Why author pens mysteries? Elementary, dear readers
It wasn't long before he started writing mysteries of his own, completing his first novel at age 12.
"My education … and extensive reading are the things that really fuel my writing," James said. "I think, in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader first."
James, a medical librarian, co-authored several mystery trivia books with fellow librarian Jean Swanson, including "By a Woman's Hand: a Guide to Mystery Fiction" and "Killer Books: A Reader's Guide to Exploring the Popular World of Mystery and Suspense." His first mystery novel, "Cruel as the Grave," was published in 2000.
In the years since, James has authored 17 additional mystery novels under his own name and a variety of pseudonyms, including Honor Hartman and Jimmie Ruth Evans. He currently writes the "Cat in the Stacks" mysteries series under the pseudonym Miranda James.
"This is a series that features a widowed librarian and his Maine coon cat," James said. "The cat in the book is called Diesel, and he's got his own Facebook fan page and everything."
The type of mysteries that James writes are known as "cozies" – books written in the classic style of Agatha Christie that end happily and eschew excessive sex and violence.
"Out of Circulation," the fourth installment in the "Cat in the Stacks" series, is set to hit bookstores in January.
When he's not writing or working as a medical librarian at the Texas Medical Center, James is an avid reader who lists English writer Margery Allingham among his favorite authors. He's still quite fond of Nancy Drew mysteries and has an extensive collection of books from the original series.
"She's been a part of my life for over 40 years now," James said of the heroine of the popular amateur detective series.
He lists "The Secret of Shadow Ranch" and "The Secret in the Old Attic" among his favorite Nancy Drew mysteries.
For more information on author Dean James and the "Cat in the Stacks" mysteries, email email@example.com or visit www.catinthestacks.com. You can also connect with James, as Miranda James, on Facebook.
ABOUT Dean James
OCCUPATION: Author and medical librarian
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Works as a librarian at the Texas Medical Center
FAST FACT: "File M for Murder," the third book in the "Cat in the Stacks" series, made it to No. 19 on the "New York Times" bestseller list
Megan Mattingly-Arthur is a freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Advertising by PaperG