• Fran

Decatur Book Festival | Fun & Dogs


When thousands of people stream by a tent on a breezy, sun-kissed day – and when every single one of those people is a book-lover, what’s not to enjoy?

Yesterday at the Decatur Book Festival, I worked at the Sisters in Crime/Mystery Writers of America tent, handing out information about these two fine organizations, talking about my books, patting dogs, and laughing a lot. Most everybody I spoke with was in a good mood. Surrounded by books!

The Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival is always held on Labor Day weekend, and it’s grown into one of the largest book festivals in the nation. I had a few breaks throughout the day, of course. I ate my lunch sitting on a park bench near the historic courthouse, along with a woman who is thinking of getting a service dog as her eyesight gradually fails. Naturally, every dog that walked by came over to sniff our hands and say hello. And several of the dogs were therapy dogs who visit hospitals and libraries on a regular basis.

When I lived in Vermont a lifetime or two ago, I edited a monthly newsletter for Therapy Dogs of Vermont, an incredible organization that has grown exponentially over the years, so I always have a soft spot in my heart for service dogs of any sort.

In A WEE HOMICIDE IN THE HOTEL, Drew (the twin brother of Peggy Winn, my main character) has a service dog named Tessa, who has figured prominently in each of my ScotShop Mysteries. Tessa learns early on not to try to lick Dirk (the 14th century Scottish ghost), but she is always aware of him.

There are Scottie dogs — of course — in each of my ScotShop books. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single Scottie at the Book Festival (other than the ones of the covers of my books).

Holly Sullivan McClure, Fran Stewart, and Maggie Toussaint at DBF 2017. Photo Credit: Mikki Root Dillon

Holly Sullivan McClure, Maggie Toussaint, and I spoke on a panel called “Spirited Sleuthing: Paranormal Mysteries.” Not a dog in sight at that moment – but we had a great time anyway.


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