting readers, talking about stories, and answering questions on writing. And I’m also excited to visit a state I haven’t had a chance to explore.

Finally, a special thanks to Bartholomew County librarian Mary Clare Speckner, who coordinated with other Indiana libraries to organize my tour schedule, driving route and travel arrangements.

Let #tesstourindy begin!

  • September 30:
    Michigan City Public Library, Michigan City, Indiana
    LaPorte County Public Library, LaPorte, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 1:
    Bremen Public Library, Bremen, Indiana
    Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County, Angola, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 2:
    Huntington Public Library, Huntington, Indiana
    Wells County Public Library, Bluffton, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 3:
    Hartford City Public Library, Hartford City, Indiana
    Jay County Public Library, Portland, Indiana
    Maring-Hunt Library, Muncie, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 4:
    Hamilton North Public Library, Cicero, Indiana
    Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 5:
    Brownsburg Public Library, Brownsburg, Indiana
    Washington High School Auditorium, Washington, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 7:
    Putnam County Public Library, Greencastle, Indiana
    Morgan County Public Library, Martinsville, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 8:
    Mooresville Public Library, Mooresville, Indiana
    White River branch of the Johnson County Public Library, Greenwood, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.

  • October 9
    Jackson County Public Library, Seymour, Indiana
    Bartholomew County Public Library, Columbus, Indiana
  • See recap of these events.




Bouchercon!

Am going crazy trying to get ready for my upcoming INDIANA LIBRARIES TOUR, but thought I’d post a few photos from Bouchercon. I had a great time in Albany, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and just generally absorbing the vibe of people who love mysteries, read mysteries, and write mysteries. It’s been too long since I last attended a Bouchercon — it seems they always come while I’m busy on book tour — but this year I was able to make it. So glad I did!

And a big huge THANK YOU to Joe Finder, for interviewing me onstage. I know how much work goes into being an interviewer. It’s not just a matter of asking any question that pops into your head. Joe went to a lot of work to prepare for it, and it showed. We had a wonderful time onstage, and I hope the audience was just as inspired to buy Joe’s superb books as well!

With Anne Perry, Hank Phillipi Ryan, Steve Hamilton, Sue Grafton, and Lynn Kazcmarek

With Anne Perry, Hank Phillipi Ryan, Steve Hamilton, Sue Grafton, and Lynn Kazcmarek

Writers Joelle Charbonneau and Daniel Palmer at the St. Martin's rooftop party (which I crashed)

Writers Joelle Charbonneau and Daniel Palmer at the St. Martin’s rooftop party (which I crashed)

With MJ Rose and Jeffrey Deaver

With MJ Rose and Jeffrey Deaver

With Zoe Sharp.

With Zoe Sharp.

And finally…

With my good pal Andrew Gulli, who wrote the most lovely piece about me in the Bouchercon book.

With my good pal Andrew Gulli, who wrote the most lovely piece about me in the Bouchercon book.