Local author to share her story

A Queanbeyan author who self-published the first book in her new series will be visiting Queanbeyan Library to talk about how the story came together.

L.J.M. Owen has lived and worked in Queanbeyan and Canberra for the past 15 years.

As a scholar of archaeology and a lover of "the classic whodunit", her work, Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth was born. With nine books planned in the series, Ms Owens hopes to release one each year.

However after nine months of drafting her first novel, Ms Owen was warned against pitching it to traditional publishers.

"They told me I'd face endless rejection, that it would really hurt, and that I might give up on writing," she said.

"So after much deliberation, I decided to self-publish."

After setting up a crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 for an initial run of books, Ms Owen was contacted by a publisher wanting to read her manuscript.

"And the rest, as they say, is history. Not only was the Kickstarter (crowdfunding) successful, leading to a limited edition run in May last year, but Echo also picked up the book and published it in November."

L.J.M Owen said Queanbeyan residents who pay close attention to the detail in her new series will be able to pick out local landmarks. In the first book, readers are introduced to a fictional version of the National Library of Australia and a suburban secondhand bookshop in Canberra.

In the later installments of the series, Queanbeyan landmarks were used.

Ms Owen said the inspiration for her new series came from a sense of wanting to give back.

She said as a child, she felt like she never quite fit in with the world around her.

"I spent much of my childhood escaping into storyworlds created by others," she said.

"As an adult - tired, stressed and overworked - I continued to snatch an hour or two in those other worlds to recharge my batteries."

"My hope is, ultimately, that the Intermillennial Sleuth chronicles become another place of refuge for readers everywhere," she said.

The first novel in the Australian crime fiction series is Olmec Obituary, the story of an archaeologist librarian who solves ancient mysteries from across the globe.

The second book, Mayan Mendacity, is slated to be on shelves in time for Christmas 2016.

L.J.M. Owen will be visiting Queanbeyan Library on Thursday, February 18 at 5.30pm for an author talk and book signing event. A light supper will also be provided.

Register at the loans counter at the library or phone 6285 6238.

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