Interview with Zana Hart
Author of Bad Weather, Bad Man: The Curious Librarian Cozy Mystery #2
I write memoirs and mysteries... I wrote a trilogy of cozy mysteries about a small-town librarian based loosely on my own experiences. Now I'm doing a series of memoirs about my life. No, I'm not famous, but I've done a lot of different things. The two that are published are about going around the world and about spending a summer on a workcamp in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I'll soon be publishing one about taking LSD as a research subject.
Future memoirs will include being the daughter of science fiction writer Cordwainer Smith, falling in love with a hippie, raising llamas, living in Mexico, and more.
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How would you describe Bad Weather Bad Man to a new reader?
- It's the second of a trilogy of cozy mysteries, but it stands on its own if you want to start with it.
To what extent is Bad Weather Bad Man based on your own experiences?
- I was a librarian much like the heroine. Ace is a character made from several people I know. In fact, one friend of mine thinks Ace is modeled on him, even though I hadn't yet met him when I wrote the book.
Bad Weather Bad Man is good discussion of rural homelessness. Why did you chose this topic?
- When I was a librarian in various small public libraries, homeless people often used the libraries for napping, bathing, socializing, and more. I was interested in the kinds of ways that libraries dealt with this.
The murders are pretty tame in your book. Why?
- That is characteristic of cozy mysteries, which is the category this falls into. It is more about the reader figuring things out than it is about much violence.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Write! Write more!
Is there romance also in the book?
- Yes, cozy mysteries do often include romance. In this series, the librarian Lauren Long almost loses her boyfriend Justin.
Bad Weather Bad Man is exciting in parts, more mellow in others. Why did you write it that way?
- Life is like that.
Does Ace get away with it?
- Oh, you think he did something?
Isn't the ending a bit contrived?
- Oh yes! But it could happen.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I'm deep into a series of my memoirs.
Lauren Long, library director in the charming town of Silvermine, Colorado, welcomes homeless people to use the library. One is Billy, who sends email from the library’s computers and warns Lauren about a bad man. When Billy is found dead in the forest, murder is suspected.
Billy’s cousin Barb comes to town and puts on a wild party to celebrate his life. At the party, Lauren meets Ace, a radical and brilliant homeless man.
Despite being warned, Lauren soon agrees to a request from Ace which could cost her dearly. She came to Silvermine because of her yearning for a sense of community, but it seems that she may have misjudged some people, including her boyfriend Justin. And nobody but Lauren seems to care who committed the killing.
When something completely unexpected happens on her thirtieth birthday, Lauren must deal with panic. When she learns an important secret, things begin to make sense. Eventually Barb reappears with astonishing news, and a future better than anyone imagined begins to unfold.