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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

October 2015

Amy Stewart

Photo © Terrence McNally.


Amy Stewart


    amy @

Web Sites:


Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

Serendipity! A couple of months ago, I was reading about an upcoming novel that includes a lot of action in northern New Jersey especially Bergen County and made a note to self to contact the author. I did.

It is with over the moon excitement that I present Amy Stewart as BCCLS Invite an Author for October 2015. Yes, you read it right - Amy Stewart!!!

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers, The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown. They own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books and tend a flock of unruly hens in their backyard.

An antiquarian bookstore, a flock of hens, and those amazing books! How can we not love this woman?

Ms. Stewart’s newest book, and her first novel, Girl Waits with Gun, is garnering great reviews and with its Jersey connection and Ms. Stewart’s popularity, should be hugely sought after at our libraries. At the time of this writing, there were 2 of 60 copies available and 59 holds. Take a look at Amy’s website,, especially the events section.

There, just for fun, you can find a link to the drink Amy invented to go with Girl Waits With Gun - it’s called the New Jersey Automobile.

There’s also information on hosting a virtual visit with Amy.

On Girl Waits with Gun:

"A sheer delight to read and based on actual events, this debut historical mystery packs the unexpected, the unconventional, and a serendipitous humor into every chapter. Details from the historical record are accurately portrayed by villains and good guys alike, and readers will cross their fingers for the further adventures of Constance and Sheriff Heath."

Booklist, ***Starred Review***

"Stewart has spun a fine, historically astute novel . . . The sisters’ personalities flower under Stewart’s pen, contributing happy notes of comedy to a terrifying situation . . . I, for one, would like to see her return to wield them again in further installments."

New York Times Book Review

"In the summer of 1914 in rural New Jersey, the lives of Constance Kopp and her sisters take a dramatic turn. Aided by the local sheriff, the Kopp sisters defend their home while Constance unravels a web of Kaufman family secrets and reckons with her own. In her engaging first novel, Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) draws from the true story of the Kopp sisters (Constance became one of the country's first female deputy sheriffs) and creates a welcome addition to the genre of the unconventional female sleuth. Colorful, well-drawn characters come to life on the page, and historical details are woven tightly into the narrative. The satisfying conclusion sets up an opening for future Constance Kopp novels. VERDICT Historical fiction fans and followers of Rhys Bowen's "Molly Murphy" mysteries and Victoria Thompson's "Gaslight Mystery" series will delight in the eccentric and feisty Kopp women."

Library Journal

"Hardened criminals are no match for pistol-packing spinster Constance Kopp and her redoubtable sisters in this hilarious and exciting period drama by bestseller Stewart (The Drunken Botanist)...A surprising Kopp family secret, a kidnapped baby, and other twists consistently ratchet up the stakes throughout, resulting in an exhilarating yarn."

Publishers Weekly

In case you missed the buzz, you can get an idea of the book’s north Jersey connection here:

and here:

Living on the West Coast makes a virtual (Skype) visit preferred and Amy wants you to know that she is very excited at the prospect of talking about her new novel with all of you and your readers. Contact Amy to arrange for a virtual visit at: amy @ We are talking major wow factor here!

Warmest regards,




Of special note (and with great excitement): with the advent of LibGuides, I wanted to do something more with the authors I present. My hope is that every month in addition to my announcement letter, there will be a Q&A we are calling ‘Interview from The Author’s Studio.’ I cannot think of anyone better to start with than Amy Stewart.


Amy, What are you reading these days? What's on your nightstand?

Well, I'm on book tour right now, and I can barely even remember what my nightstand looks like, much less what's on it! But in my travel bag I have a few new novels that I've been looking forward to, including Stephanie Clifford's Everybody Rise, Patrick DeWitt's Undermajordomo Minor (his last book, The Sisters Brothers, is one of my all-time favorite books), and Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies.


Where do you go to get inspired?

To my desk! I don't believe in inspiration. I believe in sitting down and getting the work done. Inspiration's going to have to come to me, not the other way around. If you read Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Big Magic you'll find that she and I are just about in perfect agreement on this subject.


What's something that surprised you recently (in a good way)?

There has been something that has surprised me on book tour. I'm surprised that people have so many interesting ideas about my characters. I'm working on the next book in the series now, and at almost every event I do, I end up taking notes from my readers.


Where do you write?

My office is in the attic of our house in Eureka, California. It's a wonderful big drafty old space with very thick redwood plank floors and exposed beams. I'm getting homesick just thinking about it!


What/who makes you laugh? Why?

My chickens make me laugh. They're very talkative, and at night when I go out to lock up the chicken coop, I always say good-night to them, and they pretty much say good night back to me. It took me a long time to figure this out, but if you talk to a chicken, she will talk right back to you. They're very sociable like that.


Favorite fictional character ever?

Harriet the Spy. What are you working on? I'm working on the next installment of the Kopp sisters' adventures! I know quite a bit about what they did over a 15 year period, and I really want to tell the rest of their true story. The second book will be out in September 2016.