Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Radio Time for Bishop Hill


I recently recorded my second Scribble* interview at WVIK in Rock Island, IL. It has not aired yet. However, my memory of it tells me I need to fill in some holes, those few blank spaces where I didn’t offer enough explanation.  

For instance, my answer to the fundamental question: Where can readers find my new book, Shadows Over Bishop Hill?

I can’t recall exactly what I said, and I do know I got “” in at one point near the end of my answer, but I think I missed the opportunity to elaborate on the importance of mentioning my website.

Earlier this year I decided, for better or worse, I would not mail out my books on my own. Amazon was my primary book source for online orders. But I wanted a more personal touch for my region of eastern Iowa and western Illinois. I wanted to make use of local independent booksellers and in doing so I would support them, promote them; therefore, we could help each other. I spent months making the rounds and placing my books. I posted those businesses on my website.

They are:

The Artsy Bookworm, 1319 30th St., Rock Island, IL, is a new business that’s found a home in a lovely house near the Augustana campus. It features used and new books, art, toys, gifts, yarn, and community events. It has a gallery atmosphere with creative inspiration on every wall and around every corner. Be sure to ask for their local authors’ section.

Wordsmith Bookshoppe, 235 East Main St., Galesburg, IL, is another new business with a renovated space near the Knox campus. It’s bright, airy, and well stocked with reading material, gifts for all tastes, and is very welcoming to local authors. They can even accommodate online shoppers at:

Prairie Arts Center, 203 Bishop Hill St., Bishop Hill, IL, located in the Colony Blacksmith Shop is situated across from the centrally located state park. The large brick building is an old standby for me, practically a second home at one time. It’s renovated upper floor contains antiques and collectables, while the spacious first floor is filled with arts, crafts, and a book nook set aside for local authors. I’m honored that my books have a place on the shelves.

The Colony Store, 101 West Main St., Bishop Hill, IL, is a venerable colony-era brick building that, like others, has seen many uses over its long life. It’s the “candy store” to many children. Other folks can appreciate the old-fashioned feel of a general store with a serious Swedish flavor. Where else could my Bishop Hill based mysteries share shelf space with Stieg Larson’s crime novels?

The Brewed Book, 1524 N. Harrison, Davenport, IA, is in a building finishing up an ambitious expansion project. Visitors will find friendly faces and shelves filled with new and used books. The espresso machine is waiting to make everyone feel welcome and energized. My books share space with other local authors near the front door, over the piano.

River Lights, 1098 Main St., Dubuque, IA, is another bookstore in a vintage brick building. This one is on an easy-to-find corner overlooking the Mississippi River’s collection of casinos and museums. It offers an intimate shopping experience and a wonderful showcase for my books.

Prairie Lights, 15 South Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA, is an iconic landmark for the Iowa campus and for me. I’ve come for readings from favorite authors, such as John Scalzi; and on interesting topics, such as the history of Buxton, Iowa. I’ve stopped by for lunch and latte. Now I can drop in to check on my Bishop Hill books, and perhaps meet some friends and relatives.

As I worked on this project, placing my books next to those of other local authors, I became aware of how often I recognized names of people I knew, had met, or worked with through the Midwest Writing Center*. It’s a testament to how vital that non-profit organization has become to our region. A resource, in fact, to so many of us who embrace the written word as authors; writers, at all levels of engagement; and readers, of all manner of genres.


*Scribble is a weekly radio feature hosted by Don Wooten and Rebecca Wee at noon Saturdays on WVIK 90.3 FM Quad Cities and 95.9 Dubuque. The hosts “muse about writing, poetry and the craft.” All books are fair game for lively commentary. Book reviews are welcome. Contact information:

*Midwest Writing Center is “the only organization in the Quad Cities dedicated solely to the literary arts.” Writing is often a solitary task, it’s good to find kindred spirits and help along the way. For more information go to:

1 comment:

  1. Mary, I love your blog. Will be venturing to the Colony Store to procure a copy of your latest book. Hope all is well with you and yours.