Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why is This Mystery Author Wearing Museum Gloves?

Life has been chock full of adventures as of late, and this week’s been no exception. My latest–a trip to the charming Ohio town of Milan–answers the question about the gloves.

I was in Milan (pronounced with a long I as in "mile") to take a look at the button collection at the historical museum there.


Ah, I have a big announcement. I’ve just signed a contract to write a new mystery series and you guessed it, it features a heroine who runs a vintage button business.


Oh yes! You see, I’ve long been fascinated by old buttons. They’re little bits of history, little works of art, and I enjoy looking at them, and learning what they’re made of and how they were made, and wondering about what kind of clothing they were on and who wore them.

It only seemed natural that eventually, there would be a button mystery series in my future.

Now, it’s a reality. I’m writing a series (at least three books at this point) about Josie Giancola, a button dealer in Chicago with a charming but deadbeat ex-husband, a retired cop who lives across the hall and still thinks he’s on the job, and a series of less-than-spectacular assistants. All that’s bad enough when all Josie wants is to concentrate on studying her buttons. It’s worse once she gets involved in murder!

The button mysteries have given me the perfect excuse to learn more about buttons and I did that this week in Milan. The museum has a button collection, but it is not currently on display. No worries, the nice folks there invited me in to look through it on my own. Hence, the gloves.

I had a great time in Milan and I appreciated the look behind the scenes at the museum. As for the books . . . the first is due to the publisher in August so I’m anticipating a publication date some time next summer. Until then, I’m keeping the plot under wraps. I guess you could say my lips are buttoned!


Angie Fox said...

Very fun, Casey. Congratulations! And what a neat angle for a series. You know my grandmother used to collect buttons and I still have her button bracelets.

Casey said...

What a wonderful memory of your grandmother, Angie! Keep those button bracelets!

Yeah, button collecting was quite the big thing. Victorian girls did it, and made what's called "charm strings" of their buttons (I've got a book planned about those!) The hobby became really big during the Depression. It was nice and cheap and something for women to do to distract them from hard times.

Sharon said...

That would be a cool museum to visit. My great-grandmother and grandmother were/are pack rats. I've got some pretty wonderful stuff from them . Looking forward to the new books! I thought of you last week. I was at a yard sale and there was a bee keepers outfit! Hope your little guys are doing well so far.

Shirley Damsgaard said...

Congrats on the new series!! Go get 'em, girlfriend! *g*

Casey said...

Hey, how come I never find anything as cool as a beekeeper outfit at a garage sale??? Actually, it's been an interesting week with the bees, Sharon. We had our first swarm. What that means it that the queen took approx. 20,000 of her best girlfriends and split. Came home to a huge cloud of bees above the house. They were making quite a racket. After about 10 minutes of wild flying, the queen landed on the branch of a tree, about 30 feet up. All the other bees clustered around her. Looked like a giant pineapple. From there, the bees send out scouts to find a new home. They next day, they were all gone. The good news, they left plenty of bees still in the hive, and it looks like plenty of honey, too!

Sharon said...

LOL! That is so cool (and a bit scary) you got to see a Swarm, and it not end like a bad Sy-Fy movie . Yeah, on the honey score. Once you harvest (is that the right word?) it take some pics and do a blog about it. (swarm, geez!)

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

I think some of the best times in museums are when they let you look at something that they make you wear gloves to look them over. The gloves are to prevent the acid in your sweat from contacting the items, so that's a very good sign that you've gotten into the part of their collection that they're very serious about preserving. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin